Tag Archives: Eve

Trouble #adventbookclub – Day 7

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.”

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.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Lord,
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.

 

We all need somebody…

Dancers FERNANDO BOTERO
Dancers FERNANDO BOTERO you need someone to dance with!

Then God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone.  I will make a helper who is just right for him.”  (Genesis 2:18).

The passage then goes on to describe God making all the wild animals, and birds of the air, and man naming them – but none of them is quite right to be the perfect helper for man.  He needed one of his own kind.

I am very tempted to make all kinds of comments about men needing women – but I won’t!  But just one joke: Why was Adam created first?  To give him the chance to say something! (sorry!!)

God recognised that it was no good for Adam to be all alone in the world, the only one of his kind.  What I find interesting, and I’m not sure I’d noticed before is that Eve is created because he needs a helper.  They need to work together.  Eve is not put there for Adam to tell her what to do, neither is Eve put there to tell Adam what to do, she is to help him.  They are to help each other – they need each other.

According to the dictionary, helping is about contributing strength, providing what is necessary to accomplish a task, to make easier.  They are in this together, they each bring something, they need each other.  Adam has been placed in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it – but he needs a helper.  The task of looking after the world cannot be accomplished alone by any of us.  We need each other.  We may not want to marry them, but we need other people to help us, for us to help them – for the world to be safe and cared for.

The thought of Adam needing one of his own kind to help is carried through in it’s linked lectionary reading in Hebrews.  God had spoken many times through the prophets, and that was good and helpful.  But now he has also spoken through Jesus – who is not just like us, but is like God in every way.  God has sent a total likeness of himself into the world to help us.  To show us how God’s life should be lived, to hold the universe together – and to show us God’s forgiveness for the times we have got things wrong.

I’m never very good at this “Ooh he/she looks just like great auntie Mabel” when a baby is born.  But we cannot deny family resemblances.  When our eldest son was born, the first time our GP saw him, she said “You’ve no chance of leaving him anywhere!  He is so obviously your son”.  They did turn out to be very prophetic words, the poor boy is very much a “chip off the old block” in looks and ways.  That’s what God knew we needed.  Someone who was a chip off his block.  So that is what he sent, that we might begin to get our head around what he is like.

We all need somebody.  We need people who will help us.  We need God, who shows himself to us in Jesus, who comes as one of us to help us, and share with us – always.

Dancers FERNANDO BOTERO Beyond Limits Chatsworth 2009
Dancers FERNANDO BOTERO Beyond Limits Chatsworth 2009