The story of our Original Separation from God makes for a good study in human nature, especially for Lent. It begins with our curiosity, a good thing for leading us to know our Creator but, as with any two-edged sword, an opening for the devil to pry his way into our hearts and lead us further from God. Eve’s first mistake is answering the serpent’s question and allowing herself to be drawn into conversation with him. She can’t win.
Her second mistake is the embellishment of God’s original command when she says, “You shall not eat it or even touch it.” God only told Adam, who relayed the message to Eve, not to eat of the fruit. He said nothing about touching it. Her embellishment (it could have been Adam’s when he relayed the command) has the effect of increasing its importance, which allows for the ego to be inflated with pride in following the command. It now becomes the personal possession of Adam and Eve.
When God created Adam He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. From the very beginning, our life comes from God; we are dependent on Him. Also, from the very beginning, we can see a sense of self-reliance initiate in Adam and Eve with the embellishment of God’s command and the making of it their own. This self-reliance continues to vie with our dependence on God as it deceives us to think we can do all things without Him. Before Adam and Eve take their first bites of the forbidden fruit, they are already moving away from God. We can see the same in ourselves if we look closely.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. The separation from God is now complete. A chasm now exists between Man and God and, since Man created it, he is responsible for bridging it and reuniting himself with God. How does he accomplish that with a God he cannot see or understand? God chooses to help us. He becomes Man and bridges the chasm for us.