So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. - Genesis 3:5-6
This week in our daily devotions, we’re walking through the Bible as God’s love story. Reading the above verses - the account of the first sin or “the fall of man” - can be a bit sobering. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve ever seen those verses. Either way, when you read this story of how Adam and Eve, the first people ever created, chose to disobey the only thing that God had lovingly required of them, it can be hard to see where the whole “love story” comes into play here. But as Dr. Dan Allender so profoundly puts it, “God gave freedom to love, and without the choice to say no, there is no meaning to saying yes” (The Heart of Man movie).
As we read yesterday in our creation devo, we were created to be in perfect relationship with God. He gave Adam and Eve everything they needed, and they got to exist in the constant presence of God with them. The Bible even says that God “[walked] in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen 3:8). How much better can it get than that? To be in the constant presence of the one who created you and who loves you more than anyone ever has or ever will? This is what Adam and Eve had, and they were in need of nothing. There was only one commandment or restriction God gave Adam and Eve. They had free reign of everything, the freedom to eat and drink what they pleased, to enjoy everything the garden had to offer. The one thing God told them not to touch was one tree. God said, “You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:16). Adam and Eve both understood and obeyed that rule, and continued enjoying the fruit of the garden, and the presence of God.
But then one day, the devil (in the form of a serpent) came to Eve in the garden, and deceived her. He whispered lies into her ears and led her to believe that she would actually be better off if she strayed off the path that God had set her and her husband on. She listened to the lie, she and Adam both ate the fruit that God had told them not to, and immediately “their eyes were opened” (Gen 3:7) to sin and separation from God.
When I first heard this story about the first sin, I was honestly so confused! Adam and Eve obviously had everything they needed. They LIVED WITH GOD. And He had told them one simple thing not to do. I might have even been a little annoyed with them, thinking, “Don’t know you know how good you have it? Don’t mess it up!”
Did any of those thoughts cross your mind too? It’s easy to read this story and see exactly where they went wrong, and to think of how things would be different if they had simply chosen to obey.
But the same is true for us isn’t it? We choose to sin every day. We let the devil get inside our thoughts and lead us astray from the goodness God has laid out before us. In Scripture, God has given us boundaries, not to boss us around and make us like robots, but to protect and shield us from hurt and to keep us close to Him.
The story of the first sin is heavy, and maybe confusing, but definitely not hopeless. Immediately after the first sin, before He speaks to Adam or Eve, God speaks directly to the serpent, reminding him of Who is in charge, and what he should expect as a result of his deception:
“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. 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" (Genesis 3:14-15).
This is the first mention of the Gospel in the Bible. God says here, “I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.” (Gen 3:15 The Message Version) This “he” that God speaks of is Jesus. Tomorrow’s devo is all about Jesus and the reconciliation that God offers through Him, but for now, I hope you simply see that our loving Father, in response to our sin and disobedience, wastes no time in sending a Savior.
For most of us, we know how their story goes from there. Jesus comes to earth, lives a perfect life, dies on the cross, and raises again. It’s so easy to glaze over those words and think “Yep, heard that before!” But, sister, don’t miss this. Yes, our Father is good and loving and considers us priceless enough to send His one and only Son to die for us. But our salvation came at a cost. Our sin has cost our perfect Father His Son, and our selfless Jesus His life. I pray that today we would see sin in a different light, It is more than just breaking a rule, it is more than just “going our own way," it is breaking a heart, and even more, the heart of the one who has already sent His Son to die for you.
As we go about our days today, may we see anew the ways that we are walking away from God. May we repent (which actually simply means “turn around”) and walk back towards God, who longs to walk alongside us again.
1. What was your initial reaction to the story of the fall of man? What kind of feelings came up in you towards how quickly Eve responded to the temptation of the devil?
2. What are some ways you’re allowing yourself to respond to temptation? Are there any areas of sin you’ve been walking in that you know God wants you to turn from? Confess these to yourself, to God, and to a friend or mentor to hold you accountable.
3. What are some ways you have seen the consequences of sin? And some ways you’ve seen the blessings of repentance? Reflect on those today, remembering that God has not given you rules to restrict you from fun, or requirements to make you meet some standard; He has given you these guidelines in love, for He wants to keep you safe and free from the bondage of sin. He truly is such a good good Father!
Jesus, thank You for all You have done for me. I don’t say it enough, but thank You for allowing Yourself to be beaten and crucified so that I may have the ability to draw close to the Father again. I pray that You would give me fresh eyes for my sin. Show me ways that I am choosing to be disobedient, so that I might turn around and pursue only You again. You are worth it, Jesus. Thank You, Father, for the unconditional love and mercy You offer. I pray my life would be a reflection of the love and thankfulness I have in my heart towards You and Your steadfast love for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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