If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9, NIV)
I sometimes wonder what the world would be like today if Eve had not taken a bite of the apple. Eve was deceived into believing she would be like God if she ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Encouraged by the enemy to become the judge of good and evil, she chose to lean on her own limited wisdom, rather than trust the One True Judge. Adam, too weak to say no to Eve, blamed her when God asked him if he had eaten from the tree that He had commanded him not to eat from. In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve ate the fruit that was “pleasing to the eye,” shame immediately came upon them. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God.
How many of us hide in our shame when we succumb to the desires of the flesh or to what is “pleasing to the eye?” To some, the Fall of Adam and Eve may seem like a story of blame and shame, but to me it is a story of redeeming love. God, the Father, did not blame them or shame them. The Bible tells us He made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Even after disobeying Him, He still cared for them, provided for them, and protected them. He told them there would be consequences for their disobedience and sent them out of the Garden of Eden; the perfect place He created for them. Many of us today are still deceived into believing we are wiser than God. We often judge others instead of loving them the way God, the Father, loves us. We often give into temptation, hide in shame, and blame others when we are held accountable. In Proverbs 3, God tells us to trust in Him with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding and yet we, like Eve, sometimes think we don’t need God’s wisdom.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
I believe that the story of the Fall was a foreshadowing of Love’s redemption and Jesus as the Redeemer. In Genesis 3:24, after He cast out Adam and Eve, the Bible says the Lord God placed a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Jesus is the Flaming Sword and the Way to eternal life. Jesus, the Son of God and second member of the Trinity, was destined to die in our place for our salvation. The plan for that salvation began when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they and their descendants were left desperately needing a Savior. A Savior that transforms our shame through His unconditional redemptive love. We are freed from the bondage of sin when we tell Jesus the truth about the things that shame us. The enemy likes to keep us in a dark place where we hide with our secrets. Jesus is the Light that shines in that dark place. His love casts out all feelings of shame and sets us free. With Love, there is no condemnation, your past is nailed to the cross. God is so full of grace, love, truth, and redemption that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God.
(Isaiah 54:4-6, NIV)