Why did Eve take the fruit from the tree in the middle of the Garden? Why did Eve listen to the voice in her head tempting her, telling her that God was wrong and instead of dying she’d know it all? Why?
And why didn’t she die? Are we sure she didn’t die? Maybe she did inside as you heard in the children’s message.
But, who doesn’t want to know it all? What’s wrong with that? Why did God put restrictions on eating the fruit from the tree in the middle of the Garden? Why put a tree in the garden and then not let anyone enjoy the fruit? Why’d God do that?
Don’t you want to know it all? I do. I’m on a quest to learn as much as I can. What have I received by gaining this knowledge? I’m not sure. It helps with crossword puzzles and sometimes I know the answers on Jeopardy. But, am I truly wise? No, I’m afraid I’m not. But still I want to learn new things.
Adam and Eve never knew that God had created them to live forever and that with this one indiscretion they were sentenced to die. Seems pretty harsh but that’s the way it is, or was before Jesus, the Son of God and Man, entered our world and became our salvation.
So, what’s the lesson to be learned here? Eve and Adam sinned by disobeying God, by trying to be like God, to be as wise as God and so all of us are sentenced to die.
Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden because God didn’t want them to eat the fruit from the tree of life and live forever and be like God. So he drove them out and stationed a flaming sword at the entrance to keep them out.
God’s Spirit in our gospel lesson drove Jesus into the wilderness and there he was tempted with food, safety, and power. He didn’t give in to the Tempter. He resisted and because he chose not to give in to temptation, because he chose to continue on this journey of teaching, healing, and dying we have a chance to live forever, eternally with God.
Eve made a decision to eat the fruit. She could have said no. Then the world would’ve been much different. Jesus could’ve given in to temptation and the world would’ve been different. Eve chose one thing, Jesus chose another way. And that’s why this world is the way it is today.
Now the choice is ours. We have two choices, Death or Life. Which will we choose, Life or Death?
There are advertisements on TV and in our magazines and newspapers that shout at us to choose them. If we buy Nike we can jump higher and run faster. If we drink Gatorade we can go on forever and win the crown.
Then there are the ads about addictions to heroin, crack, meth, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, pornography, and food. Quite a few of these ads use words like “choose life.”
Today’s lessons from the Bible are crying out to us to make the right choice. “Choose Life” they say. God’s given all of us another chance to get it right and the clock is ticking. What choice are we going to make?
Are we ready to die? Are we ready to die to our old way of living and begin to live as disciples of Jesus? That’s the choice we have today.
This world we’re living in isn’t going to make our choices easy. The temptations are there for us to acquire more things, to build more wealth, to create a cushion against the economy going the other direction.
In the meantime people are living on the streets, people are starving all over the world, and people are killing others because that’s the way it’s always been.
God’s given each of us a choice, an opportunity to change all this. It begins with Jesus. It begins with admitting that we need help. We can’t do it alone. We need forgiveness. We need to change and we aren’t able to do it the same way we’ve been doing it all our lives. We need God to step in and help.
My friends, that’s exactly what God did in Jesus Christ. He came teaching, healing, listening, and praying for this world to be saved. He died for our sins, those dark sins nobody knows about but us.
He knows and he died for us anyway so that we could be saved. And they only way to be saved is to believe, to trust, to have faith in God that his word is true and he will keep his word.
Two choices, believe or not to believe. Eve wanted to get wise and know it all. That didn’t work to well for her and it’s not going to work to well for us either. We can learn from the mistakes of our ancestors…or we can keep doing what we always done and nothing will change.