Today’s reading is drawn from Genesis 3:1-4.
We’ve all read the story of Adam and Eve. We’ve seen the illustrations, speculated about what type of fruit was on the forbidden tree, and learned lessons about avoiding temptation from this story.
A careful reading of Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve’s sin was really not about having a healthy snack! Their sin was both an act of disobedience against God as well as an effort to be like God. So, what would the original readers have thought about the prospect of being “like God?” Why is that a bad thing? In the ancient world, there were many tales of individuals who tried to be “like God” in various ways, such as wisdom or physical attractiveness. Some of them were successful and others failed. One part of the story in Genesis that sets it apart from other ancient tales is that Adam and Eve lost their personal relationship with God. Because of their sin, they were driven from the garden and were no longer able to fellowship with God. This would have been a surprising development for the original readers! It would have left them thinking, “Why did that happen? Can Adam and Eve be restored and enjoy fellowship with God again?”
Once we understand this insight, we understand the key problem in Genesis 3. The key problem is not a missing piece of fruit, hard work for Adam, or pain in childbirth for Eve. The key problem is that mankind had lost fellowship with God! The rest of Scripture goes on to tell the story of redemption through Jesus and of the way that God restores sinful people to Himself. God loved fallible people so much that He made a way for them to be restored and regain what they lost in the Garden of Eden: fellowship with God!
Do you believe that God loves you? Do you believe that He has made a way for you to be restored and experience a personal relationship with Him?
God, thank You that, although Adam and Eve sinned and lost their relationship with You, they were not left without hope. Thanks for making a way for Adam and Eve and all people to be restored to God. Thanks for loving mankind and for sending Jesus to give us a way back to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.