First Sunday in Lent
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7:
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’ Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ 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 middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ‘ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not 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 loincloths for themselves.
Summary – This portion of Genesis explains the fall. Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Over and over in scripture the pattern of this fall would play out with endless choices. The process of temptation also will be repeated. The woman beholds the fruit and it is pleasing to see; she has a desire to consume it and there is the craving of power it will give to her. John would say in his epistle the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life. But this action was directly in contradiction to God’s word. It was a violation of that simple law. They could not fathom the results and consequences of that primordial sin. Eve was seduced into the sun by the serpent and was misled. She was deceived to do this, intending good. For interesting analysis of this, read Peralandra by CS Lewis. But this passage also makes clear that Adam’s choice to eat this forbidden fruit was not a matter of deception nor misunderstanding, he directly disobeyed what he knew from the word of God.
Insight – So much could be said regarding this passage and has been. I only want to draw out one thematic thread. As we enter the Lenten season we are to be reminded that Jesus faced temptation in the wilderness. And if we study these temptations and compare them with the first temptation with Eve, we do find an interesting parallel. First notice that Jesus was actually to receive the very things that he was being tempted with. He was to receive the kingdoms of the world; he was to have the bread and physical sustenance: he was to have the worship of his people. The temptation was in receiving it from the hand of Satan and especially by not receiving it as a result of the cross. It was Christ’s humility and willingness to suffer that made it possible for him to receive the name above every name in every knee bow down (Philippians ). And in the case of Adam and Eve and the knowledge of good and evil, they were also to eat of this fruit in due time. They were to grow up to maturity and go through a trial of obedience and testing, overcoming the temptation and at some point God would have given them in their maturity the fruit of this tree.
Today we should remember that God is good. All of our desires and needs he will fill in the right way and in the right time, if we seek him and patiently wait for his fulfillment.
Child’s catechism – How did our parents fall into sin in the garden? Our parents fell into sin by impatiently eating the forbidden fruit.
Discussion – What is something you are tempted to be impatient about, which you also know, if you were faithful and patient you would receive in God’s way and in His time?
Prayer – Our Father, we thank you for your generous provision for us in all things and especially through our Lord Jesus Christ. Grant that we may be patient in seeing your goodness and hopeful in receiving your promised blessings. Give to us the strength to endure temptations by revealing your goodness. In our Lord Jesus Christ’s name we pray, Amen.