DID GOD REALLY SAY…?
Thank You, loving God, for Your forgiveness. I humbly come before You in repentance today.
Read Genesis 3:1–13
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 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. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIs it easy for you to receive God’s forgiveness?
The incident in these verses is known as the “fall.” That’s not a word used in the story, but it is a pretty accurate label: everything falls apart. The man and the woman slip into fear (10), and passing the blame (13). When God comes looking for them on His afternoon walk – since He still desires to be with them – they hide (8). The relationships we noted between God and humans, and between man and woman, fracture very quickly.
Did the woman fail to get the command right (1)? Did the serpent tell a half-truth, about not dying there and then (4, 5)? How did this happen so soon after being placed in the good garden? Notice that Genesis 3 really does not answer these questions. A major emphasis of Genesis 3 is simply this: even in a good place, we can mess up completely, and quickly. The Bible will explore how lies, failure, and mistrust work out at great length in the stories to come.
Is there any good news here? Perhaps this story is designed to show us that while we do indeed mess up, God perseveres with us, and so our messing up is never the end of the story.
What is your go-to response when you fail? Do you beat yourself up? Give up? Try again? Run from God? Run to God? Take time now to bring your failures before God and accept His grace.
God, You know how utterly and often I fail You. But Your grace is enough for me. Help me to walk in the light of Your forgiveness today.