Sunday, May 3, 2015

And I Hid

The Lie did not seem that false when they reached for the fruit. It made sense. After all, the serpent wasn't dead, and HE touched the fruit. (Never mind that this was not even what the commandment was; it was to not EAT it!) The deceiver crept among the branches of the tree, taunting them for their naiveté, mocking their trust in the goodness of God. 

It wasn't the punishment of death that they noticed first, after eating together. It was ... something else. Something had changed. 

Something important. 

Their glory was gone. That light which bathed them constantly, which emanated from them, that holy glow that they didn't even have to work at - that was gone. For the first time, they felt exposed. 


Afraid of punishment. 

They wanted desperately to be covered with that glory they once had, the glory that had disappeared like the morning dew, as if it had a mind of its own. 

Did they ask the One who gave it to restore it to them? No, for they had believed the Lie - the Lie that He was not good. That He was holding out on them. Their ENTIRE PERSPECTIVE was tainted by it. Instead of running to embrace Him, they sought to create in their own power what God had provided for them automatically: a covering. They searched out the leaves, strong leaves they had helped to dress and to tend in the Garden - sewed them together with thin strips of stem. They made aprons ... thinking that the things they had dressed and kept would now keep and dress them.

It didn't work. And they hid. 

They hid. It was their choice to walk away from the only source of life, to hide their false belief and their warped faith, warped to now include things that they tried to do to appease His wrath, and hope that He wouldn't notice, that He wouldn't kill them.

But He still loved them. He didn't come to kill them; he came looking for them.

He found them. There was nowhere they could hide, nothing they could do or say to change how their view of Him had changed.They were convinced He would be angry, that this death that was promised was still to come. They didn't realize that it had already happened. The death of believing God was mean and unfair had taken their glory away. Their hearts had died.

Adam's voice somehow found expression and tells the whole sad episode in just a few words. "I was afraid, because I was exposed, so I hid." 

Photo "Spring Lamb" by Tina Phillips at
After they understood the ramifications of their choice, God promised them that He would mount a rescue mission, that the Lie would no longer come between them. And He showed them - in true "God" fashion - that what they manufactured was never going to be enough, that it was He and He alone who could cover them: He took away their man-made clothing and gave them pelts to wear. 

And He gave them hope. He pointed forward to a time when the seed of the woman would come and be bruised by the serpent - but that in so doing, He would crush the Liar's head. He took the serpent's legs away from him ... perhaps as a reminder to the humans that relationships based on lies don't go anywhere. 

And He planned and prepared in love for them, within the boundaries of the curse they had brought upon themselves. 

As a demonstration of His mercy, He sent a guardian to stand sentinel over the tree of everlasting Life and protect them from tasting from it again, for what indescribable hell could it be for humans - whose glory had departed - to live forever, separated in this fashion from Him? 

"And I hid." So many people are still hiding from the only One who can make a difference in their lives, who can take away that shame, reinstate that glory. Jesus the Lamb of God has now made that way, mounted that rescue mission He promised all the way back in Genersis 3:15, rescued us all as He hung suspended between Heaven and Earth, took away the sin problem ... and we are still hiding in the bushes and sewing together ornate fig aprons. 

He still searches. He still calls. He still cries out. The Lamb has taken away your sin, my sin. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. The sin is gone. It's gone. It's completely GONE. The Liar is crushed. God the Father has prevailed. We don't need to hide any more. We don't need to sew our own coverings around us. HE has covered us. HE has rescued us. HE has become the problem and in doing so, has eradicated it with His goodness, with His love. 

We are made right, holy, and pure; we have been given back the glory of a heart fully alive.*

Step out of the bushes.

*Recommended reading: John Eldredge, Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive, (c) 2003 Thomas Nelson Publishing .

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