Christian Self Help
The Line In The Sand
(Part 1) The Line in the Sand - Chapter 1. - The Dawning
In the beginning was creation. Filled with awe, I try to picture the immense void being structured and filled by a simply spoken word from our Heavenly Father. As He filled the void with stars and planets intentionally, He was preparing our home. Once completed, He formed man, Adam, from the dust of the earth.
Naming the animals. Living in the Garden of Eden. Tranquility and peacefulness were filling the days. Walking hand in hand with God the Creator. What a wonderful visual image grows in my mind's eye as I ponder the Garden and what it held. There was only one simple rule. (Gen 2:16-17) "Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.’”
He then gave Adam a suitable helper. (Genesis 2:18) “Yahweh God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’” The deep connection of intimate relationship was born.
God drew a line in the sand. Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will surely die. Eat and die. Don't eat and things will remain the same as they are now. The choice was a no-brainer, right? Don't eat. Live for eternity in paradise walking hand in hand with God. The choice is absolutely clear.
Enter Satan. Out to destroy what God created, he twists Eve's perception of the one rule. So, using a serpent, he asks a simple leading question. He said to Eve, (Genesis 3:1) "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'"
Eve's reply is very revealing. Eve said to Satan, (Genesis 3:2-3) "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" Let's examine this thought a bit closer. Her perception of God's command has one twist already: "neither shall you touch it, lest you die." was not in God's original rule. He said, "for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."
This misunderstanding reveals something of the relationship between Adam and Eve. Originally, Adam was given the one rule. So it is conceivable that Adam did not clearly relay the rule to Eve. Or, Eve simply misunderstood. The line in the sand. Adam said ... Eve heard ...
Now let's look at the lines that are in the sand so far. There is a line between God and Adam, God and Eve, God and Satan speaking through the serpent (remember that God kicked him out of Heaven for his rebellion), Adam and Eve, Adam and Satan, and Eve and Satan.
And, Satan is subtly attempting to cross the line. (Genesis 3:4-5) “The serpent said to the woman, ‘You won't surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’" The tree was named, after all, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." That was true. And, what's wrong with knowing good and evil? Or, having your eyes opened? Or being like God? Hey, wait a minute! Isn't that what Satan wanted ... to be God? Or at least to be like Him? Did Eve know that?
Do you see the deception here? Eve innocently wanted to have her eyes opened and, like God, to know the difference between good and evil.
Satan drew a line in the sand.
Ok, so Eve is out for a stroll in the garden, enjoying God's awesome and wondrous creation. Where was Adam? Where was God, for that matter?
Upon first glance, it seems that Eve is strolling in Eden alone. Closer examination reveals something different. (Genesis 3:6) “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit of it, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.” She gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Adam was right there with her.
Eve drew a line in the sand. The fruit was beautiful, good for food, and could make you wise. She took the fruit. She ate some. Then she offered some to Adam who was right there, watching her do this thing. One can only imagine her struggle as she, on her side of the line in the sand, decided to take action in direct disobedience to God's simple rule. And Adam, what was he thinking?
Adam drew a line in the sand. He stood there passively watching his wife make a decision that would completely change things forever. Then, instead of valiantly fighting the serpent to protect Eve, he caves in and eats, too.
What a mess! Adam and Eve suddenly feel naked and vulnerable, so they covered themselves. When they hear the voice of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day they hide from Him. (Genesis 3:9-13) “Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ The man said, ‘I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ God said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ Yahweh God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’"
Confession. Adam is naked, ashamed and afraid, the apparent result of knowing the difference between good and evil. Or more blatantly, he could be experiencing those things as the result of not listening and yielding to the Lord. Adam "confesses" eating the fruit by blaming God first, and then Eve. Eve "confesses" eating the fruit by blaming the serpent.
The serpent. Willingly duped by Satan, the serpent carried out the plan to deceive Eve and subsequently Adam into eating the fruit. God makes the serpent the lowest form of life because of his choice to be used by Satan. There's another line in the sand. Four more to be exact. God and serpent, Eve and serpent, Adam and serpent, and making the assumption that Satan was controlling or using the serpent, serpent and Satan.
Let's review how many lines there are now. In the beginning we had four beings creating six lines, or different relationships. Add the serpent, which creates four more relationships, for a total of ten.
Five beings . . . ten lines in the sand.