God gives Adam some instructions on the care of creation and his role in the unfolding story. It’s pretty basic, and very generous (see Gen. 2:16-17). But notice what God doesn’t tell Adam. There is no warning or instruction over what is about to occur: the Temptation of Eve. This is just staggering. Notably missing from the dialogue between Adam and God is something like this:
“Adam, one more thing. A week from Tuesday, about four in the afternoon, you and Eve are going to be down in the orchard and something dangerous is going to happen. Adam, are you listening? The eternal destiny of the human race hangs on this moment. Now, here’s what I want you to do …”
He doesn’t tell him. He doesn’t even mention it, so far as we know. Good grief—why not?! Because God believes in Adam. This is what he’s designed to do—to come through in a pinch. Adam doesn’t need play-by-play instructions because this is what Adam is for. It’s already there, everything he needs, in his design, in his heart. Needless to say, the story doesn’t go well. Adam fails; he fails Eve and the rest of humanity.
Let me ask you a question: Where is Adam, while the serpent is tempting Eve? He’s standing right there: “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too” (Gen. 3:6 NLT). The Hebrew for “with her” means right there, elbow to elbow. Adam isn’t away in another part of the forest; he has no alibi. He is standing right there, watching the whole thing unravel. What does he do? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He says not a word, doesn’t lift a finger. He won’t risk, he won’t fight, and he won’t rescue Eve.
Our first father—the first real man—gave in to paralysis. He denied his very nature and went passive. And every man after him, every son of Adam, carries in his heart now the same failure. Every man repeats the sin of Adam, every day. We won’t risk, we won’t fight, and we won’t rescue Eve. We truly are a chip off the old block.
And that’s the memo by John Eldredge.
*an excerpt from Wild at Heart by John Eldredge*