Wednesday, December 1, 2010

[thoughts during advent] he shall bruise your head...

    Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
    He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
    And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
    The LORD God said to the serpent,
    “Because you have done this,
        cursed are you above all livestock
        and above all beasts of the field;
    on your belly you shall go,
        and dust you shall eat
        all the days of your life.
     I will put enmity between you and the woman,
        and between your offspring and her offspring;
    he shall bruise your head,
        and you shall bruise his heel.”
 (Genesis 3:1-15 ESV)

this is familiar story for many of us.  we know that adam and eve messed up, ate the fruit and got kicked out of the garden of eden.  but there is much more to this story!  first, let’s look at the lie that was told to eve.  the serpent told her that she would not die, but that rather she would be like god.  he was telling her, “god doesn’t love you.  he is holding out on you.  just try it and you will see.  just a little.  it won’t hurt.” mind you, she was in PERFECT relationship with god.  she had everything!  but the fruit looked better, so she ate. and from that moment on, all of mankind has struggled with this same lie!  we want our autonomy and independence or something we feel god is withholding from us, so we sin and leave god.  we are all like adam and eve.  we have gone astray and sinned.  we have all either lived or desired to live independent of god because we have thought that something was better.

i love how the jesus storybook bible puts it, “in another story, it would all be over and that would have been THE END. but not in this story. god loved his children too much to let the story end there.  even though he knew he would suffer, god had a plan – a magnificent dream. one day, he would get his children back.  …one day god himself would come.” 

oh how he loves us!  as god is telling adam, eve and the serpent their punishments for this sin, he tells the serpent that someday, a child would come from a woman that would bruise/crush his head!  this is the first we hear of the gospel!  the promise of a deliverer! a child that we know years later would be born in a manger, live a perfect life, empathize with our weaknesses, die on the cross, and rise again as he took and defeated the punishment we deserved!!!

we have hope because we know this deliverer!  i would encourage you to take some time this week to confess and repent, maybe even fast.  spend time confessing your sin and dwelling on the god that does not leave us even though we have left him. i think it will do wonders for your heart in as we prepare to celebrate christ's birth this year.

if you have kids, or even if you don't have kids, i would highly recommend reading "the terrible lie" from the jesus storybook bible. sally lloyd-jones essentially says the same things i have said here, but much more eloquently.

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