God is Rest. He gives us rest from our own works. Works that we try to gain His acceptance by. Adam was created perfect. He lived in the Garden of Eden. It was a perfect place for him to live. All of his needs were met there. He walked in perfect communion with God.
Adam and Eve were created with free will. They could choose to obey God and live a perfectly wonderful life, or they could choose to exert their own will and go their own way and not live a perfect life. Satan had access to this garden too through the serpent. Satan must have perceived that Eve was the easier one to manipulate. God had given Adam the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve knew this command, but the serpent kept working on her until finally she thought why not just go ahead to try a little. She thought it looked good, it would be good for food, and she could gain wisdom. She knew the consequence of eating the fruit was death, but she believed Satan rather than God. Satan told her she wouldn’t die. Instead, Satan said, God didn’t want them to eat the fruit because then they would be like Him knowing good and evil. Poor Adam. He saw that Eve had eaten the fruit. He knew God had said they would die if they ate of it. Eve didn’t die. Should he obey God and not eat of the fruit or should he eat the fruit and suffer the same consequences that Eve would suffer? He didn’t consult God on this. He knew what He would say. He loved Eve. He couldn’t bare to be separated from her. So he ate it.
Now why did God put that tree in there? We don’t know. He’s working something out that we don’t know about or understand right now. It’s being worked out in the realm we can’t see with our natural eyes.
Why do I say this? The answer is in the first prophecy made to humankind. When God saw that they ate of the fruit He cursed the serpent, and said that He would put enmity between the snake and the woman and between her offspring and the snake. The woman’s offspring will crush the serpent’s head and the snake will strike his heal. Who is the woman’s offspring? This is the first reference in human history to the Father’s Son: Jesus Christ. Eve is the mother of all the living. It is true that all mitochondrial DNA goes right back to the first woman Eve. There are no mutations in mitDNA. The woman’s egg was not damaged in the sin of disobeying God. Adam’s seed was, however, damaged in the sin of eating the fruit. It is man’s seed that births sin in every human being on earth. Hence the Y-DNA has mutations. Interesting, huh? But this is also how Jesus was born of a virgin and therefore had no sin because no man provided his sin filled seed to His DNA. Jesus is God as Mary’s egg was fertilized by the Holy Spirit. Jesus has no sin. He is the offspring spoken about in the prophecy which will crush the serpent’s head (Satan). This has been done in the act of Jesus giving His life as a ransom for the human race which is infected with the sin from Adam on down. God is our Redeemer. Jesus is our Savior. The human race needs a savior to rescue it from sin. There is no other way to be saved. We must be redeemed in the way that He has provided.
One of the interesting ways this is illustrated is that Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves when they realized they were naked. God took those fig leaves and replaced them with animal skins. In using fig leaves to cover their nakedness, they were trying to cover their own nakedness. God taught them that only through the shedding of blood can their sin be covered. It was a picture of what God was to provide. Jesus shed His blood to cover man’s sin. God is good. All we have to do is accept the gift that He has given us. Yeah!
One other thing that is cursed in this story told to us from antiquity, is the ground. Neither Eve nor Adam were cursed: only the serpent was cursed. There were consequences though. The ground was cursed. Man would have to painfully toil to eat of it. It will produce thorns and thistles and by the sweat of his brow man will eat of it’s food until he returns to the ground. For dust man is and to dust he will return.