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While I was reading over all of this it occurred to me how naive and trusting they were. After all they had no knowledge or understanding of evil. All they had ever experienced was a loving and caring God who was taking care of them and looking out for their best interest. They had no concept of deceit and betrayal. I doubt that it ever occurred to Eve that the serpent was laying a trap for her.
Adam and Eve paid a high price for the knowledge of good and evil. Through their disobedience, sin and death entered into the world when they ate of the fruit, and because they now had sin in their lives God could no longer walk with them face to face. They experienced a spiritual death/disconnect from God first, and then a physical death at the end of their lives. When they experienced that first spiritual disconnect from God they no longer had that intimate relationship with God that they once had. Atonement for their sins, and for all who would come after them, now had to be made. God had to make a way for us to gain back our spiritual lives in Him. We see signs of the first animal sacrifice in Genesis 3:21”Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them”. God had to first kill the animals in order to make the clothes. After this point in the Old Testament we see animal sacrifices as a way to seek redemption for our sins. However, it’s not until the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ do we receive God’s perfect plan for forgiveness of our sins, and to be fully reconciled with a Holy God. Ever since sin and death entered into the world mankind has been seeking a way to regain a personal/face to face relationship with God. In the Old Testament, and even today people can gain a personal relationship with God through faith. Genesis 15:6 talks about how Abram’s (Abraham’s) faith was counted as righteousness because he believed God, “And he [Abram] believed in the Lord: and he [the Lord] counted it to him [Abram] for righteousness”. Ephesians 2:8, 9, 13 says, “(8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [near] by the blood of Christ”. I recently heard someone put it this way…when we go to God and repent of our sins; God looks at us as though we have never sinned. How amazing is that!!! When we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness, for which God is faithful to forgive, we can then stand before him blameless and sinless. Do you fully realize what that means? It means that we can have a personal/face to face relationship with God; for which we can cry Abba Father (Romans 8:15) and know that he is near to us at all times.
Now, along with this hindered relationship with God, Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden…the only home they had ever known. Genesis 3:22-23 says, “And the Lord God said, Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken”. When they sinned, sin didn’t just enter into them and all who would come after them, but the whole world as well. To make this case I’d like us to take another look at Genesis 3:17-19 which says, “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out if it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”. In my opinion, it’s not that God is cursing the ground, but that he is stating the consequences of their disobedience, or another way to look at it is that God was prophesying over them. Since sin entered into the world, and not just Adam and Eve, the ground is now not going to be as easy to take care of and won’t provide in the ways that it otherwise would have. This is why Adam was going to have to work hard all the days of his life to survive, and why the ground was now going to bring forth thorns and thistles. Now, God is still God, and still providing for their needs. However, it is now more of a faith walk than it was before the fall of man (Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”). Adam and Eve had to trust through faith that God would provide for their needs as they did what they were called to do in their lives. Just as Adam and Eve had a lifetime of hard work to survive so too does a survivor to heal. Healing is a difficult process, and for some will last a life time. Things that once were easy for a victim of abuse suddenly become much more difficult. For most healing doesn’t happen overnight, and any ground gained must be maintained if we wish to continue to move forward in our healing. It can seem like a never ending process…gaining new ground while maintaining that which we have already conquered.
God really gave me new insight while read the book of Joshua in the Bible. To me the whole book is about going and possessing the land which God had promised, and about walking in the promises of God. Here is one of the lessons that I have learned…you cannot go and posses the land without there being a battle that has to be first fought and then won. If we as survivors wish to heal and to be able to move on with our lives we have to fight for it. You can’t put half an effort into healing; you have to put your whole heart and everything you have into it. With every battle that I’ve fought I’ve won new ground. With every new ground that has been won I have had to work (and work hard at times) to maintain the new ground won. If I don’t go and possess the land (the new ground won), then I’m in real danger of losing the victory that has just been won. I know at times it seems like one big battle after another with no rest in sight, but there are times of rest. Once the ground has been won and maintained, then there is rest. I love what Joshua 1:13 says, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land”. God has given me victories and with those victories comes rest. Hallelujah! Praise God! Some more great news is that I have not fought any of these battles on my own. God has always been by my side fighting these battles with me. I like what Joshua 23:3 says when talking about all the victories that God had given the children of Israel, “And ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the Lord your God is he that hath fought for you”. I know that my God has fought for me, and will continue to fight for me! I also find comfort in Joshua 21:45, “There failed not ought [word] of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass”. I know that as a child of God, he has spoken good things over my life. Every good thing that God has spoken over me will come to pass. I know it won’t all happen overnight, but it will happen…that’s a promise I can hold onto and count on.