Genesis: The Beginning
The Beginning of Choice 1-8-16
READ: Genesis 3
Yesterday, we read how the LORD God created people. Today we will read how because of a desire for authentic relationship based on trust, Yahweh–who is self-giving and unfailing Love–extends man and woman the freedom of choice.
Our passage begins with a garden serpent; not just any serpent but a very cunning or shrewd one. Why is this serpent so shrewd? Satan speaks through this serpent with the purpose of twisting the LORD’s word. The spirit of evil always twists the word of the LORD by tempting humans to focus on self (human desire and control) rather than the LORD’s instruction. Satan consistently uses a “piece of the truth” when deceiving the human mind and this situation before the woman is no different. Through the serpent Satan asks, “Did God really say “you” must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” Satan tempts the woman by planting a seed of doubt to the personal instruction, as well as undermine the motive and wisdom of God. In other words, evil makes one think he/she must take God matters into human hands in order to bring about the results that satisfies self (human desire) in this world, because God’s love will fail to provide that for which a person’s soul longs. Woman wanted wisdom but it only comes from God. To the seed of doubt through words planted within the woman (she must gain wisdom on her own), Satan then waters with a misleading verbal lie, “You won’t die!”
Satan is right, man and woman would not “immediately” experience physical death when they ate the forbidden fruit, but they would die spiritually because their disobedient choice would disconnect them from the intimate place with the Lord they had in the beginning. They tasted what God had given them, but it wasn’t enough. For these people, the value was taken off from a relationship with God and placed on self-fulfillment. Once the value and authority was relocated into human hands, the couple consumed the things of the whole world–good and evil.
The LORD God returned to the garden to see how his image was being upheld on earth only to find his pride and joy–humanity–hiding among the trees. “Where are you?” the Lord called. Humanity was to stand out in representing God, but now blends with creation. The garden went from a place of peace and joy in the fellowship of Yahweh to a place of fear. What caused the fear? Feeling alone–experiencing the disconnect from the LORD God is real. A feeling of emptiness and loneliness accompanies the disconnect because we were made for fellowship with the LORD.
Yahweh knows wrong words were believed by the representatives of His image and He says, “Who told you? Yahweh made His will known and everyone was clear about it at the time, but Satan sought to undermine the LORD God and humanity listened to the wrong words. Humans don’t like to admit to entertaining evil, so the blame game begins. Enmity in the spirit world arose between good and evil; a struggle for power based on choice. Judgment was immediately issued. Not necessarily by God, but by the wrong choices against God’s authority made by humanity. Therefore, humans actually judge themselves by their choices (e.g. The LORD God said to Adam, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat…or another way to say it… since you gave self-serving words authority over My Word, you will perish and return to the ground). This choice to live by the word of our human desires over the word of the LORD to our hearts is called sin and it disconnects us from that sweet and intimate place with Yahweh.
Our story continues to demonstrate the judgment Adam and Eve brought upon themselves as they were expelled from the garden and restricted from the Tree of Life. This action of God was based on mercy. To allow humans to live eternally in the realm of good and evil is not a place of peace. We were created to live in the realm or shalom of God who is Love not live doing battle with evil for eternity.
Adam and Eve made the first choice to disconnect, but the cycle of choice continues in every human being. Our disobedience to the LORD God’s word brings all kinds of negative things into our lives; we bring it upon ourselves. Things like shame, confusion, guilt, and fear are connected with human choice. God never intended for people made in His image to live in that place. But, praise God, we don’t have to live there! We can choose to connect to Christ and return to a sweet relationship with the LORD God. Choice is still the foundation for knowing God. God’s Word teaches that Christ has been made wisdom to us. We can know God’s heart for our lives in Christ. Choose wisely, today.