by Matt Coker / @MatthewSCoker
Today, we're reading from chapter 3 of Genesis.
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” –Genesis 3:4-5 (NIV84)
We all have a desire inside us to be like God. That desire, in and of itself, is not a sin. In fact, the desire to be more like God or Christ is something we should strive for.
But there is a big difference from a desire to be more like God and a desire to be more God-like. If power or pleasure are at the root of desire, we are working in the wrong direction.
Adam and Eve wanted the power of God, to know all He knows, to have more power. It was a simple temptation for a simple time. And it didn’t take much persuasion.
God has set boundaries for human life, and when those boundaries are crossed, there is a break in the relationship between God and man.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” –Genesis 3:8-9 (NIV84)
I used to wonder, why would God ask this? Doesn’t he know everything, which would include where Adam was hiding?
Of course he would. And he did. God was allowing Adam a chance to show himself. To come clean. To fess up. To take responsibility. Much like our parents’ did when we were young.
What followed is familiar to all of us: cover-up, embarrassment, fear, guilt, and blame. We do all we can to lessen our role in the sin, and thus, lessen our punishment. How well did that work when you were a kid?
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” –Genesis 3:14 (NIV84)
A friend of mine recently pointed out some deeper symbolism in this verse that I had never realized before.
Just like the serpent was forced to the ground, Lucifer (Satan) was cast down to Earth, and given dominion over it. The serpent was cursed to eat dust all the days of its life.
Adam, the first human, and thus all of us, was born of dust. We were created from dust. Humanity is what the serpent (Satan) shall eat. This is why we must be ever vigilant to fight against the temptation he brings.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. … So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. –Genesis 3:21 & 23 (NIV84)
God had to deliver the consequences of sin, but even in doing so, He still showed his love for man. He created clothing for them before he sent them out into the world outside of Eden.
It’s important to note that God still showed love to his creations. Even though they broke the only rule given to them, and even though God removed them from paradise, God never left them.
God continued to have a relationship, even a verbal one, which his children. He still blessed them. And when punishment was needed, it was always with a purpose, to help us grow in knowledge and training.
Even when sin removes us from close proximity to God, he is still always in pursuit of us. Even when we’re not close to him, he is always close to us.
In Genesis 3, we find that our desires for power and pleasure almost always lead to sin, we find that God wants us to own up to our mistakes, we find that the Serpent desires to feed upon us and does so by preying upon our selfish desires, and we find that even when we sin against God, he will never leave us nor forsake us.
Matt Coker is the Ministry Director of The Back Row. He is married to a beautiful woman he met in youth group and they have one mischievous son together. Matt collects Funko Pop figures, loves time travel movies, and enjoys exotic jerky meats. You can contact Matt via the contact page or on Twitter at @BackRowBeliever, or his personal account, @MatthewSCoker.