Day 3 – December 3
Ornament – Apple and Snake
Encompassed by a garden, encircled by beauty, bound by love is our setting today. Adam and Eve’s home. A pulsating, vibrant, moving, growing tabernacle in which to meet God. Everything precious to them was precious to Him. Sunset and sunrise marked time for them. A reminder of the One who began every thing and would complete it yet.
Adam and Eve were encompassed but not contained, encircled but not enslaved, bound but not limited. Formed within love, released for love, invited to reveal love.
Wrapped up in this part of our story is a moment. It isn’t the moment in which sin entered the world. Sin entered with its carrier, satan. For he brought with him the sin that dwelt in his heart even before it manifested as a throne he tried to make for himself.
Yet, there is something incredible here. God could have cast him to a place of darkness, a place without beauty, void of hope. But He didn’t. He placed him within the choice part. Within the best. He gave satan an incredible gift. Time to choose differently in a place where he could see what he was truly of. He could still return, but instead sought to have all that dwelt there worship him.
It wasn’t the moment choice entered the world. For from the moment of Adam’s kiss from Pappa’s mouth, he had choice of what he would do with that breath.
This moment was filled with a question, that when answered, became the enemy of love. It was the moment proof was formed and love became law.
Genesis 3:1 recounts the question Satan asked of Eve.
“What did God say to you? What did He really say?“
Eve set about trying to remember word for word what was said. Mixed in the cocktail satan served was:
“Did I do it right?”
Eve’s purpose then became to prove that she knew what God said and that she had followed it to the letter of the law. Ouch. And in the moment when she doubted herself, she doubted God. And she missed the true question that God would have asked had she turned to him.
“What did what I say mean to you? How did it change you? How did it draw you near to me?“
Oh, had she responded to Pappa’s heart instead of reacting to satan’s allegation.
Worlds apart while fleeing together, Adam and Eve hid. Hiding from the one who reveals, another question came. The first question was whispered in darkness. This one thundered with light.
“Where are you?”
Meaning-packed words filled that question and as they exploded to fulness became this:
“Where are you in our story and do you want to go farther?“
For Adam and Eve were not destined to live in the garden, but to extend it. They had been invited to be fruitful and multiply, which meant to fill the world with all they had seen, all they knew. With every expression of Him. Everything beyond their borders was meant to become the garden, extending the love inside throughout the world. Not a person or place was to be void of love. The world was a canvas and they were the artists. But it was their choice to paint or not.
No matter what words flew, there was one Pappa longed to hear. “Hineni.” The meaning of this word is not “I’m sorry” or “I won’t sin again.” Hineni means “Here I am.” This expression is not a trite “I’m here” but a tremendous, “I’m yours.” The breathed bounty of it means “there is no place I would rather be.”
Though hineni was not the uttered word, God shook loose a power greater than had every been known. Unconditional love. He changed the appearance of sin. Satan was disrobed, no longer wearing priestly garments. No longer reflecting God, he came to resemble the darkness of his heart. Humbled to the ground by his idolatry. And God said an amazing thing.
“Because of love, I have made him low and easy to see.”
He said that satan was reformed so that he could never deceive again. Read the story in Genesis fully because it changes ours forever. Satan was cursed to be ever recognizable, so the entrusted ones would keep their eyes upon the One who brings life, beauty and above all, love, instead of the one who seeks to steal it.
Satan was cursed. Adam and Eve were not. What many see as a casting out was truly a sending forth. Though they sinned and tasted deeply of not love, their destiny did not change. There stood the unchangeable God, hands extended to draw them out into the world that had not yet seen, did not yet know.
Their destiny remained. The journey was now different.
To Adam, Pappa said, “You are of the earth and it has been your joy to care for it. Steward it still, but know this. If there is anything in your heart not of me, the earth will react. If your heart is full of fear, anger, bitterness or shame, the earth will react to that and will not bring forth fruit. But if your work is worship, if your heart celebrates task and the love within it, the earth will respond and bear bounty.”
For Eve, let me begin with what God did not say to her. He didn’t say she was cursed. Only satan received that word. And He didn’t say that childbirth would hurt because of her sin.
He said this, “You were made of man and so relationships are your field. There will be pain in relationships if there is anything in you not of me. If you try to protect yourself, draw man to you instead of me or believe a lie, those you sow into will react. But if your work is worship, and your heart seeks to draw them to me, mankind will respond and bring harvest.”
We are of beauty, bounty and harvest. We are of life and freedom. And most of all, above all and for all, we are of LOVE. Made to extend, expand and grow everything it contains.
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. Psalm 16:5
I love calling Jesus my portion. So much! In Hebrew, the word for portion is ‘cheleq’ which means “inheritance, portion, part or territory.” It also comes from a similar Hebrew word meaning “to be smooth,’ in reference to the smooth stones used for casting lots and slaying giants.
David knew a bit about giant slaying! But a pouch of smooth stones is not what prepared him to face Goliath. Knowing who his portion was readied him. Facing a mammoth man, David cast lots with stones that spared sheep and felled bears and lions. The words spewed by the one he would slay didn’t belong anywhere near David, so he spun stones and those threats were separated from him and his true inheritance was distributed. Had Adam and Eve done the same, the enemies words would have had no pouch to fill.
Was David’s portion that day a congratulatory meal or the accolades of man? No. It was the coming Christ. A lot or line kept secure by knowing Who truly provided. There, before a formidable foe, David’s portion allowed him to bring a giant to do what nations will one day do before Jesus. Fall. In worship and wonder.