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Beginning of the End

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    The Sad Change That Sin Produced

    The great Lawgiver was about to make known to Adam and Eve the result of their transgression. In their innocence and holiness they had joyfully welcomed the approach of their Creator; now they fled in terror. But “the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’”BOE 19.2

    Adam blamed his wife and so blamed God Himself: “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” Because of his love for Eve, he had deliberately chosen to give up the approval of God and an eternal life of joy; now he tried to make his companion, and even the Creator Himself, responsible for the transgression.BOE 19.3

    When the woman was asked, “What is this you have done?” she answered, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” “Why did You create the serpent? Why did You permit him to enter Eden?”—these were the questions implied in her first excuse. Self-justification was indulged by our first parents as soon as they yielded to the influence of Satan, and it has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam.BOE 19.4

    The Lord then passed sentence upon the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.” From the most beautiful of the creatures of the field it was to become the most groveling and detested of all, feared and hated by both man and beast. The words next addressed to the serpent applied to Satan himself, pointing to his ultimate defeat and destruction: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”BOE 19.5

    Eve was told of the sorrow and pain that she must have. “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” God had made her the equal of Adam, but sin brought friction, and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of one or the other. Eve had been the first in transgression. By her urging Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to her husband. Man’s abuse of the supremacy thus given him has too often rendered the lot of woman bitter and her life a burden.BOE 19.6

    Eve had been happy by her husband’s side, but she was flattered with the hope of entering a higher sphere than God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her original position, she fell far below it. In their efforts to reach positions for which God has not fitted them, many today leave vacant the place where they might be a blessing.BOE 20.1

    To Adam the Lord declared: “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”BOE 20.2

    God had freely given them good and had kept back evil. But they had eaten of the forbidden tree, and now they would have the knowledge of evil—all the days of their life. Instead of happy labor, anxiety and toil were to be their lot. They would experience disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally death.BOE 20.3

    God made the first pair rulers over the earth and all living creatures, but when they rebelled against the divine law, the inferior creatures rebelled against their rule. So in mercy the Lord would show people the sacredness of His law and lead them to see the danger of setting it aside, even in the slightest degree.BOE 20.4

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