All the angels in heaven loved God and obeyed Him. They loved each other, and everyone was happy. But Lucifer began to think of his beauty and intelligence and high position. He thought he should have an even higher place. He became jealous. Lucifer wanted to be equal with God.
Lucifer led a rebellion among the other angels against God. One third of the angels were on his side. Because Lucifer and his followers did not love God, they were no longer happy in heaven. Finally, they were driven out of heaven.
Lucifer was now called Satan. He was unhappy at being driven out of heaven. In revenge he hoped he could get the man and woman whom God had created on earth to disobey God. Then they would join Satan in his rebellion against God.
God loved Adam and Eve, and He knew they would be happiest if they obeyed Him. But God does not make people obey Him. He lets everyone choose whether to obey or disobey. He had let Satan and his angels choose, and He would let Adam and Eve choose.
There were two special trees in the garden. One was the Tree of Life, the other was the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When God gave Adam and Eve their beautiful garden home, He said, “You may freely eat of every tree in the garden; but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” This would be their chance to choose whether or not to obey God.
One day, Eve stood looking at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was a beautiful tree, loaded with luscious-looking fruit. In the tree was a serpent. It was beautiful and not scary at all. The serpents in the Garden of Eden were as beautiful, friendly and gentle as all the other animals. To Eve’s surprise, the serpent spoke to her. It was really Satan talking through the serpent.
The serpent said, “Has God indeed said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
“We may eat the fruit of trees of the garden,” Eve replied, “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, lest you die.’”
Then Satan told the first lie on this earth. “You will not surely die,” he said, “you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When Eve saw that it was good for food, that it was beautiful and a tree that would make one wise, she reached out and picked one of the fruits. Eve looked at it. It looked good. It smelled good. She took a bite and it tasted good. And she was still alive! Eve picked more of the fruit and gave it to Adam. He ate it, too, and he was still alive.
Soon they began to understand what evil meant. They were ashamed that they had disobeyed God. They were afraid to face Him. For the first time, they were ashamed of their bodies which God had made so lovingly and carefully. Until now, they had not worn clothes. But quickly, they took some vines and sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
That evening, when God came as usual to talk to them, they ran and hid. They didn’t want to see their Creator. God called them to Him. He told them that because they had disobeyed, they would die. No longer were they immortal.
How sorry Adam and Eve were! They knew, now, that a knowledge of evil was not a good thing to have. How they must have cried! But God comforted
them. He gave them a promise that some day one of Eve’s descendants would overcome the serpent (Satan). We learn in the New Testament that God’s own Son, Jesus, did just that. He lived in obedience to God and even let evil men kill Him in order to save mankind from eternal death.
We must choose which leader we want to follow and obey –God or Satan. If we choose to follow God and accept Jesus’ death and sacrifice for us, He will share His life with us. We will be able to live in the heavenly home He is preparing for all His faithful children.
Adam and Eve had to leave the beautiful garden. At first it was beau tiful outside the garden, too. But soon, they could see the changes sin had brought. Some of the animals were afraid of them. Some stopped eating grass and began to eat other animals.
Some became fierce and dangerous. Work was hard, now, too. There were weeds to pull and thorns and thistles to hurt their hands. Sometimes it was too cold, too wet or too dry. Flowers faded and died. Leaves fell from trees. Some plants were poisonous.
Every time they saw a weed or a thorn or a dead animal, Adam and Eve were reminded of their sin. But through all their sorrow and misery, they knew that God loved them still. It might take a long time to finish the plan to overcome Satan, but Adam and Eve believed that God would keep His promise, so they trusted Him and went on with the business of living.