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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 47 GOD’s 4 Questions

How did man fall?

What were GOD’s 4 questions to Adam that preceeded the fall of mankind?

GOD created man in His own image, out of His creativity and for fellowship.

But He also gave one condition… Man failed to uphold the condition and through scripture we observe the fallout:

“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him,

“Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the Lord God said to the serpent:

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

To the woman He said:

“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

Then to Adam He said, 

“Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.

Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:9-19)

How does GOD’s respond to Adam’s disobedience?

Surely GOD knew all that had happened in the Garden and yet He asked Adam 4 questions. How He must have felt such deep sorrow as He observed Adam digging himself deeper when he didn’t trust GOD enough to just admit his sin but instead, though he answered factually, he deflected the blame.

What is GOD’s response to the  disobedience of Man? It appears to me that it isn’t only the disobedience but something else that touches GOD deeply as well. 

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

GOD’s 4 questions

Adam hid and what did GOD do? He asked Adam questions.

Adam did not conceal his guilt when GOD asked him where he was, but he did divert it. I think this is the core issue with his fall.

Avoiding responsibility, avoiding shame

Adam diverted responsibility. I wonder if this is his greater crime?

What if Adam had repented then and there? What if he’d taken full responsibility rather than fearing, hiding, pointing his finger at his wife? Would GOD have responded differently?

Did GOD ask Adam questions to invite him to confess? Would it have made a difference to the curse or the consequence?

Knowledge of good and evil

We aren’t meant to know good from evil and yet we tend to weigh our decisions using a strategy of working out what is the good behaviour or good action verses the bad? Adam was suddenly aware of his wrong-doing and became afraid. He didn’t trust GOD to deal righteously. Rather, Adam didn’t want the consequence of his action and so first he covered himself and hid, then he tried to dilute his sin by pointing the finger elsewhere.

Is each of us living free from shame as we’re meant to be?

Shame is a hurdle most of us encounter and must learn to overcome. 

When we do wrong, we may try to hide behind lies; this triggers our own shame. We choose this path rather than to hold up our hands and admit our guilt. Had we been obedient in the first place, we could have avoided so much pain.

GOD’s broken heart, GOD’s desire

To live free from shame, first we choose to trust a sovereign and kind GOD, then we bring light into our situation by being transparent, seeking to admit our sin and walk in love and obedience. When we have nothing to hide, we walk without shame, and enjoy the joy of the LORD. This is GOD’s passion for us.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 38 The Tree (pt1)

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Eden and the forbidden tree

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

What did Adam have to do to tend the perfect garden? There was no rainfall so presumably the garden, like man, soaked up moisture. And there was no death, so would there be any clear out of the garden? What did “tending” entail?

And in the garden, why did he put in a tree that was for looking only, and not for eating? It must have been a beauty to look at! And there must have been fruit on it or else what would be available to eat from that tree?

My thoughts on the Garden

It must have been enchanting to walk in the Garden of Eden, with the Creator of the Universe. Adam would have experienced peace, perfect weather conditions, no concept of anxiety or conflict or tension. Wonderful! Tending a garden was perhaps simply enjoying it, ensuring the flora and fauna were content. I can imagine the fragrance and the beauty to the eye, but surely my imagination cannot do this true justice: “Breathtaking!”

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

The thought I have with regard to this tree, the key insight I have to offer, is that the tree is the focal point in the war between the Creator and the fallen Lucifer — ie Satan, with GOD’s command to Adam putting him smack into the centre of that  other relationship.

Adam… and Job

Did GOD allow Satan access to Adam in a similar way to the access he would later give to Job?

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 1:6-12)

If the antagonism between GOD and Satan is about where the power lies in character, then Job demonstrates a character dedicated to faith in GOD no matter the circumstance. He knew evil v goodness, as he was part of fallen man. Did this help him to understand the vital part his faith had in his own life? Was the knowledge of good and evil fundamental in his overcoming?

What then of Adam? Adam “did eat” and fell from GOD’s grace. Was that simply because he was innocent of evil and didn’t recognise what he was up against? And if so, why would it be necessary for him to recognise it at all? Why did he “need to be tempted?”

Certainly, I learn the hard way, which is certainly what happened to Adam… Is that what Adam was up against? And if so, why did he need “to learn” at all?

Hold that thought and I’ll come back to it momentarily…

Satan’s scheme

After the conversation between GOD and Satan, when Satan went from GOD’s presence, what occurred next? Did he begin to scheme? In the case of Adam, at what point did Satan begin his manoeuvres? 

After the creation of Eve, at some point Satan was waiting, lurking to deceive her. And was Adam standing by, ready to be drawn in? How badly did Adam want to taste that fruit? Or did he simply want to ensure he walked in full relationship with Eve, even if it meant disobeying GOD. Didn’t realise this would mean he was also abandoning GOD?

Was GOD creating a set-up for the greatest showdown to expose Satan to his own failure. Was this the ultimate way to humble Satan? If so, there certainly was a huge cost: so much tragedy from that time to this, and still the combat continues. Is this all to put Satan in His place, because otherwise Satan would rule and destroy the world? 

