Reflections on Genesis 3:1-24 Part 2


The Bible in Your life and Your Life in the Bible

"God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)


Satan not only uses the negation of the truth of God's words but also uses a more appealing approach "you will be like God" (v. 5). Eve had already been created in the likeness of God, now she wants to be God. Unbridled ambition leads to the confusion of roles. The creature wants to become the creator with priority given to the creature! How often this happens in our communities! Some who are subject to authority want to usurp the place of those in authority. Havoc is the result, relationships break down and the very body of Christ is dismembered. How characteristic this is of our society! God is the source of authority, of life and of all that is good. Today each individual wants to be God and of course society reflects its members and now we have laws passed without any sort of reference to values that transcend man. Militant atheism, which is out to thrust God underground, decides on life and death, abortion and euthanasia. The creature is always seeking to be the creator. Social havoc and disintegration is the result, just as we have here in Genesis. We must react and be a sign of contradiction. Let us bring God and the Word of God back to its rightful place in the high street and public square, literally.

The success of Satan is felt in that word “so” (v. 6) which introduces the consequences of this dialogue. Eve is now totally focused on the illusory attraction of the forbidden tree. This is the result of moral blindness and disorientation that derives from making one’s own moral judgements at the expense of objective moral standards. The irony of it all was that everything was seen in positive terms “good for food”, “delight to the eyes”, “make one wise”. This is also the way of our society. Moral standards are either absent or dependent on personal circumstances, emotional states, intellectual convictions or secular laws. There is often a complete disregard for right and wrong. 1

Moral relativism turns out to be disastrous for the individual. Sin is never exclusively personal, it is also social, Eve gives it to her husband. Eyes were opened and Satan was right, they “knew” (v. 7). They had knowledge from the tree of knowledge but this caused them to become self-conscious and to hide from their natural state. Their eyes were open but now they are out of harmony with themselves.

The four senses of sight, touch and taste have all been instrumental in this first act of disobedience. Now we have the sense of hearing which brings fear, due to a profound sense of guilt. First a sense of shame, which is related to self and now the negative emotion of fear, related to the presence of God. Vital relationships have broken down. Before eating there was no fear of the appearance of the serpent. Fear was unknown because we know that love dispels fear and there was love between God and man:

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 3:18, 19).


1 One example of this to be found on the University of Birmingham website: Title: “Beyond the Rights & Wrongs of Abortion: Access as a Question of Reproductive Justice”. Just one short extract: “Specifically the workshop will address question of access to abortion services. This focus is important as it allows questions of ‘rightness’ and ‘wrongness’ to be marginalized and instead focuses on questions of access in situations where it has been decided that access to abortion is legitimate.” (highlighted text is not in the original)


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