Lately, I have been pondering the whole ‘Adam and Eve’ incident in Gan Eden and it has led me to wonder, ‘Does fencing a commandment actually open the door for the adversary’s assault?’ I would be interested in the thoughts of my readers, but first let me share some basics and why I think this is an important consideration.
The Torah of Moses clearly says,
“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.”Deut. 12:32
On the surface, the very act of fencing, adding an additional layer to the commandment – presumably to protect the command from being broken, is sin because it is adding to the commandment. My question, however, is whether the act of fencing actually opens the door for the enemy by creating a standard that is not Yah’s standard and therefore one He does not need to provide protection from?
In Gan Eden,
16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”Genesis 2:16-17
In the next chapter we see an exchange where the adversary asks a twisted question and Eve gives an incorrect response opening the door for the adversary to debate/discuss the topic.
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”Genesis 3:1-5
The wily one, slewfoot, asks if God had said that they could not eat from ANY tree. Eve, who should have deferred immediately to her head, Adam, instead answers with, “… you shall not TOUCH it…”
Our immediate question should be, ‘Where did she get that idea?” Did Adam fence the command and teach it to her, or did she add that little tidbit? And, by adding ‘do not touch,’ did that immediately give the adversary an opening?
Yeshua, after forty days in the wilderness, is approached by hasatan. (See Matthew 4 and Luke 4) Three times the devil tempts Him and in each case He responds with a direct quote from the Torah. He does not add to or take away from the Word. From His example and the resulting outcome compared to the Gan Eden incident, is it reasonable to assume that adding to the command actually gives the enemy a foothold?
A side question would be, ‘does God protect us from the enemy when we are upholding a manmade rule that is not written in His Word?’ E.g., No dancing or no alcohol or do not look at a woman.
Paul tells us,
…I would not have come to know sin except through the Torah; for I would not have known about coveting if the Torah had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Torah sin is dead.Romans 7:7b-8
In this example, Paul clearly tells us that the commandment literally produced the desire to cross the line. Therefore, I think it safe to assume that a manmade rule would produce even more desire.
Applied to Eve, did the ‘fence,’ whether created by her or Adam, cause her to desire to ‘touch’ the fruit and then she had no defense from the Word when the adversary said (in a very snarky tone), ‘Huh! you will not surely die (
if you touch it)….’
My gut tells me that by altering the commandment, whether it was she or Adam who did so, they were made vulnerable to temptation for which they had no defense.
If this is true, then how serious a matter is it to fence commands instead of taking them exactly as the Father has given them and adhering to their simplicity?
What are your thoughts? Please discuss.