Is the entire history of mankind about revealing to Satan the ultimate victor?

Forbidden Fruit a choice

GOD told His children not to have knowledge of Good and Evil because of the pain it would cause. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit that was forbidden they immediately lost innocence, felt shame, and became separated from their Creator. GOD did not want shame for us. He did not want pain. But perhaps it was necessary to give the choice. It is the human experience to grow through adversity. Perhaps GOD did not want that we would be innocent out of ignorance but rather innocent by choice, which is what become “like a child” and being born again is all about.

By offering a choice, man would inevitably choose knowledge, and pain, yet would also learn the difference between what is good and what is evil. We are all born with this knowledge (Romans 1). What do we do with it is the making (or breaking) of our lives.

This knowledge has enabled the battle and ultimate demonstration that good will overcome evil (as best personified in Jesus Christ) and that GOD’s love was and is and always will be more powerful than Satan in his pride.

A lesson for Satan

Perhaps quite simply, GOD sought to reveal to Satan his failure before he would be eternally damned. In his interest to put himself higher than GOD, Satan pursued Eve to draw division between the union of Adam and Eve, and the unity between Man and GOD was torn… and yet this would be the pathway to Satan’s ultimate defeat.

GOD knows everything, new everything. In creating mankind, He must have known He’d created the means through which Satan would be humbled and by offering the choice of the tree of knowledge, knowing man would choose knowledge, GOD made a way for perfect relationship with mankind, superior even to that which He had with Adam. 

Our frame of reference

Today we tend to look from our own perspective — as though we are at the centre of the universe. 

GOD loves us! But even though He loves us, I reckon there are higher aspects to the universe than GOD’s love for mankind. It isn’t only the earth and mankind which is on GOD’s heart, but the entire universe, with His angels and the demons who fell from His grace included.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that man is not the centre of the universe but GOD is. We are given a choice through our forefather, Adam: to choose GOD and the everlasting life which He promises through Yeshua/Jesus 

or to choose or live by the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The Glory

All the glory is in and from GOD, not with mankind, not even with His creation. Ultimately, all glory goes to GOD and Satan must see this.

Next time I’ll explore what GOD meant by “you shall surely die” and draw attention to our human growth through adversity.

Every blessing,

Sarah

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: pt 34 Eden part 3

A Garden

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9)

Why did GOD create man?

Man was created to have dominion over the earth and everything in it. (Genesis 1:26)

Recently it was pointed out to me that the angels were created on Day 6, at the same time as the animals and mankind (thank you, Bishop Malcolm Wilson),

Genesis 2:1 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” The earthly animals and the heavenly hosts — aka angels — were created.

GOD gave the earth to man to manage. Is it possible that this enraged Lucifer, which led Him to inhabit the serpent? Perhaps GOD gave the earth to man, out of love and also out of the knowledge that Lucifer’s pride would be exposed… 

Why did GOD put man in Eden?

GOD put man in a paradise, full of beauty and perfection. Then He added woman, who would become deceived by the serpent.

Surrounded by absolute perfection and full of love, man has everything. He names the animals; he has responsibility. That certainly is fulfilling. But he gives it all up….

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Where Adam fits in

Adam was presented a choice: to remain in his current state intimate with GOD and free from sin, or to discover knowledge to be “as GOD” — he chose the latter. He chose knowledge of good and evil, and Eve over GOD, His creator and companion.

Adam chose to “go it without GOD”. Although he may not have known GOD would send Him from the garden, he wanted knowledge and risked paradise. He may not have known GOD would send him away and their relationship would be forever changed, but he chose Eve and disobedience (only then to blame her for his choosing her*) over GOD.

GOD’s desire 

GOD wants us to choose Him. GOD wanted Adam to obey which was his way of choosing GOD. Adam reveals to us that we all have a choice and the choice we make, for or against GOD, will effect our lives now and forever.

What Adam’s actions reveal

Adam reveals in us our power to choose. 

Adam reveals in us our weakness and our strength.

Adam reveals in us our choice.

GOD gives everyone a choice and what we do with it shows us GOD’s unequivocal love and forbearance. When we choose other, GOD loses us and He grieves.  When we choose Him, now that Jesus has paid for our sin, when we will fail from time to time, GOD accepts our repentance and forgives us.

Adam fits into the Genesis Story because he exposes our choices, our humanity and our frailty.

Some might say the story of Adam and the garden and all of the Creation Story is an allegory or a metaphor, revealing GOD’s character and our own. I think this is true. Some recognise the story literally, which I believe as well. GOD creates the perfect opportunity for Creation to choose Him or to rebel. 

In Adam, we see humanity’s natural proclivity to rebel. And through Adam’s disobedience, we see GOD’s compassion, desire for relationship, and love. He does not destroy Adam but there are consequences for his sin.

Adam now separated from GOD, unveils the unfolding of human history: how man becomes rejoined. It is a master plan of GOD’s, because only in choosing Him, does GOD truly have relationship with us.

*There is so much more that could be said about Adam, Eve, their relationship, the deception and the rebellion… but not for this time:)