A Brief Skim Through the Bible

Fall

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs. He will be taking you through the bible for the next few days.

Genesis 3

The Fall
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15
And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel."
16 To the woman he said,
"I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you."
17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat from it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19
By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Reflection

So as you can see things go from really great to really, really not great quite quickly in Genesis (isn't that so often the way?!).

Yesterday we read about how when God created the world it begins with a strong affirmation that all God's creation is good. There is peace, wholeness and rightness - everything is connected to God's original plan.

So this story is how people almost 3000 years ago tried to make sense of the world not being good. Or how this world that was created good has become distorted.

Now if you can get past the talking snake there is an important point to this story. 

The snake says: "You will not certainly die. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."(4,5)

The serpent sows seeds of doubt. The lie the serpent tells is:

Maybe God is not actually good…

Maybe God is keeping us from something good? Maybe there is something, something more.

Do we think God is good? Do we think that God is enough?

Unfortunately not. We still (and I'm speaking about myself here) believe the lie and go for something else and do our own thing.

The heart of the fall, is the temptation to be autonomous, to rely on ourselves instead of God.

There are consequences that come with this:

  • Creation and humanity at odds (15, 17)
  • Pain in child birth (16)
  • Fraught relationships between men and women (16)

Sin enters the garden and infects all creation. 

God's good world is distorted and not as it is supposed to be.

Even in the midst of humanity making a colossal mess of it all, God doesn't leave us on our own in our shame and brokenness.

"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (21)

We see God's first act of redemption - clothing Adam and Eve, covering their shame and nakedness. 

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