Understanding recovery begins with understanding our fundamental problem: Our sin separates us from God and the blessings he wants us to enjoy. Sin’s story begins with the temptation of Eve by Satan, in the guise of a serpent. Even under the perfect conditions found in the Garden of Eden, temptation found Eve. The devil’s strategy was to lead the first woman to distort the word of God (see Genesis 3:1-3) and to doubt his goodness (see vv. 4-6). Eve twisted God’s words by adding to them and thereby misrepresenting his directive (see v. 3). Further, God’s goodness was attacked by the serpent’s assertion that Eve’s sin wouldn’t result in death (see v. 4), as well as Satan disparaging God’s motives in his directions to Adam and Eve (see v. 5). God, the enemy insinuated, was holding out on the world’s first couple. Eve bought into this last lie: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it” (see v. 6). Eve’s sin spread almost immediately to the only other person on the planet, her husband. She took some of the fruit to Adam and he also ate.
At this point in the story, we see that some of the serpent’s predictions did indeed prove to be true. Satan had informed Eve that “when you eat … your eyes will be opened” (v. 5) and that these first two humans would have personal experience with both good and evil. The promise of the serpent, though, was that this would make them “like God” (v. 5). The great irony of this deception was that both Adam and Eve were already “like God,” having been created in his own image (see 1:26-27). Their eyes were now opened, and they did in fact know both good and evil, but the outcome of this experience was shame (v. 7).
This is the tragic beginning of sin’s deadly, destructive work. Lives continue to be devastated as God’s words are distorted and his goodness is doubted. The consequences of sin, as well as God’s plans for humanity’s recovery, are spelled out already in Adam and Eve’s story.