Monday, August 2, 2010

Bible Notes: Gen 2-3

JUDGMENT WATCH: Gen 2:16-17. The first prohibition is laid down: no eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The judgment is specified: the day you eat is the day you die. Notice the prohibition is laid down in the context of abundant provision: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden.” Here is the grace of God: 1) abundant provision, 2) clear articulation of the prohibition, 3) clear statement of the punishment should the prohibition be transgressed.

A rational man (or woman) would take all this in and say, “Utter folly for me to eat of that one tree.” But sin isn’t rational. It’s the essence of folly.

Gen 3:6. Eve had her own reasoning which made the eating of the forbidden fruit rational. It was 1) good for food, 2) delightful to the eyes, and 3) it made one wise. So ignoring or forgetting the clear reasoning we see in 2:16-17, she followed her own reasoning and ate. The irony is the word “wise.” What she did was folly. Her reasoning fell flat. The One who made her and who gave her this wonderful home stocked with ample provisions—He was to be doubted? And the snake—a creature, not the Creator but rather one made by the Creator; further, this creature named by her husband and over whom she and her husband were to exercise dominion—was the fount of wisdom and veracity? Over the Creator?

Gen 3:7. The first thing they experienced when they ate the fruit was discontent. Trouble in paradise: “Oh my goodness, we’re naked!” Actually, this was the second instance of discontent. The first was when Eve bought the lie that God wasn’t giving them his best. Discontentment here is both the mother and child of sin: "God's not good to us" led to sin led to "Hey, we're naked!"

And so the cycle often goes. I’m discontent with God’s way, and so I sin, and the sin leads to emptiness and further discontentment. For instance, I could forgive my wife for forgetting to [fill in the blank], but I’m not content to let her remain blind to the inconvenience her forgetfulness caused me, so I rail away at her, and the results are she knows how mad I am, but there’s also an invisible wall between us, and I am alone and lonely on one side of it. Paul’s example of contentment in any and every situation (Php 4:11-12) becomes more critical in such light.

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