rebellion to redemption

In the beginning…

I think we all know where I’m going here.

Yea, yea…in the beginning. And then God creates the whole wide word. Enter Adam. Then Eve. And of course, don’t forget the serpent.

The serpent deceives Eve. She eats of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. She shares her delectable bite with her husband, better known as her partner in crime. Bam. Their eyes were opened.

But then it hit me — God’s merciful desire for redemption and restoration in the midst of the Adam and Eve’s rotten state. In the midst of my rotten state.

Check out Genesis 3:8. This follows their tragic snack time.

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. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

But the Lord God called to the man. He called to them. Despite the rebellion in their heart. Despite their defiance of every sweet and good gift God had given them. Despite their spiritually dead souls. Despite their shame and guilt. Despite their inability to face the very one who breathed them into existence. He called to them.

Not only does God call to Adam, he draws him into confession. Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? 

How many times do I defy my creator, hang my head in shame, wallow in guilt and hide? But he calls to me. He wants me to confess just as he wanted Adam’s confession. Because confessing brings forgiveness. It brings restoration.

And then God responds to each party — starting with the serpent.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 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.”

I love verse 15. He shall bruise your head. Who? Eve’s offspring. Check out Luke 3:23-28. It’s the genealogy of Jesus traced back to Adam. Jesus has definitely bruised Satan on the head with his death and resurrection. And I’m sure there’s a lot more where that came from.

So back to Adam and Eve…

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

God issued each of them some strict consequences. They would pay for their blatant disobedience. And as a result, we pay. We face consequences for our choices, enduring God’s discipline.

However, God charged Adam and Eve with two roles prior to the fall.

In Genesis 1:28, God told them to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In his infinite mercy, God allowed Adam and Eve to still fulfill their God-given roles. I can’t get over how incredibly beautiful that is. He could have been done with mankind. He could have said, “Forget it.” But his mercy abounds.

Was it going to be hard? Absolutely. Would they struggle? Yes. But look at his picture. Adam and Eve were called to live according to his design, but they would have to do so in faith and in complete reliance on his power because it was going to be hard and at times, unbearable. And in this, God’s name would ultimately be glorified despite a broken world and fragmented natural order. Are we still talking about Adam and Eve? That sounds like someone else I might know.

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