I just finished chapter 3, and i am drained. Last night as i was getting ready for bed i was trying to come up with a creative title for the chapter. I wanted it to be a bold strong statement about what happens in the chapter. I wanted it to be something like “Betrayal”, or “Disaster”, or “Pride and Prejudice”. I wanted it to be a strong statement about a huge world altering change that occurred because of the decision of one woman and man by the deceit of one angel / serpent. I just could not come up with the right word or short phrase, but now there seems to be only one proper heading.
I usually read the Bible four chapters at a time. Four chapters a day equals the Bible completed in ~300 days. As such i have come to the point where i tend to breeze through the chapters that are either boring or familiar. So i have come into this project wanting to force myself to slow down, get a different perspective, and learn things i didn’t know that i didn’t realize that i didn’t know. As a result of that process, this chapter has changed in perspective for me.
Ultimately, this chapter is about the fall of man. It is a dramatic chapter with powerful imagery that has huge implications on all of life and time… but after the slow and tedious process of writing it out, i am finding that it is a very emotionally charged chapter with powerful influences. It is in this chapter that the man and the woman decide that even though they have everything they could ever want …everything they could ever need …every hope and dream they could imagine, and it just wasn’t enough. She just had to have a little bit more.
Understand, man was made first. She was made from him. Before she was apart from him, he was in relationship with God, and he was given direction and purpose. She was made from him to help him. As such, he was responsible for teaching and leading her to help him complete the work he was given. So now, she is offered something that he does not have. She can not only be more like God, but she would have more knowledge and understanding than him. So she takes it… wisdom comes at the cost of innocence. Once taken, the fruit can never be returned. At first the fruit is sweet in her mouth, so she offers it to him. Whether he realized that there was a difference in her or not. Whether he was with her when the deceiver tricked her into eating it or not, he made the choice to take what he KNEW was forbidden. Her decision may have been in part due to innocence and not fully understanding, but he had no excuse. He embraced the sin for whatever reason, whether it was not wanting to be apart from her, or an issue of pride at her having something he didn’t have. Ultimately, the emotional roller-coaster has begun.
That which was sweet in their mouths became bitter in their stomachs. Desire led way to pride, led way to realization, led way to shame, led way to terror, led way to blame, led way to disappointment. Most of these emotions were likely unknown to the both of them. They were new and painful experiences.
The chapter is defined by disappointment. Her disappointment with the results. Her disappointment with herself. Her disappointment with him. His disappointment with her. His disappointment with himself. God’s disappointment with them. God’s disappointment with the necessary consequences. Their disappointment with what they had done, and what had become of it.
Yes, the consequences of this chapter are profound. They are devastating. They are disastrous. They destroyed the very world that the man and the woman had come to know and love. But ultimately, the very heart and soul of this chapter is that of disappointment.