Scripture: Genesis 3:8-24
In the well-known story of Adam and Eve’s fruit-stealing incident, we see the remarkable differences between human behaviour and God’s nature.
- We are prone to wilful disobedience, resulting in shame. We hide from God, we lose our desire for divine interaction (v 8).
- We desperately want to be absolved of responsibility our own sins. In v 12, Adam blamed Eve for tempting him, then blamed God who gave her to him. By blaming,kept himself from being responsible for his actions. Like me, Adam found it difficult to say, “I deliberately chose to do something I shouldn't have.”
- We are easily led astray. Eve’s better judgment was overcome and she succumbed to the “advertising”, the “peer pressure”, the sweet-talking cajolery of a being that had no interest in her wellness (v 4).
BUT this passage also reminds us of the unending love of God. Although God’s justice demanded that there be consequences to sin, God continued to nurture His own.
God longed for reconnection. Even though Adam and Eve were ashamed and hiding from God, He looked for His own (v 9). He initiated relationship through reconciliation.
- God never gave up on His people. Although God cursed the serpent (v 14) and cursed the ground (v 17), He never cursed Adam and Eve. God stood by His people though they would now have to navigate the erratic and dangerous ways of the earth.
- God was a protector (v 21). He made sure His people were clothed and cared for before He sent them from the garden.
One of the consequences of wilful disobedience in the Garden was being barred from the Tree of Life, cherubim standing guard. However, many generations later, a carpenter’s son from Nazareth braved the terror of the “flaming sword that flashed back and forth.” He faced the pain, the ill repute, even the abandonment of the Father. He made His way back to the Tree of Life; He died on it.
The remarkable truth is that us disobedient, susceptible, irresponsible humans are God’s image-bearers. Thomas Merton, in New Seeds of Contemplation, writes, "To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love. Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name."
~Renita Hamm, Rosebud Church, Rosebud, AB