I spoke out of this passage during the Awaken Conference at the end of last week. This excerpt is from my notes for the conclusion of my message, which included reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible about the first lie. In Sally Lloyd-Jones’ version, the question that the serpent puts into Eve’s mind is “Does God really love you? If He did, why wouldn’t he want you to have this juicy, delicious fruit?” This root question still sends pangs of doubt into human hearts everywhere: Does God really love me?
What is the meta-narrative of the gospel as we study it in this passage?
In short, we sinned against our Creator and Lover because we doubted Him. We talked behind his back, let someone else convince us He was at best power-hungry and at worst a genuine liar and manipulator. We choose to “talk it out” instead of to simply obey. We forgot he made the rules.
He sent us away for our own protection, promising us a reunion when the time was right. Only he could fix it, and he would.
But we continued to doubt Him. We suffered under the effects of our own sin and questioned even further whether or not it was worth it to be in this long-distance relationship. We didnâ€™t see Him often; we misunderstood His movements toward us, and we turned away from His attempts to draw us near.
He came and he fixed it. He ushered in the beginnings of a new way of living, a promise of the return of a perfect world. He explained that the old laws were just the beginning – he knew we could do better than that. He knew we could conquer anything with his help. It was unexpected, just what we needed, and we’re still trying to understand it.
Then, even when we saw our need for Him and admitted that He was the only answer, we wanted it to be a business transaction, not a loving partnership. He wanted to woo us on a luxury cruise ship of relationship and we were satisfied alone – craving autonomy and independence – in a utilitarian rowboat across an ocean of lifeâ€™s storms and trouble. We wanted to know, â€œHow is this thing supposed to keep us afloat?!â€ and He said, â€œIâ€™m not sure if it will.â€ And it made Him sad even while it made us angry.
But still He promises: â€œIâ€™m not here just as your pragmatic answer. Iâ€™m here as a person, your Savior. I donâ€™t want you to mentally assent to my presence just so you donâ€™t have to face Hell. I want to embrace you as a father runs with open arms toward his missing child. I am FOR YOU. I am WITH YOU. Nothing, no sin or doubt or failure, can separate us. Run to me.”