It’s easy to think of the Biblical story of the fall as the worst meal eaten in the history of the world, but it’s so much more than that. Mr. and Mrs. Adam’s choice to believe lies instead of truth led them to experience incredible division in three areas: with God, with each other, and with nature. Before the fall, they were in perfect unity and relationship with God, each other, and the world around them. Post-fall must’ve been shocking, appalling, and gut-wrenching. The knowledge that sin and shame entered the world all because of their actions must’ve been quite the burden to bear. And yet, God’s goodness was obvious.
Relational Split With God.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LordGod among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”” Genesis 3:8-9 (ESV)
Before they ate the forbidden fruit, they met with God face to face without any shame or distance. Never before had the thought entered their minds to hide, they had no reason to do so before sinning. God had created the perfect ecosystem for the people he loved to be in relationship with him, yet they rejected it, choosing their own way instead. They traded perfection for a lie and life for death.
But God didn’t give up on them and he doesn’t give up on us. His love is stronger than our sin.
Disunity With Each Other.
“The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”” Genesis 3:12-13 (ESV)
Have you ever thought about the fact that Adam and Eve never had an argument before this? They never had any insecurity or jealousy or fear in their relationship. They only had intimacy and love and joy. Nothing hindered them from unity until the fall and then it became one big blame-fest.
Even if sin happens in secret, it always leads to relational damage because nothing happens in a vacuum. We can’t effectively compartmentalize our lives because that’s not how we were created. Issues in one area of our lives will always seep into the other, sooner or later. Relationships are always affected by sin and secrets and shame.
But forgiveness, restoration, and healing are possible through Christ. His love gives us the courage to bring secrets to light.
Struggling With Nature.
“…cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17b-19 (ESV)
I find this part of the story so interesting! Sin changed the very makeup of nature and how we interact with it. The ground used to produce whatever was needed without any toil or struggle. Because death didn’t exist, nothing died or withered or was out of season, it was all healthy and life-giving. Nature was valued and well-cared for by Adam and his wife.
But sin changed our response to nature and its response to us. Though we are prone to neglect, we can choose to steward the earth well.
The fall really messed things up, but it also set the stage for the greatest rescue mission ever launched. Adam and Eve’s screw up and our subsequent actions allowed God’s love to overwhelm us (Romans 5). He brought hope to the hopeless, light to the darkness, and life to death. And for that, I am immensely grateful.
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