God did not leave any possibility for Adam to remain obedient. There must have been millions of trees in the Garden of Eden and only one Tree of Knowledge; if Adam had been left alone, on his own he might not have discovered it yet. But God didn’t leave it up to him; he pointed out the tree and created the temptation. You think the serpent did it? If the serpent did it, then he must have been in the service of God.
A small child was telling his mother…the mother had asked, “What have you been taught today in Sunday school?”
He said, “We have been told the biblical story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion. Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, then the servant of God came and tempted them.”
The mother said, “Servant? You must have misunderstood – it is not servant, it is serpent.”
But my feeling is that the child is right: the serpent must have been in the service of God, must have been in the secret police department of God, the FBI or something like that. And in all civilizations the serpent has always represented wisdom. Jesus says: “Be wise like serpents and innocent like doves.” Wise like serpents? God must have used the most wise animal to convey the message, the temptation, to Adam and Eve.
The message was given to Eve, not to Adam; since then it has been always so. The salesman comes to the wife not to the husband. The moment the husband leaves for the office the salesman comes and knocks on the door, because the woman can be tempted more easily. The husband will argue, will be stubborn, will not listen, but the wife is easily tempted.
One advertising company was told by a big manufacturer of television sets, “Find out some new way to tempt people to purchase our product.” The advertising company suggested, “Send letters to all the addresses given in the telephone directory. The letters should be in the husbands’ names but on top of the letters there should be a note in red letters: ‘Personal. Private. Not to be read by anybody else.’ Then the wives are bound to read them; then you cannot miss.” And once they read them, once they are impressed…. All husbands are henpecked – universally so, categorically so. To be a husband and to be henpecked are synonymous, and I cannot do anything about it. It has been so since Adam; that is the way things are. Once Eve was convinced, tempted, Adam followed suit.