The creation story was opened up to me in a new way this week. In particular, the very source of original sin; the fruit … the tree. In my life, I’ve pondered how Adam and Eve were suddenly shamed by their naked bodies. I’ve tried to imagine the fear they felt as they hid from God. I’ve lived through the curse of painful childbirth … twice. But up until this week I hadn’t given the name of the tree as much weight as I should have. I don’t know how I could have missed this, or how in the 32 years of my life (on and off) in the church this has never been exposed in a more deliberate manner.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
This fruit gave them wisdom to [believe they could] know between light and dark. The incite to [think they could] see what was right and wrong. The [in]ability to lean on their own understanding of sinful nature. Adam and Eve literally ate the obsession to bring justice. They tasted shame, fear, and judgment. It wasn’t just Adam and Eve though; we are still eating the fruit. We are ignoring the origination of sin … taking it upon ourselves to play God, to determine, to decide another’s fate. We have pridefully had the audacity to pretend to know another’s heart condition.
The first thing our gentle, loving creator asked of us was to leave this in His hands. He knew – as He still knows – that when we feebly attempt to pass judgment, the result will always be the same …. our own further separation from Him. And worse still, the separation of God from others. Those people that we should be directing towards Him, not leading away.
Who have I steered away from God? Who have I led astray because I felt complied to determine their shortcomings? Upon understanding the depths of this truth, what must it feel like to be a priest in a confession booth … determining the weight of each and every sin, then handing out the answer for forgiveness? How could a Christian resist repentance in the light of this? What actions have I taken part in that may have drove others away? All due to selfish fear, pride, and this fruit; this fruit which leads to the [mis]understanding that we know what only God can fully know?
Lord, help me to avoid ignoring your first request of us. A request made out of Truth, out of love, and out of sympathy for our weak minds. Open my eyes to see when I fall into the sin of desiring to judge another’s life. Allow the Holy Spirit to refine the sin in my own life. And give us all the faith to let the Spirit refine sin in the hearts of others as You see fit.
The tree represents the only question that matters. Are we good or evil? Thankfully God already judged in Gen 1:31. The problem is then coming to the same conclusion.
Great thought, thank you Jonathan!