Early on God had not sent rain to water the earth – no one had been created to cultivate the soil. In that time springs – a mist “came up from the ground and watered the land.”
Then God made mankind-- in His image. He breathes life into us. Then and now.
Their home was in the garden. Oh the garden. Beautiful and diverse.
Colors, aroma, delectable flavors and the cool breeze. Abundance. The land and sea were filled – the water teeming with fish and the land producing sustenance. All that was needed. Abundant.
Companionship with God.
Companionship with each other.
Belonging to God.
Belonging to each other.
“The Lord God placed mankind in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. Genesis 2;15
Meaning and purpose. Given to us, we were entrusted to care for the created.
Invited into the creative process, to take part in His creative handiwork.
Encouraged to name the animals and the birds.
The full image of God – man and woman.
United, agents who co-create alongside the Creator.
This is where our story begins.
We belong there. It was where we were meant to dwell with God and each other.
In harmony with... naked before God and naked before each other.
All this before.
Beware. A warning.
The trees – oh they were so beautiful and abundant.
The tree of LIFE.
The tree of the knowledge of good an evil.
Eat of it all – enjoy it. Except the one tree. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of it you will surely die.
God had provided.
God was providing.
All 5 senses captivated by the garden.
Perfect. Complete. Whole.
But there is more. An enemy lurking around.
Shrewd, deceptive, but limited. We mustn't give him to much credit.
One day this enemy asked the woman:
“Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of these trees in the garden.” Genesis 3:1
"Of course we can," she replies. "Except for one tree – just one. He said don’t eat and don’t even touch it."
She felt the the temptation. The lure of missing out. Don’t touch it.
"Ah come on... you won’t die", he whispers in her ear.
The seed of doubt had been planted and now he begins to cultivate the seed.
The enemy is afraid. He is jealous. He postures and positions.
“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
He wiggled his way in, underneath the surface. She had only known good. She had only experienced God’s goodness.
The tree was beautiful. The fruit looked delicious. She wanted it. It promised more.
Eat. Eat. Eat.
Soft at first. Subtle.
Why not? God has to be holding out on me. Her uneasiness escalates and doubt has morphed into distrust. Creeping in slowly almost unnoticed.
She eats and the man. her companion follows suit.
“At the moment their eyes were opened and suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.” Genesis 3:7
Hide. Hide. Hide.
“When the cool of the evening breezes were blowing the man and woman heard the Lord God walking the garden. So they hid from the Lord.” Genesis 3:8
“Where are you?” GOD called out. “Where are you? Where have you gone?”
“I heard you walking. So I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” The man replied.
“Who told you you were naked?” God said.
Separated. Torn in two.
The man and woman are no longer together. A wedge has lodged between them. The gap is widening.
"It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:19
God addresses the woman next. What about you?
Had she been hiding in the nearby covering. Had she been watching God’s encounter with the man.
“The serpent deceived me.” She replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Torn in two.
Our story is far from over.
The light is on its way.
Jesus calls us out of the shadows to face ourselves alongside him – so we can stop blaming, accusing., denying and thus displacing the problem. Richard Rohr in Breathing Underwater p. 34
The thief’s (our enemy) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them (us) a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:18