Tag Archives: Adam and Eve

The Man and The Woman

Blake Adam and Eve

All was well with the world, the whole wide world.  Beautiful, productive, everything with its place and order.  Everything worked and it worked well.

But then, well, somehow that wasn’t enough.  We thought we knew better than God.  There was only one thing that was forbidden.  But oh how good it looked, and imagine the possibilities.  If it’s not good for us, how delicious it must be, how exciting it is.  Just one go – can’t hurt can it?

SO he said, she said, it said… the thought, the chance – go on, you know you want to.

So we did.

Big mistake.

For then shame entered the world, and beautiful innocence left it.  In having just one bite, so much had been lost.  Hate and fear were born, suffering got a look in, weeds were sown, hard toil began…

What was once so beautiful was now not so beautiful, not so enjoyable – spoilt.

Now what are we going to do?

Lord there is so much I have got wrong
Things I have seen and wanted – and chased after,
bad choices I have made,
things that would have been better not done or said,
words and actions I should have done
but didn’t.

They pile up, and make an ugly mess.
But you are the one who can put things right,
You are the one who can restore me
change me
give me your strength and power.

I confess what I have got wrong
I bring it to you.
Sweep through me I pray
cleanse me,
dust me down.
Remake me
in your image

Genesis 3:8-19

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

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
your husband,
    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
will produce
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.”

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas available from Moorleys

It Was All Going So Well

Dear Lord,

So far today I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I’m very thankful for that.

But in a few minutes, Lord, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help. Amen

This is probably a familiar prayer to many of us.  Things seem to be going so well, and then…

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 (CEV)

15 The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. 16 But the Lord told him, “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 17 except the one that has the power to let you know the difference between right and wrong. If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over!”

The First Sin

The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the Lord God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, “Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”

The woman answered, “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.”

“No, you won’t!” the snake replied. “God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does.”

The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.

Adam and Eve Downfall By Andrey Mironov (Own work)

God had made this beautiful world and left man and woman to care for it.  They were given great abundance to share, and just one rule.  Eat anything you like, apart from that tree.
But they couldn’t resist it.  They thought, with some help from the snake, that they knew better than God.  They were fully aware of what God had said to them, but they could not resist the temptation.

A great start to Lent.

Oscar Wilde famously said,

I can resist anything but temptation.

I wonder how true that is for me?  Returning to the prayer at the top, can I resist the temptation to gossip, lose my temper, greed, be grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent?  All equally things that God says are not good for me, for us – or for all those others whose lives we effect.

The temptations in life are many.   From this one apparently simple disobedience, life has spiralled out of control.  The knowledge of right and wrong, far from helping, has uncovered a whole category of wrongs that we have been more than happy to indulge in – ‘Just this one’, ‘No one will know’, ‘What difference will it make?’.  But the difference it makes may be huge.  We may not see it or realize it, but giving in to temptation has repercussions.  It is not for no reason that the Lord’s Prayer contains the line,

Lead us not into temptation.

Perhaps for this lent, that needs to be the focus.  To take more time.  To pause and reflect before I act.  Is what I am about to do good and helpful, or am I perhaps giving in to temptation?  Maybe I can live a purposeful lent.  Instead of giving up sweets or some other culinary indulgence, can I give up giving in to those actions that are soooooo tempting; that I may make it beyond getting up before I have responded badly to something or someone.  And for that I need God’s help.

So many things Lord,
that I know I shouldn’t do,
that are not what you ask of me,
good for me,
or for those around me.
Yet often
I succumb,
follow what I want,
my natural instincts,
or habits.

Forgive me
when I get things wrong,
purposefully choose what I want,
think I know better
or speak and do without thinking.

Lord,
I want to live your ways,
and I need your help.
Help me to recognise temptation
for what it is,
a distraction from you
and what you ask of me.
Help me,
intentionally,
to pause
and consider what I do,
that I will not give in
to temptation.

Whenever I think of temptation, I can never resist this song (oops that didn’t last long did it!)