Here at Newberry College, we sponsor series of devotionals during the seasons of Advent and Lent. The installments are written by faculty, staff, alumni, students, and/or friends of the college. Typically, the devotional takes the form of an assigned passage of Scripture, followed by a brief reflection and a prayer. I wrote the devotionals for today and next Monday and Tuesday.
Gen. 3: 1-6 (KJV)
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Some years ago, I read a statement that we can never make a society so perfect that we don’t have to try to be good. Our text today confirms that. Adam and Eve are placed in a literal paradise, where all their needs are met and their comfort and happiness seem absolute. They only have to follow a single rule. What could be easier?
But we know even this is too difficult. Eve and then Adam decide that the world God has given them is not enough, and in seeking more, they forfeit all they have, even their lives.
If this were the end of the story, our lives would be both tragic and futile. During this Lenten season, we should reflect on the choices that would lead us that way, even as we are grateful that this is not the story’s end.
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we believe that we can improve on the gifts You have given us, and when we would replace Your wisdom with ours. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.