Read: Genesis 2:15-3:24
The fall of humanity and the breaking and distortion of the good and ordered creation that God craftily designed reveals the greatest struggles that take place in the heart of humanity: power, autonomy, and control; in essence, we want to be like God. It is in this story of tragedy and brokenness that two new “characters” come onto the scene of the Gospel story. We have the serpent, that we would now characterize as Satan, who enters as the foil to God, the main character, and shows to be manipulative, seeking destruction, and desiring division. However, the serpent doesn’t go directly against God but rather targets God’s greatest and most cherished creation: humanity.
It is important to note how the serpent interacts with humanity that ultimately leads to the fall. The serpent is not coercive, it does not force Adam and Eve to make the decision but calls into question the motives, truthfulness and trustworthiness of God. So, while not coercive, it is manipulative and this manipulation leads Adam and Eve to draw their own conclusions, all while warping their view, reality, and relationship with God. They might have thought something like, “What if God really doesn’t have our best interest in mind?” So, they took and ate so that they might be able to determine for themselves what is good and evil rather than trusting God with that. This manipulation will be a theme throughout the story of how Satan interacts with humanity and thus contrasts with how God desires to interact with his creation.
The other “character” that is introduced is simply foreshadowed. This foreshadowing displays the character of the God we saw last week. One that desires a relationship with his creation so much so that he doesn’t let the story of their fall come to a close without revealing that there is already a plan in place to crush the head of the manipulator and to mend the relationship. And so while Jesus enters into the story through foreshadowing, we also learn later that he has been there the entire time, and becomes the hope for humanity: that someone will come to defeat the serpent who caused the death, destruction, and division of the beloved creation of God, you and me.
Jesus, we are grateful that even at our greatest moment of weakness you were already in motion to save us. You did not let a moment pass without a plan and direction on how you were going to remain close to us. Help us to rest in the hope that you relentlessly seek to be close to us.
- What is one thing that stood out to you in this passage?
- Why is it key to the story that the serpent manipulated Adam and Eve rather than coercing them?
- How do we fall into similar traps of questioning the motive and trustworthiness of God?
- What actions or thoughts might we do or have that calls into question the truthfulness of God?
- Where can you see God’s mercy at work in this story?
- Where can you see God’s mercy at work in your life?