What if things had happened differently in Eden?
Eve stood in clearing, waiting for Adam. She was mesmerized by the two Trees in front of her. Why had they waited so long to come here – to just look at these two majestic Trees? She told herself again that there was no harm in looking, in enjoying the beauty.
“They ARE majestic, aren’t they?”
Eve jumped at the silky voice. She turned to see a beautiful creature, a serpent, standing there beside her, gazing up at the Trees. How had he come up beside her so suddenly without her hearing him? She was distracted from the Trees for a moment by his beauty. Variegated fur ruffled in the wind, patterns swirling across his body.
“Yes, they are,” she answered. “What is your name? I don’t think we’ve met, and I thought I knew all the serpents that lived in the Garden.”
“My name?” he asked. “My name isn’t really important. But you! You and Adam are the crowning achievements of Creation! And here you are, admiring these majestic fruit trees in your Garden. Tell me,” and he put a paw on her shoulder, “how does the fruit from that Tree taste?”
“I don’t know,” she replied.
“You don’t know? You don’t know how the fruit of one of your own trees tastes? How can that be?” he asked.
Eve suddenly felt very foolish. It WAS her Tree, after all…hers and Adam’s. She looked up at it again, taking in the lush fruit that hung, ripe and ready to be plucked.
The serpent spoke again. “Let me guess,” he said. “Did Elyon tell you not to eat that fruit? Did he really place you in this beautiful Garden, tell you it was a gift for you, and then tell you that couldn’t eat any fruit from any of these beautiful trees? What a shame.” He shook in his head at the thought.
“No, that’s not right,” Eve said, glancing at him for an instant. But her eyes were drawn back to that fruit. It hung so low to the ground. She took a step towards the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, then stopped. “No, that’s not right at all. The Three-in-One didn’t tell us we couldn’t eat from any tree in the Garden. He gave us all of this, but He warned us not to eat from that tree because if we did, our spirits would die.”
The serpent laughed. “You will NOT die. That is ridiculous! Your Three-in-One is holding out on you. He knows that if you eat that fruit, you will become just like Him. And He doesn’t want that.”
Eve considered this for a moment, then responded, “I don’t think that’s true.”
“What’s not true?” Adam asked, startling her as he walked up behind her. “And who are you?” he asked the serpent.
“Who I am doesn’t matter. Your Three-in-One isn’t who you think he is. He’s deceiving you,” the serpent hissed.
“Well, let’s talk to Him about that right now,” Adam said. He looked at Eve and she nodded back at him. Together, they called out, “Elyon! Logos! Ruach! Please help us!” In an instant, the Three-in-One were with them, standing around them.
“How can we help you?” He asked.
“This serpent…he told me you were lying to us about the Tree,” Eve said. “But You have provided so much for us, given us such a beautiful Garden in which to live. We don’t believe You are deceiving us.”
“What should we do?” Adam asked. “Help us know what to do.”
“You must choose,” Logos responded for the Three-in-One. “Do you trust Me? Or will you listen to the serpent?”
Adam and Eve looked at one another. The Three-in-One had always cared for them, always provided for them. The serpent…they didn’t even know who the serpent was.”
Adam spoke for them. “We trust You. Always.”
“Then tell the serpent to be gone, and he must leave,” Logos replied.
Adam looked at the serpent. “You are not wanted here,” he said. “Be gone.”
The serpent snarled in protest, started to speak. But Logos raised a hand, pointing at him, and in a flash of light, the serpent was gone.
Now Elyon spoke. “He has been banished from the Garden, by your choice. He will never return unless you invite him. But beware – never invite him. His true name is Accuser and Deceiver, the Father of Lies. He crouches like a predator, seeking to steal all that you have, to kill, to destroy all that you enjoy. However – the choice will always lie before you.”
And then the Three-in-One looked at one another and smiled. Then spoke. “Come, let us take our customary walk together in the cool of the evening.”