Our True Hope Day 1: Why are Things Messed Up?
Bible Reading – Genesis 3:8-15
Genesis 3 might be one of the saddest chapters in the bible. It comes right after the true account describing God’s creation of a perfect world, with a beautiful garden of paradise called Eden. He looked at all He had created including His masterpieces, the man and woman created in His very image, and He declared it all excellent and good! It was the work of a perfect God. Adam and Eve had companionship, purpose, and pleasure, and yet… it all went wrong.
In this chapter, Adam and Eve rebelled against their Creator by disobeying the one command He had given them. Although they were able to enjoy all the fruit of the garden, they chose to eat the fruit of the one tree that God said was off limits. When they sinned against God, they had three reactions or responses. Not surprisingly, these are the same reactions we have when we sin today.
- They hid from God. The passage reads, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Can you imagine? God was so close, “walking in the garden”! But rather than running to Him to be with their Creator – the one who breathed life into their lungs, they hid from Him. What caused them to hide? And what causes us to hide from God when we sin? Shame is the cause.
- They were afraid of God. The passage reads, “Adam said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked.’” This instance of fearing God is not the same as fearing God with respect and reverence as in Proverbs 9:10. Rather, this was a fear that was pushing Adam away from God. It’s the same kind of fear we experienced as children when we were called to the principal’s office and were afraid of the outcome. Again, this response is rooted in the shame of their disobedience.
- They cast blame. When confronted by God, Adam blamed his wife, and Eve in response blamed the serpent. Neither of them took any responsibility for their personal act of disobedience. Our sinful hearts usually have this same response, to cast off our guilt onto someone else. Yes they did experience temptation, but they also both chose to commit the sin. They both ate the fruit.
How can this passage bring any good news during this Christmas season? Verses 8-13 reflect the reality of the life we live in today. When we see all the pain and brokenness in the world so many people ask, if there is a God why is there so much evil? Genesis 3 is the historic account of man’s first decision to disobey his Creator. Sadly, this destructive habit is still continuing all around us today.
We Have a Great Hope!
Yet the HOPE is found in God’s response to the wicked and deceptive serpent (the devil). These are words we can rejoice in! “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15
The woman’s future offspring (Christ Jesus) would bruise (other translations say “crush”) the serpent’s head. The destruction of the devil at the coming of Christ was planned out from Genesis 3! God the Father didn’t hesitate with the solution in this dark moment in history. He didn’t wallow is disappointment for generations, and then come up with a solution. He knew from the start. There is one coming….and He is going to crush the head of that serpent! And we know He DID come. As it says in Hebrews 2:14-15, “that through death He (Jesus) might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” This is our TRUE HOPE!
Questions to consider? Is there something in my life (past or present) that is causing me to hide from God? Will I be honest, come out of hiding, and surrender this sin to God?
Additional Reading: Romans 5:12-21