COVETOUSNESS: LESSON 1–Eve Coveted the Forbidden Fruit


Lesson 1


Gen 2:15-18—And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Gen 2:21-24—And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

We can easily see in these passages that Adam and Eve were given a specific job to do and that job, although a pleasant one, had restrictions.  Adam and Eve were to dress and keep the garden God had created.  They were given the freedom and the privilege of eating from any tree they chose—except for one.  The LORD showed it to them and very clearly gave the reason for not eating.

Gen 3:1-6—Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Appealing to Eve’s desire to be better and to her weakness in desiring a shortcut to get it, Satan subtly pointed out to Eve the advantages of disobeying the Creator of all to gain something for herself.  He turned her attention away from her responsibility to serve and obey her Creator to things that she could get.  Notice what Satan said would be the benefits and what Eve ultimately concluded.

In direct contradiction to the LORD, Satan said, “You shall NOT surely die.” Using the same word with a different meaning, Satan turned Eve’s attention away from God’s statement that she would die spiritually in the day she sinned by disobeying His command.  Or, he could have simply contradicted God’s statement.  He could also have indicated that God meant physical death—that she would not die physically the day she ate of it.  In any case, Eve lacked faith and believed Satan’s word above God’s word.  Eve was thus deceived.  She no longer believed that she would die.

Then Satan attributed an evil motive to the Lord by saying, “God knows you will become like gods, knowing good and evil.”

By this means, Satan subtly turned Eve’s attention to God’s wisdom with the hope she could get it by simply eating some fruit.  Every person wants to be wise, so Satan appealed to a natural desire in all men.  Satan’s words were at least partially correct.  Eve was not deceived by this statement for she did learn what good and evil was.  False teachers, like Satan, many times quote scripture and speak the truth, but only with the distinct intention of turning souls to their false doctrines.  We should not be deceived into believing that just because a teacher gives some parts of truth that everything he teaches is truth. Like Satan, false teachers may impart much good for they are Satan’s ministers and follow his pattern to tell enough truth to turn God’s children to evil.

Being a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), Satan first caused Eve to covet the ability to be as gods with the knowledge of good and evil.  In doing this, she appeared to forget the warning about death coming to her the day she ate.  Possibly Eve did not know what spiritual death was.  If she believed God spoke about physical death, she had to reject God’s truth and believe Satan’s lie.  In either case she was certainly deceived by Satan’s half truths and lies. Her response was consider her own personal desires and judgment rather than to trust her Creator.. 

It was good for food.

It was pleasant to the eyes.

It was desired to make one wise.

Benevolent lady that she was, she shared the coveted fruit with her husband who obviously let her lead him into rejecting the command of God.  Thus, sin came into the world because Eve coveted wisdom, beauty and food.  Eve’s covetousness led to Adam’s and her spiritual death by sin (Rom 7:7-9).  We see the LORD’s view of what took place in the Garden of Eden through His words in 1 Timothy 2:13-15. “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

No mention is made of the incident after Genesis 3:24 until Paul, in defense of his apostleship in 2 Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”  Paul was concerned that the Corinthians had left the pathway (job they had been given to do) to follow after “another Jesus” and “another gospel.”


1. What/who caused Eve to covet the forbidden fruit?  How was this brought about?

2. Was Eve exonerated because she was enticed and lied to (Gen. 3:16)?

3. What did the Lord do to punish Adam and Eve for their sin (Gen. 3:14-24)?

4. What happened to the young prophet who believed an old prophet’s lie (1 Kings 13:1-34)?  

5. What should the young prophet have said when the old prophet contradicted what God had told him?  What should Eve have said to Satan?

6. Notice Satan’s twist of the words “surely die” in Genesis 3:4.  Did Satan give Eve the right understanding of God’s promise of death (1 Tim. 2:14)?

7. Which kind of death was Paul speaking of in Romans 7:7-9?

8. Which kind of death came to Eve in the Garden of Eden and how do you know (Rom. 7:7-9; 8:2)?

9. Decisions bring consequences.  Tell what decision(s) Eve made and what the consequences were.

10. Research Question:  Study about two kinds of death spoken of in the scriptures.  Explain which one comes as the result of sin.  What is the “second death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8) ?”


