We first learn about the Lord’s command for sanctification (spiritual and, when possible, physical separation from Satan’s people) in the third chapter of the Book of Genesis. Here we find Eve, having been lured by the Serpent into his physical presence (her first mistake) listening to him and discussing the things of the Lord (her second mistake). Up to this point she had obeyed Him by avoiding both the Serpent and the tree that stood in the center of the garden. In verse six we learn that it was only after talking with the Serpent–Satan–that she felt the need to see the tree (her third mistake). Upon doing so she was immediately taken in by its beauty and the “benefits” that would come to her if she partook of it (her fourth mistake). It was then that she became aware that it was “good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise (wiser than God).” Satan’s smooth, ear-scratching words had deafened her to the Lord’s strict commands. Now close enough to the tree to take the fruit, she did so (her fifth mistake). In short order she took a bite (her sixth mistake) and gave some to Adam (her seventh mistake).
During Eve’s conversation with Satan she emphasized the fact that God commanded her and Adam to avoid the forbidden tree. They were told not to get close enough to “touch” it, for if they did they would die. Here we find the all-knowing God warning our original parents about the power of Satan to lure people into his deadly web. Like a fisherman dangling bait in front of a fish, the devil’s offerings are always appealing to the senses, as verse six attests. The closer Eve and Adam got to the tree the more attractive it became. When Eve touched the fruit Satan slammed the spiritual gate behind her. She was on her own now. She had no chance. Adam, having meekly listened to the conversation and having followed her to where they had been warned not to go, needed no convincing. Eve gave the fruit to him, and “he did eat.” Many years later a very wise man took the same steps, made the same decisions and led Israel into idolatry. His name was Solomon. His “forbidden fruit” was sex.
In sociological circles Adam and Eve’s “forgetting” what God had said is known as “selective memory.” Generally, selective memory operates within a triumvirate system. 1) God whispers; Satan screams. 2)God tells man to do what pleases Him. 3) Satan tells man to do what pleases himself. Man has a choice of masters–God or Satan. Satan wins the battle of allegiance 99% of the time. See the Introduction to this website for a few examples of the devil’s victories relative to church doctrine, customs, beliefs, etc.
God had called Adam and Eve to sanctification. They were to avoid (by their own choice) the forbidden tree at all costs. If they had submitted to God’s call they would not have walked to where it was, would not have looked at it, would not have touched it and would not have partaken of it. However, they rejected the Lord’s call to separate themselves from Satan and the world he had to offer. Had they obeyed God they would have defeated Satan and thereby maintained rulership of the world which God had given them as noted in Genesis 1:26. By submitting to Satan they turned the world over to him. It was at that point that he claimed rulership of the earth, a status he will occupy until Jesus Christ returns to cast him and his angels/devils/demons into the Lake of Fire where they will burn forever. Adam and Eve’s descendants have faced the same Serpent, heard his call and, like their parents, answered it. With one exception–Jesus of Nazareth. See Jesus of Nazareth: God, Man or God-man? L.J.