Tag Archives: Genesis 3

Rebellion and Love

Why do we do the stupid things we do? Why would Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden? Why do I continue to trust in my own abilities and not God’s direction and commands?

“Woman gives her man to eat” by Lucile Butel, 1989

I ask those questions whenever I read Genesis 3, the story of Adam’s and Eve’s choice to disobey God. The story is often called “The Fall” since it describes humanity’s fall from God’s loving, eternal presence, yet I prefer the title “The Rebellion” since it is our human tendency to rebel against God’s commands. We rebel when we place ourselves in the center of our lives, and not God. We listen to the crafty voice of the serpent that says “you will not die, but will find pleasure, riches, knowledge, significance, or fame” if we yield to our own temptations. The story of Adam and Eve’s rebellion is our story of rebellion; our human choice to sin. And if we try to blame anyone or anything else, we are only echoing their response when God confronted them afterwards. Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:11-13).

The Bible introduces sin and brokenness as an essential piece of our humanity. Though the biblical story begins with humanity created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), the image is quickly twist and stained by our rebellion. The next eight chapters of Genesis highlights how the infection of sin penetrates all of life: Cain murders Able, The Flood, and the Tower of Babel. Each story hammering home the sinful quality of humanity.

You Will Be A Blessing by David Hetland

Yet each story also shows elements of God’s mercy and grace. After Adam and Eve rebel, God provides them with animal skins for clothing. After Cain murders his brother, God provides a place of sanctuary for him. As God contemplates destroying the sinful world with a flood (Genesis 6), God provides a new beginning through Noah and his family. And after God scatters the people when they build the idolatrous Tower of Babel, God selects Abraham to become a blessing to all people (Genesis 12).

Even our rebellion will not stop God from loving us.

Lord Jesus, have mercy upon us.

The Rebellion

When I read the first few chapters of the Bible, I am always struck as to how quickly everything slides from being GOOD to being BAD.  Declaring all creation to be “very  good” in chapter one and creating beautiful garden of paradise for Man and Woman in chapter two, the Bible provides us a glimpse into creation as God intended it to be: beautiful, balanced, and harmonious.

But the creation (and especially the human creatures) do not remain in harmony.  Man and Woman, Adam and Eve, choose to disobey God. The story in Genesis 3 is often called “The Fall”, because humanity “fell” out of God’s favor, but I prefer to call it “The Rebellion” because they rebelled against God’s order and design.  The Fall sounds accidental or unintended.  Their rebellion is not an isolated historical oddity.  It is a deliberate act., a rebellion in which we all participate.

We have all decided to go our own way and leave God’s chosen path.  We each do it in unique ways, but at the root of it all, we rebel against God being God.

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Our rebellion is our sinful desire to be little gods.  Genesis 3-11 show how the human rebellion grow as Cain kills Abel (Genesis 4) and wickedness permeates all humankind (Genesis 6:5).

Yet there is good news in these chapters as God always provided for God’s children even during the rebellion.  God provided animal skins to clothe Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).  God provided protection for Cain (Genesis 4:15) and an ark for Noah (Genesis 6:13-14).  Ultimately God chose Abraham to be the pioneer in God’s restoration (Genesis 12:3).  Through Abraham, a savior would come to save us from our Rebellion.

How do you rebel against God?  How has God continued to reach out to you?

Lord Jesus, forgive me of my sin and restore me to the Vibrant Life of faith in you.