Many misconceptions have developed and assumptions been made in regard to what happened in the Garden of Eden. While many will acknowledge that Adam was the vessel through whom sin entered the world (Romans 5:12) often there is an assumption that the lead-up to Adam breaking the commandment was because of the woman’s actions; i.e. usurping Adam’s authority or enticing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, or, because of his own inaction i.e. not protecting Eve, not taking the lead etc. But I think all these ideas can be disregarded when we consider Romans 7:9;
“Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died”
On every day of the creation week God declared everything was good. But as the Bible gives more detail of the creation of man in Genesis 2 we read of God stating something was not good. This statement occurred immediately after God gave the commandment not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When God gave the commandment, sin sprang to life in Adam. God saw his heart as He sees everyone’s heart and declared that it was not good that Adam was alone. A very sad statement when we remember that Adam was in the presence of God.
Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:27-28 and Matthew 15:17-19 showing that sin stirs in the heart before it becomes an action, so too for Adam. While the consequences did not occur till after eating the forbidden fruit, there had to be desire or temptation from within Adam to sin prior to his actions.
James 1:13-15 makes clear the process that unfolds leading to a sinful action.
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
It seems long before Adam ate any forbidden fruit he had already determined to go away from God and follow his own desires in his heart regardless of the woman’s actions. It was also not an issue of neglecting his headship role, as there was no law or command given to this effect.
Without the commandment Adam was without transgression (Romans 4:15) but once the commandment came he became accountable for his hearts desires and ultimately his actions.
God saw Adam’s heart after he gave the commandment and saw it was not good. This was the problem and state of Adam’s heart when God brought forth the Ezer Kenegedo into Adam’s life. There was an issue that God was addressing even before the woman was deceived and gave the fruit to Adam.