Today’s worship team were Tim, Jonny, Amanda and Roy. Throughout today’s service we prayed for our friends around the world, for Ian and Andrea and their families and colleagues struggling with illness, and the need for them to rebuild the team. We prayed for people of our church serving overseas, for the work of Elspeth and Interplast in Kumi.
Tim brought today’s message. He reminded us that a couple of weeks ago we started at the beginning, right at the first words of the Bible in Genesis 1. We’re slowly picking out some of the key Old Testament events. Today we’re looking at Genesis 3,
In Genesis 2 we read about the total freedom that man and women were given. They only had one single restriction. ” Don’t eat of” So what happens now. Eve is enticed by the serpent and Adam eats with her. The idea of sin is introduced here. The whole of the Bible if you think about is about getting back to then, that time of closeness and innocence, It’s about our rescue. Sin is a difficult thing to preach on. What we think of as naughty and often reprimand children for is not necessarily a sin. Tim continued his adverts theme by asking us to remember the naughty but nice advert. Enjoying cream or chocolate cake is not a sin but greed is. Remember the incredible world that is spoilt by sin. Tim explained that he sees this as picture language demonstrating who we are. The question of Adam and Eve existing doesn’t matter. What it is showing is the nature of our humanity and of our sin. Does the serpent get bad press here? Sin colours our world and affects the brokenness of the world. Did God really say that? This was the serpent’s question.,. He focuses on the one single thing that they they have not been given (yet). The serpent makes no mention of anything that has already been given. Tim drew our attention to the fact that Eve adds to God’s word, temptations begin to assert themselves, “It’s only a piece of paper, the boss will not mind”, “I know it say don’t deceive , but it is only a white lie”. “I know it is wrong to commit adultery but I love her!”
Second thing is that the serpent misrepresents God here! Is God really jealously guarding that tree? Some ask why put the tree in the garden in the first place . Tim asks us to consider the view that the tree is not allowed simply because it’s not time yet. Adam and Eve may not have been denied it permanently. Adam and Eve couldn’t handle that yet. We all know that is not alright for a five year old to drive a car. We don’t really know if this was the case but we could think about the tree as a “not yet” gift from God. Remember the tempting of Jesus in the wilderness. Satan offers him the world. There is nothing wrong with the offer, after all Satan is only offering what Jesus will have anyway but the offer involved not taking the time needed to do what had to be done.
Adam and Eve were tempted. They took it too soon. They were not ready for it. This temptation affects us all, is independence such a good thing or do independence and freedom become confused. Romans 8 reminds us that our freedom stems from God. The world likes to label God as a bully and encourages us to rely on ourselves and make bad choices.
Eve and Adam go from happy to guilt ridden shame and the loss of the close relationship with God. They’re now filled with stress, blame and anxiety . Where was Adam anyway? We’re often reluctant to see Adam here . Classic paintings often put him down in a corner out of the way. This is a misrepresentation. Verse 6 says he was right there with Eve. The plural is used from Verse 1 . They are both there . The woman speaks because the serpent addressed her. They are both tarnished by this bad decision. Pictured here is the whole state of humanity in our world. One belief is that death enters the world here. The loss of access to the garden means they lose access to eternal life. God isn’t laying down gender roles, this is God showing the inevitable consequence of not following his instructions. Not just about child birth , but the pressures of conception.
They’re on their own now , they are blocked from the garden yet they will become dependent on God. Other dependencies are revealed. The story ends with the eviction from the garden. There seems no way back. Biggest problem with the fall is the loss of access to God. God was walking in the garden with them and they lost that. The road back to Eden is a long one and the cost paid by God is an inconceivable cost. His Son is the cost to smashing open the gate to Eden. No sin is too great, for the cost has been paid. Jesus paid. Only in Jesus can we grow up. When you find Jesus do you not also find equality, are not those human barriers overcome? Choose wisely choose freedom, through Jesus your sin is forgiven and Eden is restored.
We also heard the fantastic news of two births to families from the church and filling station. Welcome to Jasper James and Lilly Mae. Apologies if I’ve spelt the names wrong.