Monday, November 26, 2012
In Search Of Truth, Genesis 3:19-24
Death is probably the most significant consequence of sin. Adam and Eve had access to the Tree Of Life, which would apparently sustain them so fully that their bodies would live forever. But God says in verse 19 that Adam's body is destined to perish and be absorbed into the earth again.
"Eve" comes from the Hebrew root for "life". Adam naming his wife isn't a random insertion into the story. It seems as though Adam suddenly understands the significance of his own mortality and recognizes the treasured and vital role that his wife will play in the survival of the human race.
Even in the midst of passing judgment, God extends undeserved favor to Adam and Eve by providing them with more durable and protective coverings than the leaf-based clothing they made for themselves.
Before sinning, Adam and Eve had no concept of "good" and "evil". The only thing they knew was God and who he revealed himself to be. They didn't need a concept like "good" to differentiate something from evil, because they had no knowledge of evil. But now they had knowledge of both.
They discovered that there is a "non-God" option. And though God, being God and perfectly consistent with himself, never chooses the "non-God" options, humans do. And every time we choose these "non-God" options in life, we destroy a little of ourselves or someone else.
God is a perfect, just and loving God. Though he wouldn't be if he allowed selfish, hurtful people to harm themselves and each other without restriction. And if God had allowed Adam and Eve to live forever, the world we would live in would be crammed with immortal beings who hurt each other and themselves with exponentially growing intensity for all of eternity.
So ironically, because God is perfect, just and loving, he took immortality away from sinful humanity. However, the invitation is extended to every person to return to God, surrendering themselves to him so that he can rid us of our sin problem and make us compatible with immortality again.
We long for this kind of existence. It's why there are so many fantasy concepts centered on longevity or immortality. Elves, vampires and Duncan McLeods are all expressions of our desire to live forever.
Of course many of these same concepts showcase why it is NOT good for us to live forever. We are broken. In our current state, living forever would be emotionally devastating, exhausting or even horrifying. Immortality only works when those possessing it are completely without selfishness and sin, and are completely fulfilled by a relationship with the infinite God of the universe.
The Tree Of Life is waiting for those who admit their sin problem to Jesus and rely on him to fix their broken and sinful nature. (Revelation 2:7, 22:14) And the life we share with Jesus in eternity will be more amazing than any story we've ever read, seen or imagined.
Next Time- What the first "offering" tells us about humanity and God