I thought I understood the book of Genesis. After all, I grew up in church. I have been attending since I was in the womb! God has a way of humbling me when I think I know it all, though. At my church, we’ve been going through “God of Creation” by Jen Wilkin in our Friday morning Bible study, and my, oh my! How much I didn’t know!
At the end of each week’s study, we discuss what we learned about God from the passage. I’m making a list to help me remember what each chapter is about. The first three are easy to remember, because they are some of the first we learn.
In Genesis 1, we see God as Creator, and in Genesis 2, we see that God is a loving and personal God.
Genesis 3 comes along, and we often know it as “The Fall of Man,” which is true. Now however, I see it a little bit differently in view of who God is. We see God’s justice towards sin.
Adam and Eve sinned and the punishment was great. There was a price to be paid for sin. No longer could Adam and Eve live in the garden. Life would be different forevermore. The sin of our first parents have affected every generation thereafter.
There was the first sacrifice. He clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins and drove them out of the garden. I often wonder if that was difficult for God to do. There are times it is hard to discipline/punish my own children for their disobedience.
All of this makes me think of my desire to see justice served.
It is my black-and-white, no gray mentality. However, I realized it’s easy to read about sin, study the why’s behind it, the deceit of the enemy, and point our finger at someone else. Right? We easily and quickly see it in those around us and are slow to examine our own lives. We say, “Why did Eve do it?” instead of asking, “Why do I do it?”
I sin, when I believe God is holding out on me.
I sin, when I start to doubt what God says.
I sin, when I diminish the consequences and believe I’m an exception to the rule.
I sin, when I fix my eyes on anything other than Christ because my desires turn inward to the flesh.
And I take people with me.
Just like Eve did. She was tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, just like we all are. She fixed her eyes on the forbidden fruit, ate, and shared it. Adam could have said no, I get that. But he didn’t.
We often drag people into our sin or don’t consider the ripple effect it will have on those around us.
As I studied, the desire for justice in me was quickly squashed with one question, “Do I want God’s justice served as quickly to me as I do those around me?”
My sin is no better or worse than the next person. Yet, God loves me enough to discipline me. When He says to me, “Gail, where are you?” am I going to take the opportunity of His kindness to confess and repent? He already knows. I might be able to fool those around me, but I cannot fool God.
God is love, absolutely, but He is also just. We see in Genesis 3 even as He serves justice, His love is still right there beside it. He clothed Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness and shame. Yet, there were still consequences. He had to drive them out of the garden. They knew what had been lost.
Do we? Do we know what we are losing when we go against God?
This study has truly renewed a fear of the Lord in me — a reverential fear. He is God, and the more I know Him, the more I see the distance between who I am and who I’m called to be.
But I’m not without hope.
I see His love for me in the sending of His Son, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, and even in His justice. My sin is ever before me, and I know He disciplines me because He loves me. Even though it hurts, there is something comforting about it. He wants me to be conformed to the image of His Son.
Holiness is a high call, but that is what we are after. My desire is to know God more, hate the sin in my own life, confess and repent, and walk in holiness.
Who knew God could show me all of that in one chapter of Genesis?