Read His Words Before Ours!
“The grasses sang together, the dew’s drops harmonized, and the whir of insect wings melodically magnified the rhythmic sway of undiluted, adoring praise to the Maker.”
Eve’s melodic words flowed quickly as she remembered. “We were blissfully free, although we didn’t understand this exquisite gift of Presence we so innocently enjoyed. Our feet danced to the cadence of the lilting music with every movement. Oh how I loved to talk with the wiggling worms and listen to the trees laugh in the breeze!”
Eve laughed, and the rich hues of deep mirth beckoned to all who heard. “Everything held abundant life, or was upheld by it.”
She shook her head at the still-unfathomable mystery. “Every being was sustained by the Indescribable wonder of the Maker Himself. His beauty was reflected in every pool of shimmering water, every star’s arching song over the curve of the earth, and every baying creature’s unique sound. As the sun-warmed grass welcomed our dancing feet, even our work felt like playful delight as we cared for the earth and the animals. Adam and I…”
Eve sighed longingly as she remembered Great-Grandfather. “How perfectly we fit together, not just bodies and hands, but purpose and . . . ” she stumbled for a word and landed on, “… joy. How wondrous it was to join, with him, creation’s worship of Yahweh.”
Eve never tired of telling the wonder of that delight before…
I wiggled in spite of myself, thinking of what was to come. I’d heard my great-grandmother tell her tale a hundred times, and though I loved it more with every re-telling, the familiar ending always sent my heart plummeting.
Would the Maker cast me out as well?
Did He know the way I pouted behind my mother’s back and how I kicked my little brother?
Could I hide from Yahweh better than Great-Grandmother?
“Tell us about the two trees!” Kenan’s excited voice rose above the murmur of the children encircling Eve’s dusky fire. I elbowed him, preferring to linger on Eden’s perfection. I wanted nothing to do with the two trees and all they meant. Couldn’t Kenan understand how they tarnished him, too?
Still, Great-Grandmother’s voice rang out like crystal waters and I was immersed again as she spoke of the wide clearing of lush green grasses carpeting the warm earth at the base of the two trees. “Life and Death were set before us every day in the Garden, my children. Every day, we had the choice to eat of the Tree of Life and live forever with Yahweh in bliss; Abba never forbade it.” (Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17)
“But you didn’t choose Life! You chose DEATH.” Kenan clamored again; I couldn’t help but kick him in the shin. Why did he press so? He scowled at me, rubbing his bruise, and Eve pretended not to notice.
“You’re right, Kenan,” Eve continued, her free-falling tears belying her lilting smile. “We did choose death. That day, when Adam and I walked through the Garden, I felt a slippery snake sneak up beside me.
“Through his questions, I suddenly saw the two trees differently.
I asked myself, ‘Had Yahweh been holding out on us? Would we experience greater goodness if we disobeyed Him? What if He wasn’t wholly as good as He’d led us to believe?’”
“But He was wholly good, wasn’t He?” I was surprised to hear my own quiet voice, and to taste salt on my lips from tears matching Great-Grandmother Eve’s. Her gaze caught mine with tenderness, and she nodded, sensing I had suddenly grasped something new and rich.
“Yes. The Maker’s intent was only always, and still is yet, wholly good. Even as Adam and I ate the forbidden fruit and chose rebellion over the supreme goodness of knowing Yahweh and walking with Him, even then He was good.” She leaned forward and wiped my tears with her crooked fingers, and in a whisper that sounded like dew drops, “He Still Is.”
It was then, in the ending I loathed, that sobs shook my small frame.
Not in sorrow, but in worship.
Yahweh’s goodness banished Adam and Eve from the Garden.
What if–lost and condemned in their sin–they had then eaten from the Tree of Life and lived forever, separated from God?! What loathsome punishment! What horror–a literal hell on earth.
Instead, He banished them because He was good. Even tucked inside His curse was hidden Hope, for one day the Serpent Crusher would come to win Victory over his Death. (Genesis 3:15)
No, I was no better than Great-Grandmother Eve.
Again and again, I enacted my slavery to sin and earned death. (Romans 6:16-23)
And yet, even as my life pointed unswervingly to death, Yahweh was wholly good.
He’d given me a body to move in and air to breathe and food to eat and the beauty of the afternoon sun’s slant and the joy of friendship.
Yes, sin’s curse held us captive, but Yahweh held our victory, and our hope.
One day, the Serpent Crusher would walk among us and die for us and rise again, breaking the curse and restoring us to His Presence, now and for eternity.
“But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification–and the outcome is eternal life!” (Romans 6:22)
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!