Read Genesis 3:1-24
The instructions God initially gave to man as recorded in the first two chapters of Genesis seem simple enough.
- Multiply and spread out (1:28a).
- Rule over and care for creation (1:28b; 2:15).
- Eat any fruit you want…well almost (1:29; 2:16, 17).
As the holy, loving Creator, of course, He had and still has every right to express both that which pleases Him and that which is good for His creation. And so He did…in three simple areas.
But Adam and Eve blew it. Believing a lie and ignoring God’s instruction, they ate from the one tree, around which God had placed yellow caution tape.
Now, some may say, “So what? That’s not a big deal!” Guess again! Ignored instructions led to incredible ramifications. Suddenly, Adam and Eve felt shame. They covered themselves and hid. Next thing you know, there was blame. Fingers were being pointed in all directions. Then, ultimately, there was unwanted pain in their lives. The serpent crawled, work became hard, and childbirth was not an evening stroll through the garden. Arguably worst of all, access to the Tree of Life was cut off and they experienced separation from God. Life has been different for all of mankind ever since.
Even though you and I reel under the impact of that simple choice made in a garden millennia ago, we are also accountable for the choices we make today. God gave us simple instructions. We could boil them down to two…love God…love your neighbor (Matt. 22:34-40). We could expand them to ten…including exclusive devotion to God, the honoring of parents, our actions and thoughts about sex, and our actions and words towards those who frustrate us (Ex. 20; Matt. 5). Theoretically, obedience to them should be a piece of cake. In reality, we discover our response to be like the choice of the wrong kind of fruit.
And the ramifications? Yep, the shame, blame, pain, and separation are ours. We find ourselves cut off from God with no way back.
But God, in the disappointment of the garden, gives a glimpse of hope. Without using His name, He spoke of Jesus (3:15). As an offspring of Eve, He not only crushed Satan’s head, but He also offers to restore our relationship to God if we come to Him by faith!
Thank you, God, for the hope you offer to me in the face of shame, blame, pain, and separation!