In a previous post I touched on the judgment of Eve, but up until now we haven’t looked at what happened with Adam. What, exactly was Adam’s sin? Better yet, why is it that the Bible is very specific that it was Adam who sinned, not Eve?
If men and women were equal then Eve is the one who sinned. Yes, she was completely deceived, but she still disobeyed and violated the one rule that God gave them. Both Adam and Eve ate of the fruit they were commanded not to eat of, but only Adam is credited with the sin, so what was it that Adam did? You will hear preachers tell you that Adam knowingly disobeyed God while Eve was deceived, as if being deceived is an excuse. What Eve did was disobedience while what Adam did was rebellion. There is a difference.
Adam had responsibilities because God placed him in charge of the entire earth and everything that dwelled on the earth. His mission was to take control of the earth. And Adam knew that God had said “In the day you eat of [the fruit] you shall surely die.”
Satan used Eve as a tool to take down Adam. If you think of it in terms of chess, Adam was put in check and his only way out was to allow his queen to be taken. Instead of analyzing the situation with his mission in mind and realizing that his queen was already taken, Adam tipped his king and gave up the game.
To hell with his command, to hell with everything, when Adam saw that his wife had eaten of the fruit, he decided to commit suicide. He decided he would rather die with his wife than continue with his mission. He abdicated. He quit.
What Adam did was not mere disobedience, it was rebellion and treason against his King. Obedience is following orders. Eve disobeyed, but as the record indicates, that wasn’t that much of a problem. The reason is that obedience and submission are not the same. Obedience is following orders, submission is accepting the authority of the one giving the orders and accepting the consequences for disobedience. Disobedience is not necessarily rebellion, but the refusal to submit is legitimate authority is always rebellion.
Adam’s act of rebellion was to reject his mission and refuse to do his job. In committing spiritual suicide he abdicated his position as the federal head of creation, giving Satan that authority. But we can’t blame Eve for this, it was Adam who decided that he’d rather die with his wife than do his job. To hell with his mission, he had oneitis so bad that he decided to commit suicide.
Is There More To The Story?
We don’t know whether Adam knew that the death God was speaking of was spiritual death rather than physical death, but we might have some clues. Consider that Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the evening and they were naked and unashamed. They were in the presence of God.
Exodus 34:29-35 tells the story of Moses going into the presence of God and as a result he glowed. What the text says is that his face glowed, but we know that Moses was wearing clothing. We also know that Moses was born in sin and repeatedly disobeyed God. Christ, however, was born without sin and never committed any sin. Matthew 17:1-8 tells the story of the transfiguration of Christ and says “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.”
Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. Was it because the Glory of God shown from within them and their skin shined like the sun? We don’t know because the text does not tell us. But we can imagine how Adam might have felt to see his wife for the first time as that glow died and her skin no longer shone like the sun.
What we do know is that Adam made the decision to follow her into death. In doing so he abdicated his position and surrendered on seeing the first casualty of the battle. Adam fell on his own sword and with his spiritual death allowed Satan to become the prince of this world.
You might look at this and think “Only a complete asshole could look at his wife dying before his eyes and not want to do something.” The problem was that Adam was not a complete asshole, he wasn’t even a garden variety asshole. What he chose to do was emotionally selfish and the behavior of a prick.
Command Has No Friends
From Falkenberg’s Legion, by Jerry Pournelle. Read the chapter to get the context because it’s perfect for this discussion as it relates the concept of command to a relationship with a woman.
“Command can have no friends, Miss Horton… The reason command has no friends is not merely to spare the commander the pain of sending friends to their death. If you haven’t learned the rest of it, learn it now, because some day you’ll have to betray either your friends or your command, and that’s a choice worth avoiding.”
Adam betrayed his command in favor of his wife.
It should be noted that wives are not commanded to obey their husband, they are commanded to submit to him. Likewise, they are not commanded to love their husband, they are commanded to respect him.
Husbands are commanded to love their wives and that love is defined as being the the way Christ loves His church. Christ’s love for His church is described as a sacrificial love in Ephesians 5:25-29. The only two specific examples of how Christ loves His church are found in Hebrews 12:5-7 and Revelation 3:19. The word that sums it up is discipline. Wives are commanded to submit to their husband and husbands are commanded to hold their wives accountable, rebuking and disciplining them when necessary.
Which is what a good commander does. And command can have no friends.