Eve confronted the question:
Gen 3:1 NIV
… Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
In part at least, this proved sufficient cause for Eve to doubt the priority of God’s edict of Gen 2:17 “… but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge”. I posit that doubt, ‘to feel uncertain about’, is a necessary precursor to this act of disobedience.
If Eve's capacity for doubt predates the act (here the Fall and moral awareness), how is doubt a moral consequence of the Fall, or where does it come from?
Doubt pervades Scripture, yet is abhorred by God. Scripture is full of concern about it, or faith on its flip side, involving many principal characters in one way or another. Doubt and faith are evidently very important to God.
Here are just some examples:
- Abraham and Sarah doubted God’s promise of a child; they actually laughed at it. (Genesis 17:16-18)
- Asaph doubted because the wicked prospered and he doubted the value of serving God. (Psalm 73)
- Moses doubted God could use him to lead Israel out of Egypt. (Numbers 11:21-22)
- Gideon doubted God could use him to turn the tide against Israel’s oppressors. (Judges 6:36-40)
And some NT texts illustrating God’s NT position are ongoing
James 1:5-8 NIV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Matthew 14:29-31 NIV
29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”