Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Good, Evil, And The Garden Of Eden...Part 2

The tipping point in Eve's battle boils down to what she came to believe about God.
Eve gave into her desire to eat the fruit because she had begun to consider that God might not really be so good. The Serpent implied that God was a liar, who was also selfish, being sure to hoard all the power to Himself. To take that step toward oblivion, Eve had to cast all of her past experiences with Him in a slanted light. All His motives and actions must have been scrutinized through lenses of suspicion. Why else would she not call Him and ask Him in person about the claims of this strange serpent?

Well, if you believe someone is a liar, trying to keep something from you; you certainly don't want to ask them and alert them to what you're planning to do. Surely, they would simply lie to you again and then remove the opportunity that is currently before you. Perhaps, that is why we don't see Adam and Eve finding God and asking Him outright.

Genesis 3:8-13

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?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said,"The woman you put here with me-she gave me some of the fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

We know that God was an active force in the garden. He walked among the garden. Adam and Eve were able to communicate with Him in a very personal, face to face way. It should have been easy for them to find Him. And yet, the fact that they make no effort to seek Him out speaks volumes.

It is no different than having a gossip tell you that a close friend has betrayed you and secretly mocks and despises you. We are so prone to believe evil of others. We avoid that friend, store up bitterness against them, and begin to actively dislike them. Later, we tragically discover that everything we were told was a lie. Now imagine being the friend; not only were you slandered and reviled, but one of your closest friends actually thought you were capable of such things. How might that friendship work out in the future? Not too well, I'm guessing.

Many people have a vague notion that there might be a God somewhere out in the vast Universe. Believing that there is some kind of God might be a first baby step in being open to faith. But, what's more important than believing that there is a God is what you believe about Him. Are we quick to cast aspersions upon Him in the face of difficulty? Do we believe that He loves us, or that He secretly is a selfish God, trying to interfere and keep us from a great time? Eve had to choose, and so do we.

I still have a few more tangential thoughts, but it's late.

Part 3 is coming soon....

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