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Adam, did he fall or did he jump?
The reality of sin
I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about the story in Genesis about Adam in the garden and what really happened. How Adam fell from the position that he had with God and ended up in the state that we are in now.
I suppose that the thing that started me really thinking about it recently was a mate of mine who's going to heaven soon saying that sickness is a result of sin and when he gets to heaven he's looking forward to punching Adam on the nose for all the pain he caused by eating that fruit!
You know the sad part of it is that it needn't have happened! What would have happened if Adam had just said "no"?
We'll never know what the outcome would have been, but that doesn't mean we can't learn some things from the whole episode. We can always ask the question "what if?"
At first reading we often read that both Adam and Eve disobeyed God. But thinking about it recently I'm not 100% sure that's accurate.
You see God told Adam not to eat of the fruit, but it was Adam told Eve what God had said, the problem was partly that Adam didn't actually say what God had said, he exaggerated it and told her that God had said that they weren't to even touch it!
The Serpent (Satan) didn't have to try very hard from that point as Adam had unwittingly set Eve up to fail and fall. God hadn't said that at all, he'd said not to eat the fruit and Satan had every legal right to challenge what Adam had told Eve! As soon as Eve knew that the touching wasn't true how was she to know that the eating also wasn't true?
Genesis chapter three shows a command structure in play in that God has put man (Adam the male) in charge, with Eve having the role of support. It's Adam who gets the command not to eat the fruit, a command that he's to pass on faithfully but fails to do, the consequences are dire.
The first failure wasn't the eating the fruit but the not passing on the information that God had given Adam faithfully, it was that mistake that was to cost them dearly in the end.
Results of what Adam and Eve did
What's so important?
Many people see the story of the fall of Adam and Eve as being allegorical and while it didn't necessarily happen it has some important things to teach us. But in doing so they miss out on some important things.
The Bible isn't a straightforward history book, in fact there are times when it misses out whole periods of history as it has nothing to say to us about that period. The time after Adam and eve were put into the garden up until the time of the meeting with the serpent is one of those times, we literally don't know if it was a day after the creation, or a year or longer. We just don't know and we don't really need to know either, but the meeting with the serpent was and is vital for understanding the rest of the Bible.
We don't even really know what fruit it was the they ate. Our tradition says it was an apple but the pomegranate, the pear and citrus fruits have all at some time been labelled as the fruit, along with a host of others including mushrooms! Jewish tradition has it as being an Orange. The point was that Adam disobeyed God.
A Little lower than the Angels
"What is man that you're mindful of him. You made him a little lower than the Angels" That's what the Bible says about man. The Psalmist is almost astonished that God loves mankind so much that he actually takes care of him.
Adam had been created as God's viceroy on the Earth, the one who was to tend the creation and care for it as if it was his own. He was given the right to use everything on and in the Earth for his benefit (God never intended that Adam misuse and abuse that creation). Adam was given the right to name all the animals and in doing so God gave him authority over all of them, he was to be in charge under God, but that wasn't enough for Adam! He listened to the serpent, the proud and arrogant fallen Angel named Lucifer (Did he know what had happened with Lucifer and how he'd fallen from favor with God?) and actually believed that he could have more than what his creator had given him!
The consequences would be dire, and not just for Adam and Eve but for all of creation
Take a moment to listen
Everyone is affected by the fall, how has it affected you?
But that's not all
Thank God he didn't end things there, but he came up with a plan to bring man back to himself so that one day Men and Women can once again walk with him in Heaven.
God stepped in right after Adam and Eve ate the fruit. He came looking for them in the Garden. They knew they'd done wrong. What told them that? How did they suddenly know that it wasn't right to appear naked before their maker? Was it pride? or arrogance? Did they think that pretending it hadn't happened would be deception? Who knows.
What Adam didn't know (until it was too late) is that by listening to the serpent he had taken the authority that God had given him over all of creation and given that same authority over to the serpent (Satan). That's why the Bible can call Satan 'The god of this world' because Adam had handed over the authority that was meant for Adam to Lucifer who has had only one goal in mind. The Total destruction of all that God has made!
Judaism teaches that at that point God initiated a plan to bring at least part of humanity back to himself, he set out a framework in which in time a 'Messiah' would come and would deal with Adam's rebellion.
Islam teaches that the fall didn't necessarily cause all men to fall but it left Mankind weak and needing a set of Laws (Sharia) to keep in order to help him on the way. The only issue is that with both systems man can't keep the Laws and is still doomed to fail.
Both Judaism and Islam (and all the other religions except one) get round this by saying that it's all on a scale with good deeds and bad deeds and what follows is usually an elaborate system where if you follow them then there just might be a chance you could squeeze into heaven if God (or the Angel on heaven's door that day) feels like it! (I know I'm being a little cheeky but bear with me).
The one faith that doesn't say this (and I'm saying it's a faith and not a religion as in this way you only have to believe and don't actually have to do anything more than pray) is the way that Jesus of Nazareth showed us. Christianity also teaches that just like Judaism says God did initiate a plan that moment the fall took place, it was a plan that began that day with certain things put into place immediately that would see their fulfillment in time when the Messiah came but would be sufficient for all men and women. It would be very Jewish in it's flavor at the beginning but would branch out into all races of men and it would one day destroy the serpent and his insidious plan.
The fulfillment of that work happened in Jerusalem in the year AD 28 with the crucifixion of a Jewish Carpenter cum rabbi named whom we all know as Jesus of Nazareth, but the amazing thing is it didn't end there. Three days later he rose from the grave to show that the price he paid was enough for all of us.
Something to think about
God gave us a wonderful place to live here on Planet Earth. We have everything that we can ever need or want right here. Did you know that if we count all the insects and Birds there are over 800,000 species of animal on the planet (and we haven't found them all yet!) that doesn't include fish (We haven't yet made it to the bottom of the ocean and have no real idea how many undiscovered species of fish there are, not to mention other creatures that share the deep!)
God put man in charge of all these creatures to care for them How are we doing? If we had a report card from God it would almost certainly read "Could do better" and that's how we treat the animals and plants in our care , what about our brothers and sisters "In Adam" who are going through a tough time?
I know I've taken a strictly literal view of the Bible and the Genesis account (it's how I believe it) but one thing Genesis Chapters 1 to 3 teaches us is that we are responsible for life on Earth (all of it) God put us in charge to tend and care for everything in his creation. There are times when we'll blow and cause more problems than we'll solve but he knows that and he's got a plan to help us with it. He's got a plan to help us fix that which we've broken.
No matter what it is, a friendship, a relationship, even messing up his creation , he has a plan to fix it but we have to be willing to ask him for that help. God didn't leave Adam without hope (and the mess you and I make is nothing compared to the mess of things he made) and he won't leave you either. All you have to do is ask for that help
Jesus said "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" All you have to do is ask
What are your thoughts?
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