Most everyone who studies Old Testament history knows the account of Nabal in 1 Sam 25. It is a true account of a man whose wife likely had to cover for him over and over again to keep someone from killing him. Even though we know that parents arranged the marriages, sometimes causing a good woman to marry a foolish man, we wonder how such a one could be faithful to her vows year after year in spite of his abuse. We often study how a man could marry several women or even commit treachery against his wife by putting her away for any reason (Deut 24:1-4, Mal 2:14-16), but there does not appear to be the same privilege for a woman under the Law of Moses. No matter what situation the Lord granted her, we know that she could not be pleasing under the Mosaic Law if she left her husband. Had this troubled couple been living today, we might apply Matthew 19:8-9 or 1 Cor 7:12-14 to their problems; however, even under New Testament law she could not divorce him scripturally and marry another man unless he had committed fornication. Was Nabal abusive to Abigail like he was to the other people around him? Possibly he was. Did Abigail still have an obligation to remain faithful to him? Absolutely!

Let me remind you of some of the things the Holy Spirit records about the man Nabal. He was a wealthy businessman who lived in prosperity (1 Sam 25:2, 6). He was able to hold a feast in his house like the feast of a king (vs. 36). In spite of all God had blessed him with, he was said to be churlish and evil in his doings (vs. 3). He was a railer (vs. 14). He was not a heathen as we might suspect because he was of the “house of Caleb” (vs. 3). When he was asked to give food to David and his men, he refused because he apparently did not know (or pretended not to know) them (vs. 11). Instead of searching out who the son of Jesse was, Nabal assumed the worst about the ones asking for food and water. Even his hired servants knew he was being unfair in his judgment and offensive in his answers (vs. 17). They dared to say, “…for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him” (vs. 17). His own wife knew what kind of man he was and explained to David that he was “…a man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him” (vs. 25). Apparently there was no hope that Nabal would change his ways, and it is said that the Lord returned his wickedness upon his own head (vs. 39). He apparently had a stroke and died ten days later. We know that the goodness of the Lord is meant to lead a sinner to repentance, and apparently Nabal’s life follows the same pattern we see in Rom 2:4; Psa 73:3-12; Job 21:7-13.

By contrast, Abigail is said to be a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance (vs. 3). Abigail had neither married an idolater nor a stranger from another nation (Num 36:3; Deut 7:1-3; Josh 23:11-13; Neh 13:23, 27; 1 Cor 6:14). Apparently she had married well because she was given to a man from the house of Caleb, one of God’s most righteous leaders in the early days of Israel’s wilderness wanderings (vs. 3). She was said to have wisdom and wise counsel. When the servants heard that David intended to kill their master and his entire household because of the way Nabal treated them, they knew they could turn to Abigail for help to defer David’s anger. They trusted her to do something to save them all (vs. 17). We see that she humbled herself before David and begged for his favor (vs. 23) and that she had wisely prepared more food for him and his men than he had originally asked for (vs. 11, 18). She very wisely acknowledged that her husband should suffer because he had returned evil for the good David had done for him (vs. 21; Psa 38:20; Psa 109:5; Pro 17:13), but she asked that he take vengeance on her rather than Nabal or his workers. However, she requested that David would simply hear her words before he killed her (vs. 24). It was these wise words that would save David from shedding blood and avenging himself by his own hand (vs. 26; vs. 33; Lev 19:18; Rom 12:17; Deut 32:35). We see later in Psalms 94:1-3 that David never forgot the lesson God taught him through Abigail (Jas 1:17).

Not only was Abigail diplomatic, but she also had faith that Nabal would be killed by God himself (vs. 26). She very humbly acknowledges that the Lord has used her to do his work with David. She then gives David a blessing which could have been revealed to her by God (vs. 26-31). She begs for forgiveness and testifies that she knows that David is God’s anointed and will rule over all Israel. Judging rightly that she will be forgiven for the incident concerning her husband, she asks that David to remember her when he comes into his kingdom (vs. 31). At this news, David praises the God of heaven who had sent such a woman to save him from doing what he had intended to do (vs. 32-33). As soon as the news comes to David that Nabal is dead, he “remembered” her and called for her to be his wife (vs. 39). Abigail still shows her humility in her acceptance speech (vs. 41). She was willing to go to the house of David and to wash the feet of the king’s servants. What a beautiful heart she possessed so that she could be used by God to save a man from folly and still be willing to serve in other ways!

Here we see the contrast between two people (one righteous and one evil), and we see a perfect example of how God blessed a woman who endured grief-suffering wrongfully (1 Peter 2:17-24). She apparently gave honor and devoted service even to a froward husband. There is no indication that she tried to be loosed from him. She did not run away from him like the woman in Judges 19:1-2. No doubt she also gave loving devoted service to David after he called her to be his wife, and his heart could safely trust in her (Pro 31:11-12).

We have no promise that God will avenge us of our enemies in this life or that our blessings will come to us in this life, but we can be assured that we will be rewarded in eternity if we endure to the end (Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7). May God bless us all to be more like Abigail.