The reason this train of thought began was when I started contemplating about your human desire, even to the point of why it is we find something beautiful. You hear the statement, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I believe that. The statement should stop us from trying to label everything as merely being ‘beautiful’ in someone’s eyes, and start asking why it is a person finds anything beautiful. Perhaps I’ll write my philosophy on beauty and desire someday, but this post was definitely along that line of thought.
It can be said in defense of Eve that demonstrated her resoluteness in responding to Satan, and as you articulated that I can agree. Her love for God, and she did truly love Him, demanded that she put His command before even her own desire. What I’m suggesting, however, is that the desire to eat of the tree already existed.
I’m actually given both Adam and Eve more credit than the traditional explanation of them. I am suggesting that the reason they ate was for a greater desire than the superficial reasons usually given–it looked delicious, God was being unreasonable (though He wouldn’t have in their minds since they had plenty of other trees and plants), Satan was advertising the fruit. As I stated above, Genesis 3:5 conveys Satan’s most effective reason–they could be like God.
What I think we should realize is that Satan was just some outside force. His temptation wouldn’t have been a temptation if the desires weren’t already there. Say, for example, a person addicted to alcohol has quit for three years and decides to abstain from going to the bar with his friends. He knows he wouldn’t drink, but decides not to go because of his inner desire–he knows that he’ll be tempted. Of course, you can argue that crossing the line of sin creates the desire, but it really doesn’t–sin perpetuates the desire.
I assert, and I state it this way to take responsibility for its implications, that in order for temptation to take root, the desire for whatever it is that the temptation seeks must already exist. However, this desire must not be equated with sin–not yet, at least. Remember, even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness during his long fast. Satan, even then, appealed to the desires He already had. However, Jesus didn’t succumb to those desires, nor the temptations thereof, and continued to place the authority of the Father before everything else. This is the major difference between Adam and Eve eating the fruit and Jesus–He was willing to die so that God’s will would take precedence over His own, while Adam and Eve gave in and prioritized their ‘needs’ and desires over their God. They began the process of sin, even as they reached out for the fruit before taking that first bite.
Suddenly, the pleasure and satisfaction that was promised them led to a new found experience of guilt and shame. They died inside.
(If you came to this post through a link, the original “theory” post is found here –> Reconsidering Genesis – My Theory on the Tree)