ADAM & EVE ASK: HOW DID WE GET TO THIS POINT?
Part 3 of 3
Why must we struggle with life? This is the third of a three-part series based on the story of Adam and Eve responds to the question:. How did we get to this point? Read parts1 and 2:
- Adam & Eve Ask: How Did We Get To This Point? Part 1 of 3
- Adam & Eve Ask: How Did We Get To This Point? Part 2 of 3
In their shame and guilt Adam and Eve attempted a futile cover-up to hide themselves from each other and from God. Their whirlwind of activity resulted in a stylish apron made of fig leaves.
Fig leaves. Have you ever felt a fig leaf? At certain points in their growth cycle they feel like medium-grade sandpaper. Wearing a fig leaf while stark naked is a long way from the comfort of cotton or linen.
Adam and Eve used these irritating leaves to try to cover up the new feelings set loose by their disobedience. Perhaps the leaves would also cover their altered thinking about God. Perhaps these leaves would prevent God from recognizing their transgression.
Suddenly they heard God’s voice. They rushed to finish their fig-leaf aprons.
For the first time, they feared God’s presence. He was no longer a loving companion, a partner in their creative endeavor, and a provider of good. Rather, He was the unwelcome voice of justice and truth, a truth they didn’t want to hear. He would recognize their disobedience. What would the consequences be?
God called for them. They hid. God called again: Where are you?
Adam finally answered. “I was afraid, because I am naked. And I hid myself.”
“Who said you were naked?” inquired God. “Did you eat from the forbidden tree?”
Adam’s infamous reply was: That woman you gave me—she gave me some fruit—and I ate!
God next asked Eve: What have you done?
“The Serpent beguiled me,” she shot back.
God’s assignation of responsibility and his consequent judgment were swift. The Serpent was cursed to forever crawl on its belly and have a perpetual struggle with the descendants of Eve. Eve would be forever subject to Adam. Her desire for him would lead to painful childbirth. Adam would continue to till the soil, but it would be rocky and yield “thorns and thistles” as often as edible crops.
Furthermore, at the end of their lives, they would return to the dust from which they were made.
Finally, they were banned from their homeland, Eden, prevented from returning by a monstrous cherubim with a whirling sword.
You might say Adam and Eve were the first refugees. And you might say that their specific act of rebellion changed God’s creation. The earth became abnormal.
All because Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God.
Other less tangible consequences resulted form this sin. Relationships were damaged. Separations occurred, the major one being between God and Man. Man’s purpose of existence—to love God with all his heart, soul and mind, to be in relationship with God—was damaged. Fulfilling His purpose would forevermore be a challenge rather than a perfect communion.
Other separations also occurred. Man, now knowing fear, was separated from himself, altering his perspective and world-view and creating psychological problems. He was also separated from others, a separation first seen when Adam and Eve passed the blame for their disobedience between each other, the Serpent and God. Another separation occurred between man and nature. Man, losing his full dominion, lost his connection to the land. Greed replaced stewardship.
One thing was not lost. Adam and Eve, twisted, broken and abnormal as they became, maintained their humanity. Mankind still stood in the image of God. They were still the image-bearer of God. Mankind was fallen, but mankind was still significant.
This significance showed up when God evicted the couple from Eden. Remember those itchy fig leaf aprons? God replaced them with a coat of animal skins. God replaced their flimsy covering with a covering of His own.
Could this indicate that Adam and Eve’s coverings weren’t sufficient to stand before God in? That perhaps they needed a covering from God, a specific covering that required sacrifice and death, a covering not provided by man, but by God? Were these new coverings a sign of God’s compassion and mercy in the presence of man’s sin?
Today the world is in a shambles.
How did we get to this point?
Adam and Eve became the first dysfunctional persons. The first dysfunctional couple. The first dysfunctional family.
Their legacy lives on. Look around at today’s society. What do you see?
I know what I see. I see lots of dysfunction. People separated from God, from themselves, from others and from the land they live on.
People trying to reconnect in ways that are cover-ups, in ways that are itchy fig leaves. People trying to reconnect by substituting addictions for the real thing.
People wrapped in behaviors that are sinful because they create further separation rather than connection.
Sin starts with giving up all confidence in God. It continues as disobedience in trying to seize by one’s own power that which belongs properly to God. It continues in trying to become God-like.
All human beings sin and all fall short of the glory of God by breaking their personal relationship with their greatest benefactor. It’s no wonder God is someone alien and frightening.
God, however, is merciful. He has arranged for redemption for sin.
Jesus said “all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal damnation…(Mark 4:28-29).
Forgiveness requires confession, repentance and a desire to change behavior. A desire to replace our sinful, selfish self with obedience to God. A desire to move away from self-serving to God-serving, to doing the will of God.
We must be obedient. And when we fail, we must turn to God rather than hide behind scratchy fig leaves.
As you finish reading this writing, remember the Great Commandment: to Love the Lord thy God with all they heart, soul and mind, and to love thy neighbor as thyself.
In so doing, you can become a better person and you can make this a better world.