A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
The story of Adam and Eve’s Fall
from their perfect position in God’s Creation is found in these chapters. The issue is self-assertion and pride.
The temptation is to be just like God
. The process of moving from obedience to rebellion is easy to see and to identify with.
The two humans are tempted to believe that because they’re denied something, they’re really being denied everything. The extent of their deprivation is exaggerated and the magnitude of their blessings is ignored.
The woman falls into the trap being laid through her own exaggeration
: “We are not even allowed to touch the tree!” she says, even though God never says that. As she looks at what she’s missing, it becomes more and more desirable
and important to her to attain. So she does what she was told not to do, ignoring the incredible benefits she has received from the hand of the One who both created her and has provided for her needs, she eats the fruit, as does her husband.
Immediately their position of innocent trust is lost
and they become suddenly aware of a need to try and hide themselves and their actions from God.
His response shows the nature of His grace:
condemnation is not the starting point, just a simple question: “Where are you?” The point is clever: the two people had always been there before, and now they are forced to face their own altered position before God. The rest of God’s questions simply lead them further towards the same reality.
The human response to discovery of their sin is also instructive
: each of them blames someone or something else. Adam opens with a double blame-shift
: “The woman . . . who You gave me…” Eve blames the serpent.
God is interested in two facts:
1) each is responsible for his/her/its own actions, and
2) there are consequences to disobeying Him.
Not only do Adam and Eve learn this lesson, but so does their oldest son, Cain
. His determination to be first in God’s eyes produces a jealousy of his younger brother which consumes him. As a result he commits the first murder and receives as his punishment the status of nomad
wandering the earth without permanent residence.
There is a loneliness in the self-centeredness of sin
which drives us not only away from God, but also from other people.
Notice, however, that God does not lose His love for the creatures He has made.
He spares Adam and Eve immediate death, makes clothes for them Himself and continues to watch over them. He protects Cain from the overreaction of others as well, and his grace will continue to be exercised in their lives throughout history.
Our greatest downfall
comes through self-assertion in the face of God’s directives or in the absence of any effort to determine what they might be. We are responsible for our own actions, and blame-shifting is not an acceptable option before God. We also face the consequences of our own actions, and so do those we care about.
Nevertheless, God never deserts us
, even as we suffer the results of our own choices. In the end He promises to see us through life if we will turn to Him in faith. That is the theme which will be developed throughout the remainder of the Bible.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2011