Bible Verse: “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.’” (Genesis 3:22)
Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1-24
Act Two of our story opens with a very persuasive talking serpent on stage. The serpent wants to plant a simple insidious thought in Eve’s mind: “If you eat from the forbidden tree, you will not die. You will be like God, deciding for yourself what is right and wrong.” “Wow!” she must have thought. “Now I can be like God and do anything I want.” The lure of independence must have been so appealing. As Eve and Adam listened to the serpent, they must have felt that God was holding something back from them. Unfortunately, they could not see that they already had all the freedom they needed and could do anything they wanted to do under the care of their loving Father.
But let’s be honest with ourselves. All it takes is a series of quick rationalizations and any of us could easily head down a path to a place we do not want to be.
In an instant their perfect world comes crashing down. Their choice for independence unleashes a completely unexpected consequence: they are now cut off from the one who truly loves them. Instead of obtaining the freedom and independence they sought, they are now ensnared in a new kind of bondage.
Because of their fear and shame, they run for cover. Trembling and shaking, they try to hide in the bushes. No longer are they selfless. Instead of looking for ways to love God and each other, all they can think of now are their own needs.
Soon, it is the cool of the day – the best time to relax with friends – and God comes looking for his companions. “Where are you?” he calls out. This is not some aloof God of ancient myth waiting on his distant throne in heaven to judge and condemn. Rather, this scene reveals a caring Father who relentlessly seeks his lost and lonely children in the woods.
In Adam’s confession, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid,” we get an important window into the broken human condition. In this simple statement, we hear the crippling fear that also consumes many of us when we become aware that we have missed the mark, failed, or outright rebelled.
Are we any different from Adam and Eve? In our failure and fear of exposure, do not we too sometimes run, hide, and try to cover up? We need to do just the opposite. We need to run toward those who love us with open hearts so we can find help and healing.
As the second act comes to a close, the first man and woman come face-to-face with the consequences of their rejection of God. Due to their lack of trust in his goodness, the garden is now closed to them.
Yet the first man and woman are not left without hope. God gives them something beautiful to hold on to. He promises that one day a descendant of the woman will come as a rescuer and deliverer.
— Tim Day in God Enters Stage Left
Copyright © 2013 by Tim Day
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