Genesis – First, God.
I loved music in grade school and I still love all kinds of music. However, I didn’t like my grade school music teacher. She was mean and rigid, making kids ask to go to the bathroom in French before they could go. Believe me, I learned French (from grandpa) quickly. That information was highly important when you are a grade school kid. My heart was sad when a few students would dance around trying to form the French words so they could relieve themselves.
Our music teacher was also very tall, at least to me who was barely 4′ in height. It seemed she would tower over us as she looked for gum chewers at the beginning of each class session. One day, I rebelled. I don’t know why. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t think about it before that moment. I suddenly thought I would “beat the system”. I had noticed before this day that gum chewing offenders where expelled from class from time to time, when the mood struck her. On that day, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I acted like I was chewing!
On that day, I pretended to chew gum so that I could be thrown out of class! I had never done this before today. I didn’t even know what punishment was going to be administered. I just decided to do what others dared to do. The minute I found myself sitting with a few other students (all boys) on the bench outside the principle’s office I began to rethink what I had just done. Maybe this was not the best idea…
I briefly thought of an escape plan, but nothing came to my eight year old mind. The principle came out of his office and said, “Come along with me”. We all followed with heads down, at least my head bowed. I could not look him in they eye. He took us outside the building. I remember it was a nice, cool day. He sent the boys out into the school yard to pick up trash as their punishment. He had me walk with him and tell him what I had done. I quickly admitted to him that I only pretended to chew gum so I could get out of class for a while. I ended the conversation with mumbling, “I’m sorry.”
This was the first time I had met the principal. He was kind and knowing. He knew I had never been on his radar before this day. I’m pretty sure he even smiled at my story. We continued to walk and talk, enjoying each other’s company, while watching the gum chewing offenders pick up trash. But I was still guilty. I was guilty of telling a lie that started the ball rolling. My “punishment” was admitting my guilt and restoring a right relationship with the teacher.
The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”
2-3 The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”
4-5 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”
6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate.
7 Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves.
8 When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.
9 God called to the Man: “Where are you?”
10 He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.”
11 God said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?”
12 The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.”
God said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?”
13 “The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.”
14-15 God told the serpent:
“Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed,
cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals,
Cursed to slink on your belly
and eat dirt all your life.
I’m declaring war between you and the Woman,
between your offspring and hers.
He’ll wound your head,
you’ll wound his heel.”
16 He told the Woman:
“I’ll multiply your pains in childbirth;
you’ll give birth to your babies in pain.
You’ll want to please your husband,
but he’ll lord it over you.”
17-19 He told the Man:
“Because you listened to your wife
and ate from the tree
That I commanded you not to eat from,
‘Don’t eat from this tree,’
The very ground is cursed because of you;
getting food from the ground
Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife;
you’ll be working in pain all your life long.
The ground will sprout thorns and weeds,
you’ll get your food the hard way,
Planting and tilling and harvesting,
sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk,
Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried;
you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.”
20 The Man, known as Adam, named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.
21 God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them.
22 God said, “The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree-of-Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!”
23-24 So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? GAME CHANGER!
–A Perfect relationship with God destroyed by a lie.
–The lie led to disobedience.
–Disobedience led to a broken relationship with God.
–God sacrificed an animal to “cover” the disobedience along with the punishment for the fall in relationship with Him.
–Man and Woman, created in the likeness of God, are expelled from what was perfection.
But God had a Plan from the beginning–His Son. God gave mankind the choice to obey Him…or not. He knew they would be tempted. He knew they might fall. So God made a way for us to come back to Him, admit our sin, and be restored in our relationship.
Before Jesus was sent to save us, however, animals were killed to merely “cover” the sins of mankind. We will read of these sacrifices and all the rules for the sacrifices in the coming weeks as we journey through the Old Testament.
When mankind muddied the waters of sacrifice and corrupted the system, God went silent for 400 years. Then Jesus was sent to bring a new order, new life and THE WAY back to God. God sent us His One and Only Son to earth to teach what God had intended from the beginning of time. The lesson? God loves us and wants an intimate relationship with us.
But sin, selfish disobedience, cannot be a part of this relationship. A perfect sacrifice had to be made once and for all, for all sin of mankind. This perfect sacrifice was Jesus who willingly laid down his life in place of ours, paying for all our sins.
Jesus did not just “cover” our sin with His blood, He eliminated it. Our sin, bought at a price, is gone, “as far as the east is from the west”, gone! Our sin, not to be remembered any longer by God. Relationship is restored IF we believe in him!
THE LIE. THE FALL. THE SIN. THE RELATIONSHIP.
Think about what God has done for us because He loves us.
What does my relationship with God look like? Are we close? Do we talk often? Do I listen?
Have I admitted guilt so I can be restored in my relationship with God?
Does obeying God come easily or am I rebelling? Does this reveal the depth and intimacy of my relationship with God?
Pray, ask God to reveal Himself to you. I am.
Heavenly Father, Creator, Lover of my soul,
I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. There is no one like you. How could I love anyone else without first loving You intimately? Your love, your thoughts and your ways are far higher than ours. Continue to teach us and transform us.
In Jesus Name, Amen