This week, as we are considering that Jesus is the fulfillment of all of history, we take a close look at the beginning. Today, what went wrong? As we stated on Sunday—when we know our history, we can lean into our future. Today, Genesis 3.
God created all as it was supposed to be. But, that isn’t our experience now…Why? What happened?
Listen to/Read what happened next. The scourge of the fall of mankind is about to slide across the frames of the next scene. Death and murder and blame and division and fear and shame are about to take center stage. Feel the yuck. Feel the disorder. Feel the discontinuity.
Genesis 3 (The Message) — 1 The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal GOD had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” 2 The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. 3 It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”
4 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. 5 God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”
6 When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate.
7 Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. 8 When they heard the sound of GOD strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from GOD.
9 GOD called to the Man: “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.” 11 GOD said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” 12 The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.” GOD said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?” 13 “The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.”
14 GOD told the serpent: “Because you’ve done this, you’re cursed, cursed beyond all cattle and wild animals, Cursed to slink on your belly and eat dirt all your life. 15 I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound his heel.”
16 He told the Woman: “I’ll multiply your pains in childbirth; you’ll give birth to your babies in pain. You’ll want to please your husband, but he’ll lord it over you.”
17 He told the Man: “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree That I commanded you not to eat from, ‘Don’t eat from this tree,’ The very ground is cursed because of you; getting food from the ground Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife; you’ll be working in pain all your life long. 18 The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, 19 sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, Until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.”
Dirt is on the scene. Not the lovely dirt of the creation…but the ashes of death. The dread of futility. Dust.
And the story of humanity unfolds, stamped with the curse of rebellion. Well meaning civilizations have crumbled beneath the weight of our now selfish and power hungry ways. Violence invades every epoch of history. Power, oppression and injustice breaks the best of intentions.
The curse is the most alive thing in the world. Death affects 100% of all. All things and all people will die. And their best efforts for fair, love or justice, fall short.
The grave yawns before us leaving us dread. And fear. And small expectations.
Today, recall that you are living in a fallen world. Only Jesus can rescue us from the kingdom of darkness and transfer us into the kingdom of light. Tomorrow, we will ponder more specifically what God has done through Jesus, but today, use this Psalm as your own prayer of lament and mourning.
1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? 3 Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” 4 My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!Psalm 42:1–4 (NLT)