Ever since Lucifer learned that “mud people” were being elevated over him to a higher status of sons of God and given dominion over the earth, he has been bent on the destruction of humanity.
“of the tree of the knowledge of…evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)
“if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye…break my covenant: I also will do this unto you… I will bring the land into desolation” (Leviticus 26:14-32)
Knowing that death = loss of connection to YHVH / Creator Sustainer of life with the inevitable result of desolation (noun) desolate (adjective), Lucifer naturally acted to make not just the two human but the whole earth devastated; deprived or destitute of inhabitants; deserted; uninhabited.
Then what happened after the serpent convinced the woman to eat the fruit was complete shock and awe to Lucifer. He was totally unable to anticipate this outcome because it was completely alien to his own character.
Paradoxically, the same action of eating the fruit that brought death crashing down on the Woman brought life through Adam.
Plotted as it was by Satan, Adam’s death by the tree was certainly condemned by Satan – and legalistic religionists – but was it condemned by God?
Re-read the only law given to the first humans. It is not a moral law. It is a simple statement of a law of nature – “if you eat the fruit, you die.” No different from “if you drink poison, you die.” This was a consequence, inevitable physical effects from Adam’s action in the physical realm. We can’t assume it was punishment in the spiritual realm.
Eating the fruit broke a natural law and caused an unstoppable chain reaction of physical effects, but eating the fruit wasn’t the sin. The sin was eating the fruit in order to become independent of God.
Adam, on the other hand, died to self in order to obey God’s word for him to cleave to, be “one flesh” with, his spouse.
With this understanding we realize that, even though he broke the physical law, Adam did not break the moral law. He did not lose his relationship with God.
“Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:14)
When Adam chose to respond to his wife’s crisis by acting for the benefit of his wife at the expense of his own welfare, even to death. By this act of love he began to develop God’s likeness, and it was only by mastering his own domain that he began to develop the ability to have dominion over anything else.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose…and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified…As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:28-39)
The first rule of war is “know your enemy.” Lucifer miscalculated both Adam’s and God’s responses. They both acted out of love and mercy, and used their power for the benefit of others. Lucifer couldn’t anticipate Adam’s love for his wife and God’s love for his children because he doesn’t know love.
“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil…he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (I John 3:10-11)
Surely we recognize the plagiarism in Walt Disney’s Snow White, where the vain ruler who wants to be supreme in the land uses a poisoned fruit to kill the rival young woman, who is however brought back to life by the man who loves her so much he shares the poison on her lips.
The Lord of the Rings brings to life a host of biblical concepts, including this one in which an immortal being chooses mortality. Unlike the woman, this was not an attempt to gain independence from God but a decision to join his wife.
“Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:14)
In doing so, he was following God’s commandment to cleave to his wife. Notice how God had given him a heads up on this ethical dilemma at the same time he gave him a partner.
“of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
And immediately following in the next verse:
“And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh…Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:17-24)
God’s choice of humble humanity was vindicated by Adam’s decision to eat the fruit and join her in death.
“…Adam…is the figure of him that was to come [the Savior].” (Romans 5:14)
“Husbands, love your wives, even as The Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Messiah / Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-32)
Let’s rephrase that, putting Adam in the action.
Husbands, love your wives, even as the first Adam also loved his wife, and gave himself for her, that he might take away the corruption caused by her action, wiped clean of decay by the power of the word that gave life in the first place, that he might present her to himself a glorious wife restored to perfection. For this cause Adam separated himself from his heavenly Father, and joined himself to his wife by eating the fruit and experiencing death with her, so they could continue to be united, have the same flesh. This is a great mystery, that is revealed as the story progresses.
That should send chills down your spine. This fragile, childishly innocent human countered the most powerful, evil monster in the universe in his first move, simply by choosing to act according to the word of God, even to apparent failure, to death! – instead of leaning on his own understand or acting on his own self interests.
Did he know how his action would send shock waves through the universe? Undoubtedly, no. The opposite of “knowledge is power” is “faith is power,” where faith is simply trusting that what God said is true and acting on that instead of a calculated likelihood of achieving desired results.
This next passage also reflects Adam’s choice and calls all sons of God to follow in his steps.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus [the last Adam and the first Adam];Who, being [made in the image] in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant [to the woman], and was made [changed] in the likeness of [mortal] men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross [tree]. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name [attribute] which is above every name [the Father of All Humanity]:” (Philippians 2:5-9)
Adam gave his life in both in death and the new man he became.
When God created humans with self-will and the choice to overcome selfishness for the benefit of others, he created the potential to love. It was by this action – choosing to die out of love – that the first human son of God developed his likeness to God, grand-slamming anything the brilliant spirit son of God Lucifer had to show in competition. Lucifer and all the other angels could not demonstrate this likeness to God, because they can’t die.
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no-one to hear it, is there sound? If God is loving but there is no-one to experience his love, does love actually exist?
In the hugely popular movie Titanic, Jack’s love for Rose is proven, not by his admiration and desire for her, but by giving his life for her.
Likewise, the best and brightest aspects of God’s character can only be perceived in his actions towards humans, and in the actions of his children that reflect their likeness to him.
“love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth [is united with] God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.“ (I John 4:7-11)
“Greater love hath no man that this, that a man lay down his life for his friends [intimate acquaintances]…For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners [like the woman in the Garden of Eden], The Promised One / Christ died for us [like Adam].” ( John 15:13, Romans 5:7-8)
Our faith in the love of God is what overcomes the power of evil including death itself, and our faith in God’s love is learned from experiencing love from the sons of God who have developed his likeness.
Adam knew the consequences when he chose to join his wife in death, and it was his faith that his Father / Mother Creator would be faithful to his word to grant dominion to mankind that empowered him to face death, sure that the source of all life would be able and willing to override death.
“Marriage is honourable in all…for he [the LORD and Adam] hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that WE may boldly say, The Lord is MY helper, and I will not fear…YHVH’s Savior – the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:4-8)
“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord…my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell…Thou wilt shew me the path of life.” (Psalm 16, Acts 2:22-35)
“But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart…. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” (I Corinthians 7:15)
Adam could have acted on this last precept. Obviously his wife had not believed God’s warning.
I’m sure Adam was quite upset when he saw what his companion had done. Love is not a good feeling. It is not feeling attracted to another. It is, in fact, the opposite.
Love is commitment, determination to stay even when things get worse,, willingness to suffer and sacrifice. Every loving parent should grasp this intuitively. We choose to have children, disrupting and even risking our lives, because we want to experience love with them. We choose to stay married for the sake of the children’s welfare rather than leave to find fulfillment of personal desires.
The classic passage defines love as choices developed into embedded character traits: long suffering, kind, does not envy, does not brag, doesn’t have an inflated sense of importance, doesn’t attract attention inappropriately, doesn’t exploit others for own advantage, is not easily provoked, doesn’t attribute wrong-doing to others, doesn’t take pleasure in wrong-doing but rather in doing what’s right, bears up under trouble, believes all things are possible, continues in hope, endures tribulation, never fails.