|Gustave Doré, Adam and Eve hiding from God|
This is the scene when God comes calling and Adam and Eve hide from Him. I almost could laugh at the whole "blame game" they play, pointing fingers at everyone but refusing to take any personal responsibility. No one even says they are sorry at all. However, it is too serious to laugh at because this doesn't just affect them but all of us, which is still how it is when we sin today. Also, just as today, is the fact that God already knows what they have done. He is giving them a chance to redeem themselves by confessing their sins. He doesn't need their confession. It is for their benefit. What a shame that they didn't take advantage of that chance. Even today we fall into the same trap. I think that is why Reconciliation is such a wonderful sacrament. There is nothing so wonderful as being able to face up to your sins, confession and being forgiven, as well as being strengthened for future struggles against temptation.
The surprise for me in this segment of study was realizing that when God tells how the devil will be defeated, He is deliberately choosing the most ignominious way to do it. What could be worse than knowing you will be put in the power of those you despise as the devil does humans? This is when we see what is a major theme of Genesis: God does His work through reversals.
... a battle already existed in the rebellion of Satan against God. The difference now is that God is gong to extend the battle to include the human beings. Initially, the humans had been targets of the devil's wrath against God. But now God is going to enlist the humans on His side. Could the serpent have possibly imagined this incredible twist? It is the first great reversal in the story of man. From this point on, reversal will be the underlying theme of our human history. Pause now to think carefully about this. However we come to understand ourselves and our world, we must get this one truth firmly in place — God does His work through reversals.This series first ran in 2004 and 2005. I'm refreshing it as I go. For links to the whole study, go to the Genesis Index. For more about the resources used, go here.
Remember the contempt for the humans that filled the serpent, infusing that deadly conversation he began with Eve? The devil despised Adam and Eve. They must have looked like such dupes to him. He decided he would strike out at God by striking out at them. He made patsies of them in short order. They appeared to be weak links in the chain. So, when God announces that the serpent, as his punishment, will face a battle with human creatures, the woman and her seed, in which he will be defeated, it is a crushing, mortal blow to his pride and arrogance. We need to linger long enough to let it really sink in. Whatever the devil attempted to rob from humanity — our life, our dignity, our exalted position in God's family-is more than made up for in the punishment meted out to him. God will vanquish His enemy through human beings!