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From Eternity Past

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    The Sad Change That Sin Produced

    The great Lawgiver was about to make known to Adam and Eve the consequences 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 unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”EP 26.4

    Adam cast the blame upon his wife, and thus upon God Himself: “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” From love to Eve, he had deliberately chosen to forfeit the approval of God and an eternal life of joy; now he endeavored to make his companion, and even the Creator Himself, responsible for the transgression.EP 27.1

    When the woman was asked, “What is this that thou hast done?” she answered, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” “Why didst Thou create the serpent? Why didst Thou suffer 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 has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam.EP 27.2

    The Lord then passed sentence upon the serpent: “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy 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 thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”EP 27.3

    Eve was told of the sorrow and pain that must be her portion. “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” God had made her the equal of Adam. But sin brought discord, 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 solicitation 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.EP 27.4

    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 leave vacant the place where they might be a blessing.EP 27.5

    To Adam the Lord declared: “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”EP 28.1

    God had freely given them good and withheld 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 be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally to death.EP 28.2

    God made man ruler over the earth and all living creatures. But when he rebelled against the divine law, the inferior creatures were in rebellion against his rule. Thus the Lord in mercy would show men the sacredness of His law and lead them to see the danger of setting it aside, even in the slightest degree.EP 28.3

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