Story of Hope


Chapter 3 - The Tragedy

In the middle of the garden, near the tree of life, stood the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God had designed this tree specifically for them to give evidence of their obedience, faith, and love to Him. The Lord commanded our first parents not to eat from this tree, lest they die. He told them that they could eat freely from all the trees in the garden except one, but if they ate from that tree, they would surely die. SH 13.1

When God placed Adam and Eve in the beautiful garden, they had everything that they could desire for their happiness. But in His all-wise plans, God chose to test their loyalty before making them eternally secure. They would have His favor, and He would talk with them and they with Him. Yet He did not place evil out of their reach. Satan was allowed to tempt them. If they endured the test, they would be in the favor of God and the heavenly angels forever. SH 13.2

Satan was amazed at his new condition. His happiness was gone. He looked at the angels who, like him, were once so happy, but who had been expelled from heaven with him. Among them there was conflict, disagreement, and bitter accusations. Before their rebellion these things had been unknown in heaven. Satan now saw the terrible results of his rebellion. SH 13.3

If he could again be like he was when he was pure, true, and loyal, gladly would he have yielded up the claims of his authority. But he was lost! His groundless, willful rebellion had placed him beyond redemption! SH 13.4

And this was not all. He had led others to rebellion and the same lost condition with himself—angels, who had never thought to question the will of Heaven or to refuse obedience This chapter is based on Genesis 2:15-17 and Genesis 3. SH 13.5

This chapter is based on Genesis 2:15-17 and Genesis 3. to the law of God till he had put it into their minds. Now they were in turmoil from disappointed hopes. Instead of greater good, they were experiencing the sad results of disobeying and disregarding God’s law.

Satan Considers His Course—Satan trembled as he viewed his work. Alone, he thought about the past, the present, and his future plans. In his rebellion, he had had no reason for his course, and he had hopelessly ruined not only himself but the vast array of angels also, who would still have been happy in heaven if he had remained true. The law of God could condemn, but it could not pardon. SH 14.1

This great change of position had not increased his love for God or for His wise and just law. When Satan became fully convinced that there was no possibility of his being reinstated in God’s favor, he revealed his evil intent with increased hatred and fiery passion. SH 14.2

God knew that such determined rebellion would not remain inactive. Satan would invent ways to annoy the heavenly angels and show contempt for His authority. Since he was not allowed within the gates of heaven, he would wait just at the entrance, to taunt the angels and to try to argue with them as they went in and out. He would seek to destroy the happiness of Adam and Eve. He would make every effort to stir them to rebellion, knowing that this would cause grief in heaven. SH 14.3

The Plot Against the Human Family—Satan told his followers about his plans to pull the noble Adam and his companion Eve away from God. If he could in any way trick them into disobedience, God would make some provision for them to be pardoned, and then he and all the fallen angels would be able to lay claim to a share of God’s mercy with them. SH 14.4

If this failed, they could unite with Adam and Eve, because once they had transgressed the law of God, they would be subjects of God’s wrath, too, like Satan and his angels. This transgression would place them, too, in a state of rebellion, like Satan and his angels, who could then unite with Adam and Eve, take possession of Eden, and hold it as their home. And if they could gain access to the tree of life in the middle of the garden, their strength, they thought, would be equal to that of the holy angels, and even God Himself could not expel them. SH 14.5

Adam and Eve Warned—God assembled the angels to take action to prevent the threatened evil. It was decided in heavens council that angels would visit Eden and warn Adam that he was in danger from the enemy. SH 15.1

The angels gave Adam and Eve the sad history of Satan’s rebellion and fall. They then distinctly informed them that the tree of knowledge was placed in the garden as a way for them to pledge their obedience and love to God. The holy angels could only keep their high and happy state on condition of obedience, and their situation was similar. They could obey the law of God and be inexpressibly happy, or disobey and lose their high position and be plunged into hopeless despair. SH 15.2

Angels told Adam and Eve that the most exalted angel, next in rank to Christ, refused to obey the law that God had established to govern heavenly beings. This rebellion, they said, had caused war in heaven, which resulted in the rebellious ones being expelled, and every angel who had united with this leader in questioning the authority of the great Jehovah had been driven out of heaven. This fallen angel was now an enemy to everything that God and His Son held dear. SH 15.3

They told them that Satan meant to do them harm, and it was necessary for them to be watchful, because they might come in contact with this fallen enemy. He could not harm them, though, while they obeyed God’s command, because, if necessary, every angel from heaven would come to their help rather than allow him to harm them in any way. But if they disobeyed the command of God, then Satan would have power to annoy, perplex, and trouble them from that time on. If they remained firm against the first hints of evil from Satan, they were as secure as the heavenly angels. SH 15.4

But if they yielded to the tempter, the same God who did not spare the exalted angels would not spare them. They must suffer the penalty for their transgression, for the law of God was as sacred as Himself, and He required wholehearted obedience from all in heaven and on earth. SH 15.5

The angels warned Eve not to separate from her husband in her occupations in the garden, because she might come in contact with this fallen enemy. If they were separated from each other, they would be in greater danger than if both were together. SH 16.1

Adam and Eve assured the angels that they would never disobey the express command of God. Rather, it was their highest pleasure to do His will. SH 16.2