Genesis Day 9: Blaming it all on Adam and Eve misses the point
Things were starting (I say starting) to go so well, life was moving along, with everything lining up, and then, well then, I started living too much for myself, and—BAM—I shot myself in the foot.
Isn’t that what Genesis 3 reveals?
Look, I am not saying everything was perfect. I am not saying that I was drowning in prosperity. No, none of that. But amid life’s challenges, I was moving, and then—BAM!
In these early chapters of Genesis we see not merely a tale of something that happened long ago, but something that happens every day.
Every day God creates. Every day God breathes life into the world. Every day I take a bite from the forbidden fruit. Every day I make decisions to make myself the most important person—more important than God. Every day—BAM!
Most of the time it is not fatal—yet with each little explosion, flourishing fades.
Many people want to argue there was no Adam and Eve. Many people want to mock the Bible’s story that a talking animal tricked one person, and that that singular event led to the spiraling downfall of the world.
In the midst of mockery, argument, and more… the world screams out… something is wrong.
In the midst of mockery, argument, and more… people miss the point.
The point can be found in the scenes that play out between:
Eve and the serpent,
Eve and Adam,
Adam, Eve, and God, and
God’s loving response…
These scenes play out over and over again in the lives of human beings… and if that is the point, then perhaps we should consider how this story is our story.
Let’s set the stage
The first two chapters of Genesis reveal God, our special relationship to Him, and His design for us, His creatures, to flourish.
All that is left is for us to live with and for God. You might even say to live IN God. To love, and be loved by, God. That is our purpose. Love is a unique deep and special capacity God has imparted to humans. I write about love here, and here, and here.
The Challenge is that Love is a decision—we must always choose how we love ourselves, and how we love God and Neighbor. So often we choose ourselves over God.
The Temptation presents the possibility to choose ourselves. The idea that The Devil Made Me Do It removes our responsibility. Yes, there is a tempter, and before you dismiss Satan as a red villain with pointy ears and a pitch fork, consider.
Consider: there is evil, and good, in the world. In fact, if we are honest, we each have the capacity for both. Not fun to think about, but we do.
We have a responsibility, an opportunity, to love—and yet we face temptation every day to be selfish. That is what we see in Genesis 3.
I want to return to the scene.
The Tempter hates God. Hates Him. In fact, wants to be God. His mission therefore is to destroy all God loves.
His method: cunning and lies and playing on that all too human trait of pride. “Surely God did not say…”
Adam and Eve linger for a moment, desire takes root, and BAM, they have chosen to love their desire more than love God. Of course, the moment they eat of the fruit, they are gripped with the reality of what they have done and a second BAM—horror.
How often has the same happened to us? Doesn’t feel like “flourishing” now, does it?
In the next post, we will reflect on God in the midst of this, but for now…
For now, Adam and Eve hide. We know this all too well. We, too, hide from God.
In fact, we more than hide. We separate ourselves from God.