Reading Genesis 3 again this evening with pizza and brothers.
It simply sums up in narrative form the absolute arrogance of human rebellion, the casting aside of the Creator God and the willed decision to become gods ourselves. Sin is in essence an act of revolution: to replace God with myself.
The woman, knowing that the serpent had outlined that eating the fruit will make them ‘like God’, still chooses to eat of the forbidden tree. That’s despite both the implications laid out by the serpent and it being an act of straight-forward disobedience to God. The narrative also picks out the subtle exchange of authority from what God has said, to what humanity judges to be right; the woman sees the fruit looks good, ‘a delight to the eyes’ (3.6) and that it is able to make one wise, and it is this that takes preference over obeying God’s word.
The clear difference between the actual command God gives in 2.16-17 and the woman’s version of what God said (3.3) is peculiar (the lack of ‘neither shall you touch it’ in the original). Sure, woman hadn’t been created when the command was given, suggesting man had passed the command on, but either he’d got it wrong, or she’d not paid enough attention to it. Either way, God’s words are not as familiar to the couple as they need to be, considering they are the very words of the God who created them, the very words that previously spoke life into nothingness. Consequently the serpent is able to cause mass confusion by first questioning God’s word (3.1: ‘Did God actually say…’) and then casting doubt on the reality of God’s judgement (3.4: ‘You will not surely die…’).
He’s made God out to be incoherent, twisted in intention, and a liar. To read this passage is to see graphicly in a snapshot moment how sin works. And it’s easy to point the finger and throw our hands up at this evil anonymous passerby, whom we call ‘sin’. But in reality it is us, our hearts, it is me who does this. And then I remember that moment this afternoon when I doubted whether the real world actually needs the gospel. Or that time yesterday when I was reluctant to believe God’s desire that I be sanctified was true, rather fancying my own will for myself. Or when I questioned whether the Bible was clear in what it said.
I love that closing line from Chris Tomlin’s song ‘Indescribable’, it speaks so simply of the wonder of Jesus’ death for sinners, sinners like Adam, and sinners like me.
‘You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same; you are amazing God’