Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)
TITLE: First Fall
By Tim Pickl
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What do you think about when someone mentions paradise? I’ll say it again: Paradise. What image comes to mind? A perfect vacation or a cruise to a remote island? What place on this world is perfect? The answer is there isn’t any! But when we read the account in Genesis in God’s word, the Lord God created the ideal conditions for the lush place called the <i>Garden of Eden</i>. It was in that perfect place where God communed and walked with Adam and Eve. In the <i>Garden of Eden</i>, all the vegetation and leaves were a perfect shade of green. No insects, no disease, no droughts--until sin entered into the world. There, the Ssserpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the Woman—
Oh, <i>come on</i>, Woman. Did God <i>really</i> sssay you mussst not eat the fruit from any of the treesss in the garden?
Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, it’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’
But the ssserpent lies to the Woman--
You <b>won’t die!</b> God knowsss that your eyesss will be opened as sssoon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.
(picks up a yellow leaf) What is this? This leaf should be green. And why does it feel so cold in the middle of the day?
It -- it is a sssign of your new revelation of the will of God.
The Woman was convinced. She saw that the yellow leaves on the tree were beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then the Woman gave some fruit to her husband Adam, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. It was at that moment that sin—disobedience to God—entered into the world. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Later, when the cool evening breezes were blowing, Adam and the Woman heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from God among the trees. Then God called to Adam—
Adam! Adam! Where are you?
I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.
Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?
It was the Woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.
Woman, what have you done?
The serpent deceived me: that’s why I ate it.
Ssserpent, because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
Woman, I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.
Adam, since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.
Woman, I must name you: I name you <i>Eve</i>, because you will become <i>the mother of all who live</i>.
It was getting colder and the leaves were falling. So God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and Eve, and banished them from the Garden of Eden. As they were forced out, they fell into a large pile of yellow fig leaves.
I name this season <i>Autumn</i>, or <i>fall of the leaf</i>. It is a reminder of our <i>fall</i> from God’s grace.
Reference: Genesis Chapter 3, New Living Translation.
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