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Monday, January 10, 2011

Genesis 3:1-6; The Power and Pattern of Satan's Subtilty; God: "Infinitely Good"? Or "Infinitely Gruesome"?

My first inclinations in reading this chapter this time around are that my questions about The Fall and how exactly it happened, why, what it means, etc. seem to outweigh anything else. I've been thinking/praying about it the past few days, though, and put together with what I do know and have been taught prior, here's what I've brought together so far.

A premises:

If Genesis 2 is about the Physical formation of what was created Spiritually in Genesis 1, perhaps Genesis 3 and the "allegory" of the fall is something similar. Perhaps it is a Physical Parable given to us to help us understand the Spiritual Reality of what happened once Human Life was placed upon this planet.

A Thought to support this premesis:

  • Those with Biblical knowledge Know It was Satan who tempted Eve, not a serpent. Does this mean that Satan used his power as Prince of this World to posses a snake and thus tempt Eve? Perhaps so. Could it also though, be a Physical symbol given to us as a representation of Satan and his abilities? -Christ talked in parables All the time in the New Testament. Perhaps the story of The Fall was His very first parable.
 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. [...]
The story of the Life of Man on Earth opens with the Very first sentence telling us that "the serpent" was more subtil than any beast which the Lord God had made. -What a testimony to His power!

He is Less than Adam and Eve in the fact that he does not have a physical body, but He is more subtil than any beast of the field. In other words This serpent is much more than just a serpent. This serpent has the Reason of man, but whether literally or allegorically, takes on the form of a snake.

The next verses go on to further explain "the serpent's" subtilty;

The first thing out of Satan's mouth is an Attempt at Reaching Over God's authority and God's WORD (Big Surprise there- Isn't this why he Fell from Heaven in the first place?), and trying to make it look like God said something that He didn't; That God has Given them No Rules; But Only Free Reign;

1 [...] And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
But Eve doesn't fall for it. Eve Remembers the Word of God,

 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Darn! She remembered!     Plan B...

"4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

And in case you didn't catch it there, Plan B was this: 
1. Lie. ("Ye shall not surely die")
2. Never Lie without Also including a very closely tied Truth along with it (vs. 5).

Okay, so then we move onto verse 6, which I'm going to break apart to help illustrate my point:

"And when the woman

(1.) saw that the tree was good for food,

and (2.) that it was pleasant to the eyes,

and (3.) a tree to be desired to make one wise,

[THEN] she (4.) took of the fruit thereof,

and (5.) did eat,

and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

 This can be used as a pattern of how Satan tempts each of us in this life,

(1.) Eve sees that the tree was good for Some other purpose than what God had Spoken. Food is a good thing, it nourishes us and strengthens us and so on, but it Does not matter how Good a thing Something is for our own purpose IF it goes against The Word of God and His purpose.

(2.) Not Only is this fruit "good" for her in her own purpose, [rationality in her mind] but it Also Pleases her eyes.

(3.) Not ONLY does it Please her eyes, but it is Also desirable to her Own Purpose [to make her wise] - (both coupled together= LUST! )

Well, now that it's okay for her to eat it because it is good for her own purpose, is pleasing both to her eyes and her desires (lusts), She (4.) "takes of" it- accepts it into her life.

Once she has justified her actions, the fruit has become an object of lust, AND has been accepted it into her life, she Then (5.) Defies the commandment of the Lord, and "eats of it". 

Up to (5.) Eve had not yet defied the commandment of the Lord.  Steps 1 through 4 were Not Bad in Themselves; perhaps the tree was 'good' for food all along, but that Never before to her outweighed the goodness of God's command not to eat of it, I am sure the tree was Beautiful and Quite pleasing to the eye all along as well, but it was So in Purity- not in justification of it as an object of lust.. and So on down the list..  It is The End Purpose of THOUGHT in her mind that leads to the End result of disobeying God.

And, All of this takes place in the Garden of Eden, in man's "innocence", BEFORE the fall! How much More Power then, Now, After Years and Years of Fallenness must Satan have to tempt us in similar ways, with this Same Pattern!

So, Adam now faces a conundrum in Keeping the two commandments of the Lord, 1. "Cleave unto your wife and multiply and replenish the earth" 2. "Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, lest ye die."

 Faced with this conundrum, Adam chooses The consequence of partaking of the fruit and "dying" Over being separated from Eve and not being able to bring to earthly form "all the hosts of heaven" which had already been Spiritually created in Genesis 1. 

Adam is not beguiled; Adam acts in Full knowledge of the consequences of each decision, and He decides, perhaps with the help of his wife's now "Opened" eyes?, which is the Better option of the two. (Though, I am myself wondering right now, why the option of Calling upon God for His assistance in the matter Never occurred to him).

Okay, okay, so that's All well and Good, but What Kind of Omniscient, Omnipotent God gives two conflicting commandments like that to children who He "loves"? And especially with such dire consequences!

                               Wendell P. Bloyd

THEY first charged me with disorderly conduct,
There being no statute on blasphemy.
Later they locked me up as insane
Where I was beaten to death by a Catholic guard.
My offense was this:        
I said God lied to Adam, and destined him
To lead the life of a fool,
Ignorant that there is evil in the world as well as good.
And when Adam outwitted God by eating the apple
And saw through the lie, 
God drove him out of Eden to keep him from taking
The fruit of immortal life.
For Christ’s sake, you sensible people,
Here’s what God Himself says about it in the book of Genesis:
“And the Lord God said, behold the man 
Is become as one of us” (a little envy, you see),
“To know good and evil” (The all-is-good lie exposed):
“And now lest he put forth his hand and take
Also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever:
Therefore the Lord God sent Him forth from the garden of Eden.” 
(The reason I believe God crucified His Own Son
To get out of the wretched tangle is, because it sounds just like Him.)
(Edgar Lee Masters, "Wendell P. Bloyd", Spoon River Anthology, 1915.)

I would be apt to say, along with C.S. Lewis in his defense of Christ, that there is no middle ground on the Doctrine of the Fall, either.   Either you must believe as does Masters' "Wendell P. Bloyd" That God is That Cruel towards the Human Family, or Else you must believe that He is the Exact Converse of That Cruelty in Love towards the Human Family instead. But you cannot, in light of the Instance of the coming about of the Fall, in Any way assert that God is ambivalent towards us; unless of course you are discounting the Entire Story of the Fall, and thus the Bible altogether.

So let's you and I both let that brew for a while- Is God's conflicting commandment an evidence of His outright Cruelty towards us? Or is it an evidence of His outright Love?, 

and Let's take what we Find with us into the Remaining 2/3rds of the Chapter next time I post. :).

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