An Angry but Loving God
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
On one hand, this reads like a story of an angry God that kicked God's children out of paradise as punishment for their sin. On the other hand, though, this story might be so much more. This is a story of a loving God doing everything in God's power to protect God's children.
Oh, yes, God was mad. But God didn't ever curse Eve or Adam. God cursed the serpent. God cursed the ground because of Adam. But God never cursed them. God explained how their sin had long-reaching consequences. God told them that life would be much harder now. Now knowing the sting of shame, everything would be clouded by that experience, and their work to survive would be much harder.
God also knew that if they ate of the tree of life, they would live in a state of shame and sin forever. God had to protect them from such an eternal fate. By banishing them from the garden, God actually gave them an opportunity to live free of shame. It would be a long time before anybody would learn just how humanity would live eternally without shame. We wouldn't know until the arrival of Jesus just how God would orchestrate our eternal salvation. But for now, Eve and Adam were saved from a fate of eternal shame.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Genesis 3:14-24
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
And to the man he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man and for his wife, and clothed them.
Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.