Thursday, October 15th Genesis 3:8-13

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:8-13

I hope that people aren’t misunderstanding what I’m trying to do with the devotions this week. I’m using the creation story to help us see through the haze of those personally experiencing the pain of these troubled times. I’m not saying that those who have lost, or will lose their job, have done something wrong. But I am saying that the brokenness described in this ancient creation story is still being lived out among us today.

The creation stories are not “once upon a time tales” of long ago but, in fact, are theological arguments about the way that life really is and always has been. Life is broken. When someone loses their job, they experience that brokenness, that instant reminder of human vulnerability, in particularly poignant ways.

How do we respond when life crashes down around our ears – either through what we have done or through what has been done to us?

The man and his wife act our knee jerk responses out before our very eyes. First, they are filled with shame and want to hide the ugly truth of their sudden exposure. Then, full of fear, they hide. Once confronted by God, the man blames both God and the woman for his sorry state – the WOMAN whom YOU gave to be with me. And then the woman, like any kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar will do, EXPLAINS herself. “The serpent TRICKED me.”

We feel shame. We are overwhelmed with fear. We want to hide. We look for someone to blame. We want to justify ourselves.

We think about all the money we wasted through the years when we knew full well that common sense called for setting at least 6 months salary aside for times just like this. We deny the reality that has settled upon us, don’t make changes in our lifestyles, and run credit cards through the roof to hold on. We blame the Republicans if we’re Democrats, the Democrats if we’re Republicans. We blame the Mexicans or the Chinese or the UN or anyone else we can.

But none of that helps. It just makes things worse. Shame, fear, isolation, blaming and self justification cannot and will not bring healing into our lives.

Now take a breath and read the verses again. Notice again how God is out “walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze.” God isn’t troubled. God is kicking back, enjoying the garden, enjoying life. Notice again that GOD is the one who reaches out to his hiding children. “Where are you?” God is not content to leave them hiding in the consequences of their own brokenness and pain. God reaches out to THEM and it is God’s presence that elicits their self-justifying responses. But God doesn’t leave them there. God makes a way for them.

Their future doesn’t get rosy overnight. The truth of the lives that stretch out before them is that life is going to be hard. But difficulty does not trump purpose. Brokenness does not equal abandonment. God is still looking for us, still walking with us, still calling out to us, still aware of the tastiness of that apple on our lips. And God will still make a way for us. Trust him. Talk to him. Listen to him. Rely on him. And do your part.

Let us pray: Thank you, Gracious Lord, that you do not leave or abandon us when life feels like it is crashing down around our ears. Thank you for forgiving us for what we have done and left undone. Thank you for continuing to light a path before us. Open our eyes that we might see it and fill our hearts with courage that we might follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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4 Responses to “Thursday, October 15th Genesis 3:8-13”

  1. Lorene Halsey Says:

    Again, another meaningful devotion. Day after day you keep me going. Since you send them out later in the day now I keep them to read each morning of the next day.
    I have been trying to change my e-mail address to receive the devotion at the new one but have been unsuccessful. I don’t know how much longer I will have the old one. The one at the top of this message is the correct one. I also can not forward the devotions from the old address and do like to send them on when I think appropriate.
    Thanks for a wonderful service that you are providing for all of us.
    God Bless
    Lorene Halsey

  2. LC Says:

    An amazing devotion Pastor, thank you!

  3. marian severt Says:

    Thank you, Pastor Kerry, for finding and illuminating the Gospel story in the fall. This is the clearest and most poignant interpretation of the “fall” I have ever read.

  4. Bettye Raschke Says:

    Your insight brought new meaning to a very old text and held promise for me at this time and want to remember to hold on to that promise.

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