What is your vision of “The Fall”? I have heard it described this way: Adam and Eve disobeyed God. It’s not that this is altogether wrong. But, to me, it doesn’t paint quite the right picture. Certainly, they chose not to obey God’s command. But I would like to paint a portrait that strikes a little deeper at the heart of the matter….
When Adam ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, scripture says, “…then the eyes of both were opened...,” Genesis 3:5. Their perception of existence was changed. They had then chosen to exist by their own rule of government. Namely, they would decide for themselves what was good and what was evil. The boundaries could be moved around based on their individual judgment. Each man would rule his own existence. From that moment on, mankind’s perception and consciousness of Life was totally different. Suddenly the things that had once been graceful, pure and fruitful instead aroused them to all sorts of desire, both Evil and Good. “…And they knew that they were naked,” Genesis 3:5. Each man or woman became a government in and of him or herself. They would choose how to use the individuals and resources around them to their own personal benefit. Natural boundaries were not sufficient anymore because mankind had new knowledge of how to move those boundaries. Suddenly, they felt their vulnerability to each man’s personal perception. The body could be used for other things than chaste enjoyment, the thought life could be manipulated by suggestions and imaginations, spiritual life and religious tradition could be usurped and challenged by any spiritual entity or idea.
Divine Life would no longer govern the human conscience. Boundaries would not be acknowledged as a Living rule. Man had to be immediately expelled from Eden and driven away from that first Life-giving Tree. He knew too much. God could not allow a self-governing man or women to live forever. Too much damage could be done. Curses were inevitable. Without difficulty in survival, mankind had too much time and resource to devise evil. So God cursed their work and wombs with hard labor. It would be difficult and time consuming to be who they were made to be. The new consciousness of Good and Evil things set our hearts on a dead run in the opposite direction of God. We would, with a growing awareness of this new power, discover the multitude of ways in which we could manipulate our own destiny as well as the destiny of others. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned ….yet death reigned from Adam ….even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam,” Romans 5:12-13. Death reigned. Everybody was conscious of death’s power. That consciousness of death would govern the decisions of man from then on.
The tragedy of Eden cannot merely be described as an act of disobedience. Nor can its consequence merely be described as separation from God. As if this were not bad enough. A drama unfolded in a matter of minutes that redirected the whole perspective of the universe. Humanity became a separate governing force in the atmosphere. Humanity became a lone ranger. God became an abandoned lover in just one moment. He became an aggressor against the human tide. Our Creator had to prove to us that He was working for our good. He had to fight for our attention and even beg for our affection. We became guarded and untrusting towards His purpose. God and man were divided by suggestion and accusation.