Monday, October 19, 2009

Living in the garden among the thorns

This past weekend, I made a quick trip home to Nashville. While I was there, I searched deeply within the passage regarding Adam and Eve. I came across an idea so profound, and it relates directly with the series on Satan and sin.

After their creation, Adam and Eve lived in Eden with God. Surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees, they were not even bothered when God instructed them to enjoy every tree except for one, the tree of knowledge. After all, God was sufficient for them and there was so much other beauty to enjoy! What was one tree in the midst of a forest?

The other thing about Adam and Eve was that they were naked. Naked! When we think about what this symbolizes, we realize that Adam and Eve lived in complete freedom. They were free from shame, free from judgment, free from the worries of the world! After all, they were living in the Heaven on Earth.

Unfortunately, we know what happened next. Satan came. You can find the story in Genesis 3; however, I will paraphrase it. Satan told Eve that if she ate the apple from the tree of knowledge that her eyes would be opened, having the same knowledge as God, knowing good and evil. After she ate the apple, she gave it to Adam; he ate some, as well. Just as Satan had said, their eyes were opened. Ironically, they realized that they were naked. As a result, they hid from God in the garden.

Once God finds them, Adam exclaims that they were naked. Here is where God’s question is very interesting. He asks them, “Who told you that you were naked?” The definition of their being naked is defined by their new knowledge of good and evil. Something else to think about… Anyways, after Adam and Eve confessed to eating it, God gives them their punishments. God was gracious by clothing them and then said, “Man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

Most of us have always thought that God was sending them away simply because he was proud and angry—stealing their candy, if you will. Remember, though, that Lucifer was sent to Hell for valuing his knowledge and worth before God’s. He became the devil for that! Basically, Satan was luring Adam and Eve to join him as rulers of hell and to live forever in evil by acquiring complete knowledge of good and evil.

God, however, steped in to protect us! He saved us from Satan by sending Adam and Eve out of the Garden. God didn’t want for us to follow in Satan’s footsteps and to share the same fate. The only way to protect us from Satan was to send us from Eden.

Every day, we experience many desires. We long for what we can’t have and for what is deemed sinful. We are tempted daily and often fail to resist. I will write on this tomorrow. For now, remember that our Father in Heaven loves us SO much, more than I can even express in this blog. Pray about how this post relates to you while trying to live in the Garden among the thorns.

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