One really important lesson I’ve learned recently, is how to hold up the shield of faith when you feel uncertain about things you know are true – like that God really loves you, that he answers prayers, that you’ve been forgiven, that you are in the right place…etc. Doubt is the oldest temptation in The Book. And here it is, “Did God really say…?” Sadly neither of them had heard about the shield of faith. But we have. If that was no excuse for them, it certainly isn’t for us!
Here comes the second mistake/temptation/fault – call it what you will. God had certainly told them not to eat of the fruit of that tree, but she adds a little of her own interpretation – ‘and you must not touch it’. How do you tend a tree without touching it? I don’t think marigold gloves had been invented either! Adding to God’s word stuff that he didn’t say – probably the first bit of ‘religiosity’ as well as a departure from the truth.
It’s hardly any wonder, that once the serpent got to work, neither she nor Adam had the willpower or foresight to see through his beguilings. They were already falling into small temptations before the big one came along.
The thing is, that if you chip at the truth round the edge, you don’t leave yourself enough to stand on. That’s why we need to hold up that shield of faith, and don’t let anyone get to you through it, so you can stick to the truth as God has revealed it to you, and having done all, to stand.