Three Consequences of Eating Forbidden Fruit
Have you ever wanted something that you were told you couldn’t have? For some reason, it always seems to make us want it even more. Some would call that human nature. But I wonder what it must have been like for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They didn’t have a fallen, sinful nature. But they faced a very real and dangerous temptation.
I know for me that when I can’t have something, it seems that I want it all the more. I am working on my eating habits right now. I have been told to cut out salt, processed and fried food along with decreasing my intake of sugar. The problem: I like all these things. To be told that I can’t have them makes them all the more desirable.
If you have ever fasted, you know what I am talking about. When you can’t have food, you are all the more tempted by that food. When a child is told not to do something, it seems they become hell-bent on doing what they cannot do.
I call this forbidden fruit! We want the forbidden fruit. It seems that forbidden fruit seems so sweet.
When we look at the story of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (TKGE), we can come away with three lessons applicable to our lives today.
They bought into the lie that God was holding back on them and that what they needed would be provided by eating the forbidden fruit.
You and I do the same thing today. We often times feel that God is withholding something from us. We feel as if we need something that God is not providing. Maybe it’s love from a partner, a sense of value or worth, or we don’t feel accepted. We end up going to other people and things instead of trusting God. We end up eating forbidden fruit.
It looks good and tasty. It looks like what we need and what we are looking for, but in the end, it never accomplishes what we thought it would. Just ask someone who has gotten hooked on drugs, or gave their body away because they simply wanted to be loved. Ask someone who has gone after forbidden fruit. Better yet, take a look at your own life and examine every time you ate forbidden fruit. What was the outcome?
They believed that there would be no consequences to their eating the forbidden fruit.
God told them that if they ever ate from the TKGE that they would die. The serpent deceived Eve into believing that God was simply threatening them with death, but they would not really die. She bought the lie and ate the fruit.
They ended up dying that day. Not physically, that would come many, many years later. But they died to themselves, they died to each other. In dying, they died. Adam was willing to throw all the blame on God and Eve. Eve rightfully pointed to the serpent, but she wasn’t willing to accept her own responsibility. The cost was way higher than Eve could have imagined.
There are always consequences to our choices. Some choices have great consequences. Others, not so great. The problem we run into is when we think that our choices don’t have consequences. We think that it will never happen to us, that we are above it somehow. We think that we can handle whatever may come.
But we can’t.
We still fall for that same lie: “you really won’t suffer if you make this choice.” God just wants you happy. How many times, when someone eats the forbidden fruit, they justify it by saying, “God knows my heart.” They don’t believe they will suffer consequences because, after all, God must know that they are good in heart.
Even though Jesus has forgiven us of our sins, our sin still has consequences. The wages of sin is still death. Most of the time we are punished by our sin, not for our sin. Eating forbidden fruit always has negative consequences. God can, and does, bring good out of our faulty mistakes, but our mistakes still carry consequences.
Eating the forbidden fruit caused Adam and Eve to experience shame.
Every time I have eaten forbidden fruit I have experienced shame. I hated myself for making such a stupid decision. I had to battle being ashamed of myself for messing up. Thankfully, Jesus is all about taking shame off of people, but our choices often times still bring us to a place of shame.
When we are ashamed we tend to avoid others, it causes us to hide from those closest to us and from God. That’s what Adam and Eve did. They covered themselves, in essence, hiding from one another, and they hid from God. We do the same whenever we deal with shame.
God had provided them with a garden that had everything they needed to sustain their lives. Every tree in the garden was good to look at and was good for food. God wanted to be their source of wisdom and knowledge.
Eve fell for the deception of the serpent. She thought God was being stingy, holding back from her something that she needed. She didn’t think that the consequences would be what God said they would be. In the end, she suffered greatly because she trusted more in the serpent and in her own decision making than she did in the wisdom and love of God.
When we eat from forbidden fruit the same happens to us. We tend to think that God is holding back from us the things we think we need. So, we go looking for them in all the wrong places. We don’t believe that there will be negative consequences to our actions. In the end, when we eat from forbidden fruit, we end suffering and, most of the time will cause others around us to suffer as well.
Don’t fall for the lie! God has all that you need and will be all that you need. He is not stingy or holding back. He loves you more than you know and is generous and gracious to humanity.
What about you? Have you ever thought you needed something that God wasn’t supplying? Did you eat forbidden fruit? What was your experience like?