We've been talking a lot about beauty this week. Beauty on the outside, beauty on the inside, the beauty of nature...even in the most ugly of circumstances, if you look hard enough, you will probably find some element of beauty within.
Beauty...the desire to BE beautiful and the desire to HAVE or POSSESS beauty can cause us great pleasure and great pain.
Adam and Eve had everything they could ever want...MUCH beauty around them, plenty of good food AND a personal relationship with God. They got to walk and talk with God...in person...seeing his face! It was God's original, perfect plan for his people.
So, if they had everything, why oh why did Eve eat that forbidden fruit??? It was partially because of the serpent's tempting words, but he didn't MAKE her take that bite.
* Hunger...the devil usually shows up when we are at our weakest...her tummy was growling and the fruit looked like it would satisfy her hunger.
* The tree and the fruit were BEAUTIFUL! they were inviting...they looked SO GOOD!
* She was promised wisdom and life if she ate it.
Eve knew it was wrong, but did it anyway. She liked it and wanted to share it with Adam. He also knew it was wrong, but did it anyway, probably for similar reasons as Eve.
Genesis 3:10 - "He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." Adam knew he had done wrong...he was afraid of God's punishment. The fruit did reveal the knowledge to him that he was naked and that was wrong. He hid from God to hide his nakedness and his shame.
Before the fruit...Adam and Eve were blessedly ignorant of shame...what a life not to know sin and shame! But, because they chose the fruit instead of obedience, we can understand the human condition.
Every person breathing is to some extent afraid and hiding. We are afraid of God's reaction to our sins...Even those of us who don't believe in God or sin deal with this issue down deep somewhere. Some of us try control our tendency to sin and try to control everyone else too...some of us are so depressed and desolate because we can't seem to get rid of our bad habits and sins that we just give up. Many of us fall somewhere in the middle between controlling and desolate about sins. Which way do you tend to go? Controlling and driven or desolate and needy?
Deep in our hearts, we long for the perfect Eden relationship with God again...we long to walk and talk with God again...we long to get rid of the fear, guilt and shame that our sins leave us with.
God knows why we do the things we do. He understand us. He longs for that Eden relationship too. It may not be perfect like Eden, but we can lean on God...talk to him...give our sins over to him...we can have a beautiful relationship with our creator and He will heal our fear and shame and help us learn to trust him down deep in our soul. All we have to do is ask and keep pursuing Him. He wants us to choose him and love him. He does and WILL return that love!