There is an escape from dominance by the spirit of the age, which is Christ and His grace. The systems and strategy that the enemy uses against us, we are no match for, in our own strength. This can be clearly seen in the example of the man and the woman in the garden of old. To face spiritual forces in natural strength creates a very predictable outcome. But let’s not lose heart! We have access to the Tree of Life, Himself!
How We Fall, Then, and Now
Here is the link for reference – https://my.bible.com/bible/116/GEN.3.nlt
The serpent’s argument – God is trying to keep something from you that is good. He’s holding out on you.This fruit will make you like God, give you wisdom of your own, and not to mention it’s attractive (looks delicious – visually appealing!) – the serpent had a good argument – the power of an accusation is an element of truth – “your eyes will be opened” which was true.
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was 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 she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
We can’t unsee once our eyes are opened.
This is what is happened, this is what happens, and this is what is happening.
17A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
We can extend this truth to establish the point clearly; i.e., when it comes to what we consume. Good tree, good fruit, good outcomes. Bad tree, bad fruit, bad outcomes. Here the scripture literally is saying a good person and / or a bad person are clear and obvious by the outcomes they produce. So I am taking a little liberty to look at it at a different angle. I hope you will afford me this liberty, because I think it can help us understand.
The outcome of the man and the woman eating the fruit that was forbidden – shame. And since they couldn’t put their eyes (and hearts) back like they were, they tried to cover up what they saw that was shameful. And it was their own shamefulness that was revealed to them thru this bad fruit.Was it / were they shameful before they ate the fruit? Or was their shame just invisible to them?
These days the enemy is trying to convince us that there is no such thing as shame, that shame is taught. I’d say shame is experienced, from this example. Certainly the enemy didn’t sit down with them and say, “Hey, this is good stuff, great really, but you are gonna feel a little pinch when you take it, and after that shame.” The fallout of sin is rarely explained in advance. Just the round and supple qualities of the apparently delicious fruit, and how good it will be to have wisdom of your own.
Re-invited to the Tree of Life
Matthew11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”We know the way was closed to the Tree of Life for the man and the woman, so that they wouldn’t live forever in their fallen state. Isn’t it interesting that life and death for them – the consequences of their decisions – was represented as trees? We think the man and the woman were created with eternal life, because they were originally free of sin, but, that other tree theirs may inform us more fully.
They had not eaten of the tree of life, and so, were forbidden access to it and the garden to keep them from being in perpetual – everlasting – fallen state / torment.Jesus gives us rest, and teaches us how to find rest!We will know, if we follow on to know the Lord.
We don’t know how long the man and the woman were in the garden before they fell. I am concerned that we rush past some of the richness of this story. Man fell, God intervened, they got kicked out of the garden, and so the story begins. As for those of us who learned these stories as children, and never revisited them after, it’s understandable that we might miss some of the metaphor. As for me, I believe the story is actual. It really happened. I believe it is ALSO richly metaphorical. It has meaning that is plain, and it has hidden meaning. We want to be careful to gather all the meaning the Lord has for us in these truths, this story.
There is so much more to say about this, in examination, and elaboration, but, I don’t want to do your thinking for you. My hope is to inspire you to dig in for yourself. Isn’t that concept visible in what Jesus said to us in the words above? I imagine Him saying… “I can help you with those burdens.” Here let’s be specific. Jesus isn’t saying that He will carry our burdens for us. Rather, He is offering to replace our unbearable burdens with one that is light, and easy, in that it fits us and is suited well to us, individually.
Let’s break it down further.
Come to Me – this is first, and it’s not talking about “once and for all time”, in the sense of this happens once and never happens again. Of course, there is always a first time, so let’s hear the admonition and respond, whether a personal first or or ten thousandth time. The result of us coming to Him, He gives us rest from our heavy burdens which relieves our weariness. We begin to recover.
Take My Yoke, Let Me Teach You – Sometimes this is sold as if Jesus takes away every burden, but, that isn’t the case. He replaces our burdens with His own. In His humility and gentleness, He teaches us. Notice the result of His teaching – We find rest. Of course His teaching gives us rest, but, also, He is teaching us how to find rest, and how to keep from getting back under those heavy and unbearable burdens.
And we need to do this, continually, and at any (and every) time we find ourselves under heavy weights and unbearable burdens. These DO NOT come from God, and He get’s no pleasure from such misery. He has made a way to reverse the curse of our fallenness, and that is the introduction and growing relationship He is offering us with Jesus, and with Himself. It’s a process, and one we are intended to grow in, but one which we don’t outgrow. But more on that, later.