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  • Writer's pictureBrad Swope

Forbidden Fruit/Sour Stomach

In our series we’ve read the stories in Genesis 1 and 2 which account for God’s creation of our world. But then we look up from the text to the world outside and see a different story being played out, and we wonder, “What happened?” Genesis 3:1-19 offers profound truth, explaining what happens when that which is created chooses to live as if their Creator can be ignored.

The story begins in Genesis 3:1-5.

Into this idyllic garden comes an antagonist, the serpent. Adam and Eve have been told to enjoy the bounty of the garden, to flourish in loving community with God and each other. The tempter seeks to create a desire for the one tree they are not to eat from.

He begins his seduction by persuading Eve to doubt, misremember, or question God’s command. They were only commanded not to eat from the tree, but Eve adds “to not touch it.” The tempter then tempts her to doubt God’s goodness. If this is believed, God would be seen as selfish, and his command untrustworthy. The nature of all temptation is to doubt that God is good, trustworthy or right. Genesis 3 has just articulated a proper psychology of human temptation.

The story continues in verses 6 and 7.

The thought once contemplated becomes like a virus, working its way into the heart. All of us have experienced this phenomenon. We all know the sweet taste of the forbidden fruit, and the sour stomach that follows.

And then their eyes were opened. We learn that they understood good and evil at a much deeper level after they ate the fruit. They saw that they had not trusted that God was good, and that what he had provided was enough for them. In other words, they had tried to be their own gods, yet as finite creatures, they could not be what only God could be.

Really, every form of sin is what we do to each other when are outside of God’s providential care and in the world trying to provide for ourselves. Adam and Eve’s original sin is humanity’s universal sin.

Genesis 3:8-13 shows the consequences of their choice.

Notice the effect of sin:

  1. Adam and Eve are hiding from God

  2. Fear enters the garden

  3. Sin effects every relationship (blame shifting and scapegoating)

It is amazing to see how this ancient story perfectly describes the human condition.

Finally, God speaks in Genesis 3:14-19.

The writer shows us that all that had been given by God as gift, is warped—all primary relationships are fractured.

  • Humanity and God

  • Humanity and creation

  • Humanity with each other

  • Humanity with themselves

Adam and Even are now introduced to a world of conflict and violence, pain and fear, division and separation, scarcity, insecurity, and competition. It is a world of hard labor. It is a world ruled by death. This is a reversal of the world God intended for them which was to be a world of peace and joy, community and regency, meaningful work, a world drenched with life.

Genesis 3 is not the conclusion of the story. This story is folded into a much larger story where in Part 1, the curse is broken by Jesus and the new creation breaks in and in part 2, all things are reconciled again to God upon Jesus’s return.

Their story is our story.

We are those who do not trust that God was good, who do not believe He is enough. We are those who step outside his providential care and try to secure what we want and need for ourselves—to be our own gods. And we are the ones who now hide from God, blame each other, and live under the curse.

But God in the person of Christ, did not leave us to wallow in our shame, he acts decisively to rescue us, by dying on the cross, taking the weight of all sin upon his shoulders.

The promise is this: If we can see it. If we can see our choice. If we can name it. If we can take responsibility for it. We can be free of it.


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