Genesis 1:26-28 says, "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Genesis 3:1-4 says, "Now the serpentwas more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" The woman said the serpent "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.' " The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!"
The Lure of Sin
I don't know about you, but this weekend's sermon was on task with what surrounds us in the culture today and the view of sex, marriage and most things that we hold as near and dear. I was struck with an impression this weekend as Pastor John recounted the Genesis story and the creation of man and woman. With any sin that we experience, through temptation or participation, and whether we are attached to something on an emotional, spiritual or mental level, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if "we see" something exampled in front of us, we will have a tendency to be be more apt to try it. For example, older peers show younger kids that smoking really isn't that bad, especially since nothing happens right at that particular moment. We know that sickness and death can come later when smoking one or two times is no longer enough! When a man or a woman decides to indulge in an emotional connection with a person not their spouse, nothing fatal really happens at that moment in time, but eventually darkness is at the door of a heart. The same thought holds true with just about every temptation that comes before us: if it is exampled, there is a better chance that we might participate once, twice or slide into addiction and darkness.
Created to Image
In the above sections of Scripture, we read that we are made in the image of the Triune God and we were blessed and given a job to accomplish. All was complete and everything was in place. Nothing was growing yet, nothing had spouted and there was no rain, until the Lord misted the earth and caused things to grow and included man and woman to work with and for creation.
The instructions as you can read were "not to eat," or death would occur. Interesting note here as I feel certain that death had not yet been witnessed, so I wonder about their reference point to such? Could it be a physical death or a death, meaning separation from God which leads to death as we now know it? Either way, it will be the reference of Gen. 3:1-4 that I wish to concentrate my thoughts; as I have shared before, many times we think that if we were standing at that tree, being told of consequences prior to partaking, maybe we would not have taken and eaten the fruit that leads to death? But imagine this, the whole downfall begins when the conversation even starts with the serpent. "And he said to the woman...." - and there you have it! Sin does it's beckoning, and though temptation is not a sin, the slope is so slippery that few are able to endure the downward spiral. The sin talk begins before the actual participation! There is always some measure of truth behind every lie. We then answer back with a some truth...as God never said anything about "touching" the fruit, he only said not to eat it. So confusion is the master of disguise: "The serpent said to the woman, "you surely will not die!" If her reference point was either instant death or a slow death, I picture the serpent holding up a piece of fruit in front of Eve (as with all sin) and showing her that indeed "look, I am indulging, and nothing is happening to me, so really....you think you're going to die?". When the talking begins, in our head, on line or with a real person or event, know this...I Corinthians 10:13 is the answer to the age old problem of temptation: HE WILL PROVIDE THE WAY!