That darn apple.
Many reading this may be very familiar with the Genesis 3 account of Adam and Eve committing the first sin, which brought sin and death into the world. Let’s review God’s command:
“The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:9, 16-17
As I wrote the above, it hit me that food was used as the determining factor of either continuing life or choosing death for Adam and Eve. I mean, duh, I knew that but it didn’t really sink in until now. I sit here and wonder if Adam and Even had to eat in order to live. They were human, although perfect. Yet, on the other hand, they were in the presence of God, the source of Life. And death was only brought on if they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (aka “the tree”), and not because they didn’t eat at all. Which we imperfect humans would die if we don’t eat. Maybe someone with a bunch of theology credentials behind their name can tell me that one. Either way, God gave them food to eat. And not just any food, but good and pleasing to the eye food. I’d like to have a taste of that.
Well, if you know the story, Adam and Even ate the fruit from the tree and death entered the world. One fruit. One bite each. Forever their lives and the rest of mankind changed for all time. That darn fruit. We don’t know what it was but I’m gonna just say it’s an apple from good ole children’s Sunday school curriculum. I wonder what that apple looked like? Genesis 3:6 says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye…” Therefore, it had to be very similar to the other fruit on every other tree in the garden that she could eat from. It was good and pleasing to the eye. It was shiny and perfect and clean. After all, God did create it. All that He created was good. And God does not create sin. Keep in mind that the apple was not sin; the act of choosing to eat the fruit was sin because it disobeyed God’s command. Big difference.
I can picture hundreds of trees in the garden, and somehow Eve and Adam ended up right beside THAT tree. Were they going on a leisurely, romantic walk hand-in-hand one day and came across the tree? Maybe they were chasing an animal for fun and it led them under the tree. Or maybe they just plain were curious. They wanted to see if the fruit was really any different than the other fruit trees. You know how we humans are: say don’t touch or don’t do, and we want to get as close as possible, and if you are my kids, you do the opposite of what was just told. Regardless, the Bible doesn’t say how they got to the tree. All we know is that they were at the tree and a serpent started talking.
Satan hasn’t changed since that first encounter with humans in the garden. I’d like to give Adam and Eve the benefit of the doubt, and maybe they were taking a leisurely walk minding their own business and then out of nowhere, a serpent is talking from the tree that they didn’t even realize they were so near to. Once Satan got their attention, he laid it on them with half-truths. He knew right where to lure Eve. He had the perfect bait. All he had to do was keep her focused on that fruit on that tree. Distract her from the hundreds of blessings of good and pleasing to the eye fruit around her. But oh, it looked just like the others! How could it be any different? And if it looked the same, wouldn’t it taste the same?
I do wonder what it tasted like. Because Eve chose to disobey God, I like to think that it was bitter. The Bible says that she took some and ate it, and then gave some to Adam. Maybe the first bite wasn’t so bad. However, I want to believe that each bite would have been more bitter than the first.
Take a bite. “I can get away with it because it wasn’t so bad. No one noticed.”
Take another bite. “I can handle this.”
Take another bite. “Ugh. Yuck. I don’t care though because I need more!”
Take another bite. “This isn’t satisfying me. The next bite will!”
Take another bite. “I’m addicted even though it leaves a horrible aftertaste.”
Solomon described this well in Proverbs 25:16 ~
“If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.”
I have written beside this verse in my Bible, “What I think will fulfill my desires only makes me sick!”
Oh that darn apple. I think it will satisfy me because I believed the lies of Satan: “See, it’s perfect and shiny. It can satisfy you even more than the others! God’s design of love for you is not good enough. Take a bite. Try it and see.”
And then after the first bite and then the second and third and so on, I realize that this ain’t tasting so good. This is not satisfying me, and instead I’m sick!
Why? Because there is only one thing that truly satisfies. Everything else is a copycat that Satan dangles in front of us to convince us that it’s better than the original. And it will all make me sick if I’m replacing it for Jesus. Oh, I’ve been there my friend. Haven’t we all? Replacing Jesus, the only One who can fulfill me for a darn apple that Satan lured me with. Just taking a leisure walk and he called me over. Distracted me. I ate and ate. And soon got sick until I realized that this will never satisfy.
OH! but I praise Jesus for redemption. For paying my penalty of eating the apple so that I do not have to experience eternal death and separation from God! My sins have been removed from the east to the west and remembered no more. Yes, when I choose to disobey and take a bite, I must pay the consequences of eating the apple. But by His grace and everlasting love, Jesus’ death and resurrection once and for all flushed out all remnants of that bitter aftertaste left behind.
What’s that darn apple in your life? What is the copycat fruit that Satan is luring at you? Walk right on past it. Don’t look. Don’t believe his lies and half-truths. Don’t get distracted on what you can’t have and look around to all the blessings that you do have. That apple will never satisfy. Run my friend. Run into the arms of Jesus who will always satisfy.
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you. ~Psalm 63:1-5