After the Fall…Grace
Fall here is not in reference to the season of the year. Although many would look at the beauty of the changing landscape and find grace in what they see. I know I do.
But the fall I’m thinking about is the event in which Adam and Eve disobeyed the explicit command from God to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good evil (Gen. 2:7). There were a lot of “yes” trees Adam and Eve were free to eat from and only one “no” tree. For reasons we will never understand, Adam and Eve were not content with eating from the abundance of “yes” trees and felt compelled to eat of the tree that God said was off limits. It was at that moment sin entered the world and immediately they were aware of their nakedness and felt ashamed.
So, sin leads to shame and shame leads to blame, “The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate” (Gen. 3:12). In other words, “God if you hadn’t put this woman in my life, none of this would have happened. It’s your fault, God.” Adam refused to accept responsibility for his behavior and when someone refuses to accept responsibility for their behavior, they look for someone to blame. Adam chose to blame God.
How does God respond to this shame and blame? He gives Adam and Eve exactly what they don’t deserve. If fact, it could be argued that He broke His own promise by not giving them what they deserved. They were warned that on the day they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would die. But that didn’t happen; they didn’t die (Gen. 2:17).
Instead, in response to the couple’s sin, God cursed the woman to suffer anguish in child birth and the man to endure toil in earning a living. He cursed the couple’s intimacy so they would experience conflict. He even cursed the ground. Now all of this may not look like grace, but that is exactly what it is. Think about it, the couple didn’t die.
God delayed their physical death and put into place a plan of redemption. God told the serpent that “he will crush your head” (Gen. 15). This “he” is the one who would come in the name of the Lord with the authority to lay down his life on behalf of the sins of mankind. “He” is the promise of grace personified in the person of Jesus Christ our Savior. It is He would endure the affliction of evil and suffer the penalty of death that Adam was promised and that we all deserve. That my friends is amazing grace!
Where in your life have you received divine discipline for your sin? How did you respond to this divine discipline? Were you grateful for God’s grace in that moment or were you angry with Him?