Last Sunday I finished a series of five sermons on the Image of God and what being made in His image means to each of us. I’m happy to report that by all accounts, it was a success. In this series I used my blog series on the subject from last February as a guide as I went along, but of course, I had to leave a great deal of material out for the sermon series because of the constraints of time.
As I was going through this series once again, something struck me this time that I hadn’t emphasized last year, and I thought I’d share it with you now…
Do you recall the story back in Genesis chapter three of the Fall? Here, let me help you recall how it went:
Imagine that you are in the Garden of Eden. Relax, block everything else out and try to see the scene in your mind’s eye. The air is warm; you can hear the rustle of the leaves as the breeze moves through the Garden. Oh my, how green everything is! And yes, all over the place are the amazing colors of God’s brush in all of those flowers, why they are so amazing… simply out of this world… and the aroma of their perfume is almost dreamlike. As we move near the center of the Garden we can see Eve near those two trees that God planted there. Look she’s talking with someone, someone kind of funny looking, why he looks kind of serpentine, don’t you think?
The funny looking guy says, “Hey Eve is it true that God told you that you can’t eat the fruit from any of these trees?”
“No, of course not! God said we could eat the fruit from all of the trees in the Garden, save this one here. If we eat it, or even touch it, we will surely die.”
“Oh please, you will not surely die! God just doesn’t want you to eat that fruit because He knows that if you do, you will be just like Him, knowing good and evil.”
Eve hesitates. She looks the fruit; she looks at that funny looking guy, and then she grabs a piece of fruit… from the Tree of Life… takes a big bite, smacks her lips and begins to sing…
Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back
No more. No more. No more. No more.
Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more
Of course, that isn’t quite the way Genesis tells the story, is it?
Why didn’t she do this? Where is it written that she couldn’t have done it this way?
She could have done the right thing, and moments later, Adam also could have done the right thing, but neither of them did. Just think how God would have been glorified if they had eaten the right fruit!!
Think about it carefully…
The choice they had to make on that fateful day was not between following God’s instructions or not following them; it wasn’t between sinning and not sinning.
The choice they made that day was between glorifying God and glorifying themselves, in this case, becoming just like God. They chose to glorify themselves, and the result was disaster.
I wonder… I ponder… I consider and cogitate…
Should I even write this…?
What do you suppose would happen in the lives of people everywhere if we stopped thinking in transactional terms, in terms of following rules or breaking them, and simply asked ourselves whether or not we wanted to glorify God or ourselves when faced with a moral dilemma?