One day while walking our dog, my eldest daughter and I were having a conversation about the Fall. She asked where Adam was when Eve took the fruit. I shared how Eve handed Adam the fruit and that you canny hand someone fruit to eat if they are not right beside you. My daughter was intrigued that Adam did not prevent Eve partaking of some citrus. Man did not defend nor protect woman. He even condoned and encouraged all by his silence and by his distancing himself emotionally. Perhaps, he was a bit afraid to eat first himself and was content to let his better-half get any food poisoning instead.
My daughter Iona and I imagined if Adam was elsewhere and Eve acted on her own. Referencing today’s obsession with social media and all things instant, we lightheartedly shared how Eve would have sent a wee text, “Eh, honey, remember that tree we talked about and how good the fruit looked? Well, eh…I tried some! Anyhoo, everything seems a bit different now…#oops!”
#Oops, indeed! I want to bring something to your attention about the tree…that tree. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Tree of the Law or the “I am not…” Tree. Hang in there.
Adam and Eve lived in the absolute presence of Love and Life itself in a kingdom called Eden (delight, pleasure). Their life was bound up in oneness with the Triune God, being His very image and likeness in flesh. They were open to and experiencing Love in its purest form every moment of every day, living in Divine bliss and ecstasy. A flow of intimacy, communion and fellowship as was intended in Father’s heart from all eternity past. Perhaps, Adam and Eve loved Father so, and like most children, had it in their hearts to be like Him one day.
Paradoxically, having been created by God in Their own image and likeness, Adam already was like his Dad! He could not be more so. The problem was, Satan (the accuser) used Adam’s innocent and childlike passion to trap and ensnare the entire human race and all creation itself. He perverted the pure cry of a son’s heart to be like his Dad.
Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lie that they were not like God. Remember, the accuser said that God knows that if you eat this fruit your eyes will be opened and you will be like Him. Perfect timing for Adam to then say, “Beat it! We already are! We can’t get any more like Him than we are now! We are completely perfect. You, my slimy little worm, are a liar. You are actually accusing Father of lying to us and of withholding something from us. Get out!”
But as we know, they took his bait before they took the fruit. It’s all about the heart: “Maybe He is hiding something. Maybe I can be like him now, and all I have to do is…..” Adam believed the accuser and even if his motive was to be like his Dad, he now believed he had to do something to be so. To do something to become who he already was! To do something to have what he already possessed! A grotesque lie.
And so, religion was born. Religion believes the lie that I am not (like Dad, lovable, peaceful, healthy, attractive, righteous, holy, pure, forgiven) but, I can be if I….That’s a judgement we declare over ourselves (and others); one born of knowledge. This is the fruit, the real fruit of the “I am not…” tree: living for and seeking knowledge rather than partaking of (His) Life alone. And so, Adam judged himself and fell short, way short!!!! Worse, he judged God who is now not whom He says He is: He has been hiding something all along. He cannot be trusted. He’s been judging us! Condemnation was born. The Tree of Judgement.
But make no mistake, we all–that is, mankind bound up in Adam–choose to eat the fruit, and feasting thereafter we became addicted to religious legalism! Knowing right and wrong, good and bad, should and shouldn’t, good and evil, results in judgements and ushers in the perverse idea of condemnation. Worse still, we tarnish God’s face in a like manner. We chose law, a sacrificial self-righteousness, (in truth, a vain dead work) to endeavour to become who we already were. Adam and Eve were still God’s image and likeness; they just choose to now believe lies about Him and, therefore, about themselves; no longer included but excluded, no longer intimate but separate, no longer holy but dirty, no longer innocent but guilty. All lies from the very start. Such is human history. But this is not Truth nor Reality as God knows!
Upon having their minds opened, their thoughts were no longer God’s thoughts and Adam and Eve experienced life as if apart from God. They thought they were now like Father: judging through knowledge of good and evil. They now introduced and embraced an altogether distorted identity and no longer enjoyed intimacy nor fellowship with Life Himself. Aliens in their minds!
The fruit of the Tree was knowledge of both good and evil. There was not one fruit that was totally good and another fruit evil, depending on what you picked. No, both good and evil were its substance. The tree only had one root system and this fed the fruit. But the real fruit was that Adam and Eve would now die. In every way. Not just a physical death and dying but a death to the soul and spirit: a slipping into nothingness or non-existence. The knowledge of good leads to death as much as the knowledge of evil! This is important. It’s the knowledge that’s the real issue. The thirst for self and truth and reality outside of God Himself. As we discussed before, there is no life outside of God Himself. The Triune God IS LIFE! The Triune God IS REALITY! In thinking we know best, we can no longer know (experiencing intimate, pleasurable communion) God or ourselves as we were known. Now we know (intellectual, philosophical reasoning and moralising) and this knowing is death!
From now on, Adam and Eve could not but look at themselves, God, their children or any thing created but judge accordingly by their new frame of reference. Adam and mankind had turned completely inward…as if separate and apart from God, trying in vain to reconcile themselves to Him. By definition, good was now all things not evil. And evil was all things not good. But who defines good? Or good enough?
Unlike Adam’s warped and deceived perception, God is not good because He is not evil. No. He IS Good. He is not loving because He is not hate. He IS Love. He is not Peace because He is not fear. He IS Peace. The Triune God is who He says He is. God does not have an identity established out of what He is not.
You can only be like God…wait for it…because you already are! Fanfare please for God’s amazing Grace in Christ Jesus! Your true authentic innocence and has been redeemed and restored! Nothing else defines you, not even your knowledge or judgements of yourself or others’ knowledge or judgements of you.
He is Reality. He is Truth. He is life, from and for all eternity. And you are forever bound up in Him In Christ. Our belief must be bound up in what He Knows and Declares about Himself, creation, you and me, as is revealed in Christ Jesus.
As He is.
In our next post we will discuss whether Father was really interested in Adam’s sin…Hmm.