Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eve: What Lies Did She Believe, and What Grace Did She Receive?

I meant to say this when I started writing last... but that post turned into more background and big-picture Biblical Theology. I also wanted to share one of the particular stories that I've been chewing on this week. We took two weeks to look at Eve...since, after all... she WAS the first woman... ever. :) Pretty monumental. The first week we looked at her as God intended her to be-- an image of Himself, a little mirror reflecting His glory as she helped Adam & others, cared for Creation, and brought beauty & order into God's Kingdom. This past week, we tackled the Fall. For some reason that is just a facsinating story for every child to whom I've ever told it. I guess because we can all identify with it. We fall every day, and we long for something better. That story tells us why, and what we are longing for without even knowing it!

In teaching, I wanted to ask "what exactly was Eve believing when she bit that fruit?" There's a lot of sermons and songs and poetry out there on this topic, most of them far more profound and poetic than what I'm about to say, but nevertheless here is what I've observed:

Three lies:
1. "You will not surely die." (Gen. 3:4)-- Sin won't hurt me. Whoah! How many times is this Satan's first attack on MY defenses, too? This extra cookie won't hurt me (gluttony). This exaggeration won't hurt me (lying). One more minute won't hurt me (laziness). Etc.

2. "God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened”(Gen 3:5)-- God is holding out on you! What made the Garden of Eden paradise wasn't just the absence of pain or death. It wasn't the perfect climate, ultimate safety & comfort, nor harmony within all Creation. Those all came out of mankind being properly ordered under God. Eden was Paradise because man walked with God! Adam & Eve got to BE WITH GOD! They knew Him perfectly! As Michael Card sings so rightly, "to know Him is paradise." So what's the heart of this lie? There is something better than being in fellowship with God. And that IS a lie: nothing is better than God.

3. "You will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Gen 3:5)-- You should be the Boss. Oh yeah, see this one so blatently in my kids... and... in... myself. What's the #1 reason I sin? Because I'm trying to control a situation I don't like. Reason # 2? Because I'm frustrated that I'm NOT controlling the situation I'm not liking. The first leads to sins like lying, manipulation, pouting, scheming, gossip; the second to sins like expressions of temper, short unkind words, hatred, over-eating. What's the root of all these sins? Pride. Idolatry of self. There's a reason God started off His Moral Law, which shows us our sin (Rom 7:7), with "You shall not have any gods besides Me." (Exodus 20:3) We all have at least one built-in idol: the unholy trinity of me, myself & I.

And a "duh" moment that is so powerful to me: Satan ALWAYS lies!

So those, dear friends, are the fundamental Lies. Arm yourselves against them! How? By putting on the Armor of God, which is actively knowing Christ.

What Grace did Eve receive amidst all her sin? God held out the promise of Truth-- of the Word Incarnate-- amidst the shambles of her lies. He clothed his figleaf-clad children in the skin of an animal; the first death in that young world, and a picture of our Passover Lamb: Jesus Christ.
"I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your Offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel.” (Gen 3:15- the Protoevangelion) God promises here to establish a faithful line, always at war with the line, the family, of Satan, the Evil One. Here God promises a Faithful One who will come of that line, and save that line. That Promised One was Jesus.

I urge you, dear friends, take refuge from the lies of our Enemy the Devil in the Promised One, Jesus. He has crushed the Serpent's head and made atonement for all the times we believed the lies. He has come to be the Truth, the Way back to Paradise-- back to our Father.

I pray I see you there one day!

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