By Phill Butler
Phill is the director of visionSynergy.
Let’s do a brief review of the Genesis 1-3 Events, the Destruction and Redemption of Relationships and the implication for the Church globally – today.
First, God lives in community outside of time. The most popularly thought of reflection of that, of course, is the Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But check out references elsewhere in Genesis, Job, Daniel, Ephesians, etc. So, when He creates in time, His creation reflects this timeliness character of living in relationship — in community.
Highlights from Genesis 1-3
Then, let’s look at some of the highlights of the familiar passages in Genesis 1-3:
God uses the plural pronoun from his community and relationally-based nature and says, “Let us make man in our image.” Notice, we have a talking God. As Francis Schaffer more than once observed, “He is there and He is not silent.” That’s good news for those of us who want to communicate with Him — to actually listen for HIs voice.
Then, having made Adam, God perceived that Adam was incomplete alone in the garden and so created Eve: to provide ‘community,’ companionship, and, clearly, critically needed, complementary elements that made man’s experience more fully human – meaning more like God’s character.
Along comes Satan who challenged God’s integrity suggesting God is holding back – not telling Adam and Eve the full story and failing to give them full access.
Tragically, Adam and Eve’s chose (note, it was a choice) to listen to and believe Satan rather than listening to and believing God (a lie vs. the truth – the lie so frequently sounding more appealing than the truth). This leads them to take matters into their own hands. (This is why God places Pride as the chief of sins – it is by far the most dangerous).
The drama escalates once they made their decision. With their action the primary elements of all of creation went unbalanced – community, transparency, trust, and a sense of identity and wholeness were all destroyed;
Key Elements Destroyed
Here are some of the key elements.
- Relationship with God was destroyed: “Adam where are you?” (The distance in Adam’s hiding said it all.)
- Relationship with myself was destroyed: “I heard your voice and I was filled with fear” (God’s spirit had departed; Adam was vacuous and empty – St. John saying, in the presence of God “Perfect love casts out fear.”
- Relationship with others was destroyed: Adam: “She took the fruit, I’m not responsible.” Cain: “Why are you asking me about my brother? I have no idea where my brother is.”
- Relationship with the created order which was to have been nothing but joy, productivity and creative fulfillment was destroyed: “You will toil with the sweat of your brow. Childbirth will be accompanied by pain,”
- Relationship with eternity was destroyed: Two trees existed in the garden; the tree of knowledge of good and evil from which Adam and Eve had eaten. And, the Tree of Life. They are driven out of the garden with an angel/sentry placed at its entrance. It is specifically explained this was done so what they would not be able to gain access to the Tree of Life. Otherwise, with access, there would have been no hope for redemption. The only option being an eternal, outbound trip into darkness and separation from God. The angel was an act of love by God.