Reading Through The Bible in 2011, Part 2
What I read today: Genesis 3-5.
What jumped out: 3:6 “When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.
And, 3:20-21, “The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”
Random thoughts about what I read:
I’m assuming I don’t have to spend a lot of time in review of what Adam & Eve ate in the Garden of Eden.
It’s pretty natural for our Tribe to focus on the consequences of sin in these chapters. I mean, the generational theological implications of Adam & Eve’s eating the fruit are so ingrained in our teaching. Sin started here, and because of that sin, the Son of God had to die to bring us back to Him. Right?
We’re all pretty experienced when it comes to consequences of our sin, too. We’ve all had those moments where we experienced everything from guilt feelings when we maybe cheated on a test to alcohol poisoning from that night we maybe drank entirely too much to maybe got a life sentence when we murdered somebody. It’d be easy to write about that.
Presumably, we know that consequences can be pretty steep. We’ve all heard that phrase about the person who’s walking near a ledge is in control of their steps, but once they step off that ledge they no longer control any of their steps…the metaphor’s logical end of splatter highlights the point that we shouldn’t take that first step.
Right here we see plenty of splatter from the first steps: They get discovered naked, banished from a perfect home, given a stern set of consequences ranging from fighting to labor pains to having to work to seeing the result of their son’s murder to watching generations live life without God (but still full of music and commerce). And so it goes.
But, yet, we take those first steps anyway.
More often than we like to admit.
More happily than we like to admit.
Today, I’m wondering why we do this given what we know. I think there are some clues, among them:
…Eve actually ADDED to what God said in 2:17. God told her not to eat from the tree. She told the serpent they weren’t supposed to eat OR TOUCH the tree. It seems to me that legalism (making spiritual norms/requirements out of things God never said) always kills. Here’s another example. But it also highlights that, for whatever reason, she wasn’t crystal clear on what God said. Usually the first step, right?
…we see that Eve noticed it was good for food, well, at first glance she’d begun to examine the possible consequences given her new doubt about God’s wisdom. Kind of a “doesn’t look like it’s bad.”
…we see it was attractive (desireable) to the eyes. It’s something she WANTED. It’s almost like once we have a desire we become blinded to rational thought. Emotions are liars, and responders, and should be evaluated in light of what God says. My guess is we’ve allowed emotions/desire to shut down our rational ability at one time or another.
…we see she wanted MORE even though she had everything. Why do we seem to feel like what we have simply isn’t enough?
…we see she brought others into the sin. It’s almost like we like to evangelize others with our enlightened experiences. “We stepped off the ledge and MANALIVE is the drop exhilarating!”
Yes. We all know the consequences of Adam & Eve’s sin.
Yes. We all know that there are consequences to our own sins.
Yes. We can journal all those obvious applicational questions like, “In what ways do I downplay those consequence with an ‘it doesn’t look that bad?'” “What emotions/desires am I allowing to override what I know to be true?” “In what ways am I focusing on what I don’t have rather than the blessings I do have?” “How do I influence others to come with me in sin?” They’re obvious. They’re tough if you choose to think through them, that’s for sure.
But we can miss the whispers of grace here in this passage.
See, God didn’t kill Adam & Eve on the spot. In 3:15 He even clued them in on a program to ultimately defeat Satan and sin.
He let them know that life would go on. In a new way, to be sure. But on it would go.
He provided a temporary covering for them…and my guess is this is where He was teaching them about blood sacrifice as a covering for sin. See, chapter 3 starts with them making fig leaves to cover themselves. It ends with God Himself providing much more practical “garments from skins” to “clothe” them.
God’s grace was here…even if the consequences involved murder or societal decline or folks dying or whatever else is recorded.
And Adam responded, too. In 3:20 we see Adam naming his wife “the mother of all the living.” He trusted that what God said would come true…even if Eve’s intent was to be like God and she would one day return to dust…Adam trusted that God would indeed show him grace and provision along the way.
So, today, I’ll focus on grace and obedience even though I’ve blown it. Because if we focus on sin and consequences, well, we miss the beauty of the story:
That God loves us.
He really, really loves us.
Even when we blow it.
(Tomorrow’s reading: Genesis 6-8)