Tuesday of Lent 1 – Genesis 3:1-21

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
    ‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.”

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

My friend had broken a piece of equipment on his father’s farm. It was an accident, but it was still broken. What my friend did not know was that his father had seen him do it. But his father did not come out immediately to scold him for being careless. Some time later they came to that piece of equipment, and it would not work. The father noticed that it was broken and asked if his son knew what had happened. The boy, afraid of his father’s response, said, “No, I don’t.”

The father sighed to himself and they went on to fix it and resume the task at hand. Later, however, my friend admitted it to his father. His exact phrase was that he “fessed up to it.” And his father smiled. He told him that he knew all along what had happened. He was really hoping that his son would admit it and be honest about it. That was far more important than any broken piece of machinery.

The Lord God comes into the garden calls out for Adam and Eve. He knows that they are hiding behind the Rhododendron over there. He knows exactly what they have done, but He calls out to them. He longs for that honest response. He questions them. He wants them to “fess up.” Not because it doesn’t matter what they did, but because their road home, their life restored, must run through that honest place. He wants to bring them truly home. This Lenten season is a time for honesty. God wants it. He loves you despite your lies and hiding from the truth, but He delights in  your honesty about who you are, your thoughts, and your deeds, and your words. His favorite part of the Sunday service is when sinners confess their sins and He forgives them all.

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