Eternal God, may I see Your Word as a true lamp to my feet and light to my path (Psa. 119:105).
Read Genesis 3:14-24
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come … he comes to make his blessings flow / far as sin’s curse is found” (Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).
Choosing to act independently, thus rejecting a trusting relationship with God, brings consequences. Immediately the couple hides from God and one another, covering up, and blaming others, including God. Guilt, shame and marring of relationships follow (vs. 8-13). God’s own words show far more extensive consequences, all too evident in the world today.
“The sentences pertain to their primary roles in life (in that culture), roles of stature among the animals, roles of wife and mother, roles of tiller of the soil and provider of food” (T.E. Fretheim, Genesis). All relationships continue, but with conflict, tensions and frustrations. Both woman and man have “pain” and compete for control (16,17). The resulting patriarchy that reigned for so long, and many related ills came as a consequence of sin. They were not the divine intention.
But God moves beyond judgment. We may choose to rely on our own resources, but God does not leave us. Following Adam’s naming his wife “Eve” (“living,” v. 20), she later says, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man” (4:1). Human attempts at managing sin’s consequences (“fig leaves,” v. 7) are replaced by God-provided “garments of skin” (21). The simple image illustrates human “patching up” and God’s gracious continuing providence. The God-given task to “work the ground” (2:15) is reaffirmed, although now outside the garden (23). References to “the tree of life” bookend the Bible: here access is barred (23,24); but Revelation joyfully proclaims “the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7; 22:2,14). In Christ, the removal of the all-pervading results of sin has begun. We have been reconciled with God and now work with him, in acts of healing, justice and mutual submission. The curse is not God’s final word.
How is God working in and through you by his Spirit, removing or lessening the results of sin in your relationships?
Lord, I know that in You I have become a new creation. Each day, as I continue to surrender to Your Spirit, be formed in me anew.
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