We know things are broken in this world, but why are we so surprised when we experience it, and where did the brokenness come from in the first place? Genesis 1 and 2 reveal God’s beautiful and just plan for creation and humankind, but in Genesis 3, the relationship we were created to have with God, creation and each other became marred. One of my favorite podcasts is Knowing Faith, in which Kyle Worley, Jen Wilkins and J.T. English discuss theology. It is so fun! In Episode #90 HERE, Jen explains how we were meant to reflect God as His image bearers, but decided to rival Him instead. Most of us know about the broken relationship with God element, but I was interested in the broken relationship with creation and each other elements and thought you would be interested as well.
The entire chapter of Genesis 3 is HERE but for the sake of space, I will paraphrase the account and then highlight some details you can research further if your interest was piqued like mine.
- After the earth was created and filled with light and life, God commissioned Adam to have dominion over the earth.
- The serpent entered the garden and tempted Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- Because both Eve and Adam decided to rival God instead of reflect Him, brokenness invaded the world and all lives to follow.
We now rival God.
It is common to hear that our relationship with a holy God became broken, but something less talked about is how our nature changed! In Genesis 2:25, the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame, but after the decision to not live as God had created us, Adam and Eve were no longer comfortable in their own skin (no pun intended) and ran from God.
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. Genesis 3:6-7
We now rival creation.
So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves….they hid from the Lord God among the trees. (Genesis 3:7,9)
The first time God blessed something in the bible was Genesis 1:27-28 when he blessed man and woman: And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God blessed them with filling the earth and having dominion. But here in the garden we find Adam and Eve not exercising dominion and immediately using creation to hide from God by cowering behind a tree and sewing fig leaves together, which would have required using an instrument they would have made from the earth God created. From all angles, they were using creation in a way that was never intended. I have been pondering all the ways I use creation to hide from God…shopping, food, phones, movies, etc.
We now rival in relationships.
When God questioned the first couple about why they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Eve blamed the serpent and the man blamed Eve (Genesis 3:11-13). Relational discord abounded here. The first instincts of your changed nature are to no longer to side with each other or serve the interests of people or God. Instead, we protect ourselves — our image, secrets, reputations, circumstances, relationships, etc.
How does God respond?
We learn in Genesis 2 that things become broken in every direction, not just spiritually, but also with each other and creation, but how does God respond? God came looking. He pursued the broken couple and initiated communication.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
I refer to the question, “Where are you?” as the hinge pin of all Scripture. From the moment God asked this beautiful question, God chases all people with His love, offering His only Son to the entire world as the means to having a personal relationship with God. To all who accept His Son as Savior and Lord, God restores full fellowship with Him, as was originally intended before the fall.
Where are you?
So the question becomes to all of us today, where are you? Are we living in rivalry or reflection?
Picture Explanation: This week some of my dearest friends and I gathered to pray in the unity of God and without rivalry. Amidst the brokenness, prayer invites God to show up in a million different ways, hemming us in with daily kindnesses that let us know He is present with us in every minute. Prayer sets boundaries the keep us, and those we pray for, headed toward the promise of 1 Thessalonians 5:23: Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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