Eve's Errors


And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
Genesis 3:2-3

Eve makes two errors in her response. She understates God's goodness and she overstates God's restriction.
First, she understates God's goodness. God had emphasized that Adam and Eve could surelyeat from every tree in the garden (2:16-17). Eve omits this emphasis on freedom and bounty.
Secondly, she overstates God's restriction. God had simply said that Adam and Eve were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:17) but Eve surprisingly adds that they were not to eat from the tree or even touch it. Where did she get that!
Eve is not alone in these mistakes. She has had so many followers. For example, the Pharisees. The Pharisees were experts at adding to God's commands. They would take a simple command such as "Honor the Sabbath" and add dozens of elaborations: You can take so many steps, you can do this, you can't do that.
Moreover, there are so many Christians today who follow Eve's errors. They overstate God's restrictions and hence understate God's goodness. They make rules for everyone such as "You can't go to movies" or "You can't go to certain kinds of movies" or "Christians should abstain totally from alcohol" or "Every Christian should home school their kids" ... and many more!
When we overstate God's restrictions it seems spiritual. It seems like we are so serious about the spiritual life.
But it is not spiritual. Fact is, this approach leads to spiritual pride (if we keep these rules) or else to spiritual guilt (when we fail to keep them). It never leads to spiritual health and loving Jesus and enjoying Jesus.
It is a form of legalism.
Now, whatever God says to do, do it. Do it with all your heart. Do it with joy and freedom. But do not add to God's commands, thereby overstating God's restrictions and understating God's goodness. This approach didn't work for Eve and it won't work for you.