Items posted on 28 May 2010
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Genesis 3.1-6 & Luke 10.21 – Pride and Salvation
Posted: 28 May 2010 in Genesis, Luke
And he [the serpent] said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may [not] eat….. of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die….. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat….

 

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

This episode in Genesis, commonly known as the fall, is a story of human pride and rebellion against God. In idiomatic Hebrew the phrase “knowledge of good and evil” referred to the wide sweep of knowledge in general, and not just to a knowledge of morality.

We, in common with the rest of our species, do not want to live in dependence upon God. Instead we would much prefer to arrange things for ourselves, and that requires that we eat at the tree of knowledge. This project has had mixed results. It has brought us (for instance) the benefits of medical science, but it has also brought us the H bomb, and, with it, the likelihood that we will wipe ourselves off the face of the planet sometime in the next two or three centuries. Perhaps even this one.

In his prayer to the Father Jesus makes it clear that there is no point in us trying to engineer our own salvation. Salvation is something which can only be wrought by God, and for that reason it is only available to those who are prepared to live in dependence upon him. Being wise in our own eyes will serve us ill here. Instead we can only embrace the wisdom of God in trust and obedience. It is a wisdom which is scarcely comprehensible to us, but it is the only one which can lead to our salvation.

This is a theme widely echoed in Paul’s epistles (cf 1 Cor 1.26).

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Tags: obedience, original sin, pride, salvation, the fall, trusting in god