With every temptation, God provides a way to escape without sinning.
As difficult as it may be to understand why, GOD permitted Satan to tempt humans to sin. But temptation does not equate to being “forced” to sin. We always have the option to escape the temptation without sinning. GOD ensures there is always a way out.
The apostle Paul wrote this to the Corinthian Christians:
13 No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and God is faithful, so He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13 NASB
This verse is often used to substantiate the statement that GOD will never give you more than you can handle. But that isn’t the point of this passage.
Rather, the emphasis of this verse is on avoiding sin and successfully enduring temptation. In other words, Paul was saying, “Any temptation you face is not new. Humans have faced the same temptations since the beginning. GOD isn’t going to allow you to be put in some uniquely difficult situation. Any time you face temptation, He will provide a way for you to escape without sinning.”
When GOD permitted the tree of knowledge of good and evil to coexist in the Garden along with the tree of life and every other beautiful tree that GOD planted, GOD specifically warned Adam and Eve against eating of the forbidden tree. He told them what would happen if they did. Adam and Eve had the knowledge; they heard it directly from GOD Himself.
In their case, the escape path was to tell the serpent no and to trust and quote the word of GOD to the serpent. It was right there! The exit door was obvious.
But what happened?
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not die by death. 5 For God knows in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw the tree was good for food, was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree beautiful to contemplate, she took its fruit and ate. She also gave it to her husband with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:4-6 OSB
Eve was deceived. What was the deception, specifically?
First, Satan told her she would not die. This was a lie.
Second, Satan offered Eve the opportunity to become greater than she was. To borrow our modern video game concepts, Satan offered Eve a power-up, like a mushroom or firepower in Super Mario Brothers.
I believe that Adam and Eve knew about the existence of beings in the heavenly realm. Genesis 2:5 indicates that Eve knew that the angels and heavenly beings had superior knowledge to herself and Adam. And she desired to be greater.
For me, Eve’s temptation is easier to have compassion upon, because she was tricked. I’ve been tricked before. It isn’t a good feeling. Actually, it’s embarrassing.
Regarding Eve, Paul wrote to Timothy:
14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.1 Timothy 2:14 NIV
What then is Adam’s fault in this first temptation and sin?
The Scripture indicates that Eve just handed Adam the fruit because he was right there with her. If so, Adam was watching all of this unfold. Paul said Adam wasn’t deceived.
If Adam wasn’t deceived, then he failed to fulfill his GOD-given role of leading his family. Eve was in danger. Adam knew what GOD had said. Adam knew what was right. Adam wasn’t tricked.
Adam simply gave in.
For whatever reasons, it seems that Adam’s faults in the temptation were passive acceptance. Adam knew what was right and simply didn’t stop his wife from sinning and accepted the offered fruit for himself.
Yes, GOD always provides the means of escape from every temptation we face. We must look for the door and walk through it. Pray for eyes to see, both the temptation and the escape path.