Genesis 3:8-19 (CEV)
8 Late in the afternoon a breeze began to blow, and the man and woman heard the Lord God walking in the garden. They were frightened and hid behind some trees.
The Trouble with Sin
9 The Lord called out to the man and asked, “Where are you?”
10 The man answered, “I was naked, and when I heard you walking through the garden, I was frightened and hid!”
11 “How did you know you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat any fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden?”
12 “It was the woman you put here with me,” the man said. “She gave me some of the fruit, and I ate it.”
13 The Lord God then asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The snake tricked me,” she answered. “And I ate some of that fruit.”
14 So the Lord God said to the snake:
“Because of what you have done,
you will be the only animal
to suffer this curse—
For as long as you live,
you will crawl on your stomach
and eat dirt.
15 You and this woman
will hate each other;
your descendants and hers
will always be enemies.
One of hers will strike you
on the head,
and you will strike him
on the heel.”
16 Then the Lord said to the woman,
“You will suffer terribly
when you give birth.
But you will still desire
and he will rule over you.”
17 The Lord said to the man,
“You listened to your wife
and ate fruit from that tree.
And so, the ground
will be under a curse
because of what you did.
As long as you live,
you will have to struggle
to grow enough food.
18 Your food will be plants,
but the ground
thorns and thistles.
19 You will have to sweat
to earn a living;
you were made out of soil,
and you will once again
turn into soil.”
Maggi describes this passage as
The end of the beginning (p34)
and it is. God has spent his time creating a perfect world, leaves man and woman to care for it, and what happens? Pretty soon the one rule they had is broken. And very quickly follows blame – “She made me do it” (v12), and “the snake tricked me”.
They had both heard what God said,
God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden, except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die. (v3)
and so both were responsible, but both chose to blame someone else. There was no personal responsibility.
And the consequences reverberate down through the generation…
The passage starts off so beautifully – an afternoon breeze and God walking in the garden. But the mood quickly changes as they know they have done wrong and scuttle off to hide.
Have you ever wanted to hide from God? To know he is there and be so ashamed of yourself that you wished you could scuttle off? I know I have. That point of realisation – I’m not as good as I’d like to think, I’m not the persona I like to project, there is very little of paradise in me…
That point can be the end of the beginning of our relationship with God, but the beginning of an honest one.
This passage is reality. It is where we are, or certainly where we begin with God. It is the end of the beginning, but the beginning of something new. From knowing where we are, we can move on.
As Maggi says, we know the problem (p37). Now, we begin to find out what God is going to do about it for us.
in my reality,
I want to hide from you.
I know what I have done wrong,
and I am ashamed to face you.
I try to blame others,
but I have no one to blame but myself.
I am in trouble,
and I know it.
Yet I cannot hide from you,
for only you can help me
This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it. Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below. If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.