Bible Society of South Africa

Hiding in the garden - 24 October 2023

By Imogen Campbell

Bible text(s)

5God said that, because he knows that when you eat it you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”

Genesis 3:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

The family Labrador had been frolicking in the garden, when he inadvertently knocked over the clothes horse, sending freshly washed laundry tumbling to the ground. When the guilty party was summoned to the scene of the incident, paws could clearly be seen through billowing sheets, but just as quickly, these were observed darting off in the opposite direction.

The beloved pooch’s behaviour was reminiscent of that exhibited by the only perfect couple who had ever walked on this planet. They, too, lived in a garden. Only theirs was one of unimaginable beauty teeming with the most incredible of creatures. One day, they made an error of judgement. The Bible reveals: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)

Instead of believing the One who had created them and had given them life, they listened to someone else – somebody who was crafty and meant to do them harm.

The serpent was right: they gained knowledge about their new, sinful state straight away. And they hid from God for the first time ever: recriminations flew, and the blame game started. Sadly, the consequences were immediate and dire. God’s pronouncement was that it was egregious, and they were forced to leave the garden. Sin is that serious. God is that serious.

Do you take God and God’s Word seriously? Is it open to any whim of interpretation or are you a diligent scholar of the Word? I am well aware that the Devil takes it very seriously and knows it well enough to twist it. And he has not left his skulduggery behind, if anything, he has become even more crafty and exhibits no qualms about getting us to disobey God today.

The only way we can safeguard our lives is by living according to the Word. “I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:10-11)

Doing our best to live according to the Word helps us not to sin against God, unwittingly, as they did. Graciously, a second Adam came along who lived a sinless life and died for us so that we could have another opportunity to live an eternity with God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth and giving us sinners our only shot at eternity. We are so grateful for the suffering you endured at the hands of sinful men and women. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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