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by Doug McCurry

Adam and Eve were living the blessed life in the Garden of Eden. God had given them all that they would need. They were taken care of by God, and they had a living personal relationship with God who created them in his image. God created them to commune with Him and to enjoy Him. Everything was good.

God had given everything to Adam but one thing. Adam was told not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If he did eat it, then he would die. God gave Adam a helpmate to stand by his side as his equal and to procreate. Her name was Eve.

One day Eve was in the garden alone. She was approached by the serpent (the presence of evil). The serpent tempted Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Genesis 3:2-3). The temptation continued with the serpent challenging God’s word and the woman saw that the fruit looked good to eat. So, she ate the forbidden fruit and gave it to the man to eat as well. Immediately they realized they were naked which was the immediate consequence of their disobedience.

When asked by God if they ate the forbidden fruit: Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the Serpent, and God pronounced their consequence of their sin. When we read Genesis 3, we often blame Eve for the sin. She was the one who willingly took the fruit, ate it, and gave it to the man to eat. However, when we read about this act of disobedience in Romans chapter 5, we are told that it is Adam’s fault. Sin came into the world by one man.

How is it that Adam is to blame when Eve clearly made the first move? I think it goes back to what the woman said to the serpent, “neither shall you touch it.” (Genesis 3:3). The addition of this clause tells us one of two things. Either Eve added on to the command not to eat, or Adam didn’t instruct Eve properly. If Adam was given the command by God not to eat, and Eve didn’t learn properly, then it is the teacher, Adam, who is to blame. Perhaps this is why Paul credits Adam with the guilt of the sin by which we all suffer.

What do you think? Who is to blame? We all want someone to blame for our sinful actions. It’s my parents’ fault because they were bad parents. It’s my spouse’s fault because he or she cheated on me first, so I did. It’s my boss’s fault (or coworker’s) because he treats me unfairly therefore, I come home and treat everyone else badly.

We all want someone else to blame for our bad behavior. We are more ready to point the finger at anyone else than ourselves. However, each of us is ultimately responsible for our own behavior. When we take responsibility for our own actions, then we will find healing and forgiveness.