The taste of failure is always bitter. I cannot imagine what Adam must have felt after God shove them out of Eden’s garden. He and Eve were the only persons who ever experienced what it was to be sinless. Before the Fall, they had unfettered access and fellowship with God. They saw nature in all its glory, untouched by human greed. In one act of madness, our first parents threw it all away. If ever there was a flawed leader, it was Adam.
Adam was the ultimate leader of humanity. As our representative, his obedience or disobedience would determine the fate of all people who will live after him. God provided for all their needs in Eden. There was only one prohibition: they should not eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 2:17). Had he obeyed, the whole human race would live forever in paradise with God. Sadly, our leader failed, and so did we.
Theologians have wrestled with the issue of how a sinless person can fall into temptation. I won’t touch those issues here. Instead, let us look at what precipitated Adam’s fall. First, he ignored the clear command of God. In other words, he set aside the word of God. Leaders today may do well to learn from this. Our strength as leaders is anchored on God and His Word. The Bible should saturate our thinking and decision-making.
Second, he entertained an alternative truth claim. Satan’s opening gambit, as recorded in Genesis 3, is a classic diversionary tactic. He cast doubt on the goodness of God by misquoting His prohibition about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Shockingly, our first parents bought it hook, line, and sinker. As leaders, we must steel ourselves from the seducing arguments of this world. We must be wary of the wiles of our enemy. The deeper our roots in the Word of God, the less we will be deceived.
Lastly, Adam lIstened to a fellow human more than to God. Eve “also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6). The Bible does not record if there was any discussion between husband and wife. For some inexplicable reason, Adam did not assert his authority, but meekly took the fruit and ate it. As leaders, the buck stops with us. We may solicit the views of others, but the final decision is ours. Again, the more grounded we are to the Word, the fewer chances of being swayed by the wayward opinion of others.
Despite his transgression, God provided for the salvation of Adam and his progeny. Right after their fall, God promised a Savior (see Genesis 3:15). As sons and daughters of Adam, we too are flawed leaders. Amazingly, God uses people like us to serve as leaders. Thanks be to God for His grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
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