In a time not too far from the beginning, the serpent slithered to and fro. He was more clever than any other animal God had made. Cunning and crafty and wily, he sought out the Woman in the garden and asked, “Do I understand this correctly: that God told you not to eat from any tree here?” He gestured around him at the rich vegetation.

She eyed the serpent with a curious expression. She didn’t know whether to decide if the serpent really didn’t know, or if he was being intentionally ignorant for his own purposes. “Not at all!” she replied. “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.’ He told us that if we even touched it, we would die.’”

The serpent scoffed, “Psshh! You won’t die! God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll truly understand things. You’ll be LIKE God…

“You’ll know everything… all good and evil. Don’t you want to KNOW!?”

Then the Woman saw that, yes, the tree looked like juicy and sweet and thought to herself for a moment. She took and ate the fruit, then gave some to her husband, and he devoured it too.

Immediately the two of them really did see what was going on. And they were suddenly, awkwardly aware that they were naked.

Laid bare.

Yes, they had been naked the whole time, they knew, but now their nakedness was different. Exposed. Uncomfortable. Shameful.

They sewed some leaves together as makeshift clothing for themselves. When they heard God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, enjoying His creation, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees… as if they could hide from their creator.

With sadness in His voice, God called to the Man: “Where are you? You’re trying to hide from me. Why?” The last was not really a question, but an audible regret.

“I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid,” said Adam.

The Lord lamented, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” The pain and sorrow in his voice were powerful.

Caught, without recourse, Adam said, “It was that woman you gave me as a companion… the one who was supposed to HELP me… she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes… I… I ate it.”

God said to the Woman with such a mournful expression, she thought all the happiness had gone out of the world.  “What have you done?” He said to her. “Don’t you realize you’ve ruined everything for yourself?”

She sighed, the weight of what she’d done settling upon her heart like a stone. “The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.”

(adapted from The Message)

God called Adam to account. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent.

And with that, the Garden of Eden was emptied of humans, and the most pure connection with God was broken and corrupted. We became ashamed of our fallen bodies which were meant to be beautiful and blameless.

What happened in the garden is the basic pattern for every sin we have ever committed or will commit. We believe a lie. We do what God commands us not to do. Then we shift the blame.

In our society of pleasure and entitlement, power and control, the lie is that we must have those things, or else we are less than we could be. The world tells us that those things define us, make us who we are, and give us power. And we believe, in some moments, that those things are really worth the trouble.

They aren’t. We don’t need them.

We need Jesus. Only He redeems our imperfection, our selfishness, our brokenness.

 

THE BAD: Our relationships with other people are broken. As long as we are still human and not yet glorified, we will never have access to the best way to communicate with each other, to really know each other’s personality like we could.

THE GOOD: Even though marriage is a difficult place to work through failures and faults, weakness and fears, we have a hope in Christ that if we trust Him and love Him and listen to His calling, He will cause all things to work together for our good.

 

Love, the RYM Team