Lent 2022 Day 4
Sat 5 Mar
Gen 3:2-8 The Fall
2 The woman said to the snake, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”’
4 ‘You will not certainly die,’ the snake said to the woman. 5 ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
It was inevitable that man should fall. By “man” I mean humankind. Each of us was born into Adam, though CS Lewis talks sweetly of sons of Adam and daughters of Eve in his Narnia books.
The story of the Fall is all about our inability of ourselves to meet God’s holy and righteous demands. You might wonder why God didn’t create more obedient people, or why he simply did not hide the tree away from view, but that’s the way it was.
Adam and Eve discovered knowledge of good and evil, and they discovered shame, deep shame. It was not a shame about their nakedness, though they blushed at that – it was a shame about their having broken the one rule God had given them. One rule, that’s all. You have more than enough to eat, fruits of all kind, all delicious and perfectly ripe– but do not eat from that tree. There’s no secret about it, it’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (read the previous chapter), and I’m not hiding from you the consequences of eating the fruit: you will die.
Isn’t that enough of a warning to give to people to whom God has given the power to reason? Of course, if we have the power to reason, then we’re likely to have the power to choose. Adam and Eve chose, the snake assisting them on the way.
Why didn’t God create more obedient people?
Why did he leave the tree in view and accessible?
Why did he let the snake in?
What does this story say about us?
Father God, I know the meaning of shame and nakedness before you when I have sinned – I hide away and avoid your presence. My life is contaminated by unconfessed sin and this breaks the relationship I have with you. Thank you, Father, that in Jesus I have forgiveness upon repentance. Jesus has taken away my shame and guilt. Amen.
Listen to the great Milton – stop when you have listened enough – Eve approaches Adam: