We have all had those “I wish I would have done it that way” moments in our lives. They are not really regrets as much as simply looking back and realizing we could have done things differently. This Coulda Hada Pear presentation is a series of writings, sections, chapters that explore what Adam and Eve must have experienced back then… but, then bringing that whole “shoulda, coulda, woulda” experience to our lives today is really where the Lord wants us to grasp the brevity of that predicament those two encountered. We encounter that very predicament almost every day of our lives, if not at almost every step of our lives, too.
Genesis 2:17: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
We didn’t make the garden, but are given ruler-ship over it. There are guidelines and rules that need to be followed. Responsibility is passed directly to Adam.
There is only one stipulation or restriction for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; do not eat of its fruit. The list of things we could have done with that tree is much longer;
- Picnic under its shade
- Use the wood for fire
- Use the wood for building
- Use the sap
- Use the leaves for decoration
- Use the leaves for cooking
- Etc, etc, etc.
Guidelines for life
The moment you have more than one entity (either person, organism, or organization), a system must be implemented to help ensure stability, clarity, and certainly success (harmony). Without a system of agreed guidelines, chaos has free reign. Boundaries can be viewed/received as bad, but they are actually essential for survival.
The Trinity takes on a whole new meaning and has a whole new set of results when ‘man’ is involved. We know that we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but when man enters the world, we suddenly have a funky version of the Trinity going on.
Eve ends up taking the brunt of the rap for the fall of man and the whole ‘sin entered the world’ problem, but Adam was there… he was a participant to the demise of the world, as was ‘the serpent’. When the ‘three stooges’ start working through that one simple rule, “all hell breaks loose”, as the saying goes. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised to know that that rule… that one stipulation God gave us about eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good an evil was given to Adam and Adam alone. Not only that, but Eve wasn’t even on the earth when God told Adam that, too! See… It was in Genesis 2:17 that God told Adam, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…”. The very next verse, God does recognize that “..It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”, but it is not until verse 22 (after God made all the beasts of the field) that God actually creates Eve. Genesis 2:22 states, “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.“
All of that is to say that it was Adam who heard about this rule, this guideline, this stipulation from God… first-hand. For Eve, it was hearsay… for Eve, it was trust in Adam’s communication, it was faith that Adam even told her, let alone that he properly conveyed the severity of the rule…. afterall, neither of them knew ‘death’… especially as we know it. Sure, we may have lost something in the translation, but it is likely that Eve didn’t grasp the impact it would all have on her world. Being tempted or challenged to do something you were instructed not to do is the very beginning of building faith.
Many will say that you should avoid temptation altogether. Sure, that helps minimize the places and ways you can fail, falter, or especially crash altogether. But too often, the temptation rarely appears as though it is temptation! See that? See… if we have an obvious sign… an obvious clue…. even an obvious and tangible way of knowing we are at the doorway of temptation, many of us would take notice.
Temptation is much more subtle… much more un-obvious… and worse… much more ‘my normal life’ looking to us. In fact, things that mislead us do so because they are appealing… because they are intriguing, and even better (worse), much more seductive.
The Seductive Reasoning
Without being too protective and cautious, Eve was duped into reasoning about the rule that God laid out. That beguiling serpent got her to thinking about the intentions of this rule, and even went so far as to twist the specifics of the rule, itself. Reasoning has that affect… thinking through things is almost always a good thing.. thinking and reasoning over and around a rule can be troubling.
I wonder if more than anything, it is just that we don’t grasp the impact it will have on our lives from bending or breaking the rule. Worse, ‘in the moment’ we are too caught up with obtaining satisfaction, or pleasure, or even breaking the rule for the wrong reasons.
Obeying a rule does not include “as long as it makes sense”. Sure, we often consider a rule and assess whether it should be followed or not, or just how closely it should be followed, but at it’s core… obeying a rule is a yea/nea situation.
Genesis 3:5-6 KJV For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Many people, preachers, ministers, theologians and the like have labeled Satan (the serpent) as a Liar. This one passage clearly indicates that he does actually tell the truth. Verse five is a statement as though Paul himself made it.. as though Peter himself made it… even as though Job made it… and the one little word Eve may have missed is that “ye shall be as gods“.
This is where the seductiveness creeps in… these little details… these little “I should have caught that” moments in our lives when we are SO eager to do this ‘thing’, that our reasoning over it all misses just the simplest of detail that would have made all the difference, had we taken the time to ‘wait on the Lord’ and follow His leading. This “Christian Walk” stuff is not for the faint of heart… not for the ‘easy come, easy go’ people of the world.
Ultimately as verse six reminds us, it is Eve’s ‘justification’ of this new-found information that nailed it for her (and us). See.. the scripture there says she “…saw that the tree was good for food...” and she was done. Well… but, then went on to add to the list with “… and it is good for this, and good for that, and God would think I was SO dumb not to do this” reasoning. And… she was hooked. Who knows WHY Adam followed along, too. This is one of those ‘it takes two to tango’ moments, I am sure!
All we know is, all hell broke loose… right!
Side note: this writer can rarely stew over this next ‘scene’ without so many emotions, sorrows and even utter laughter racing through my heart. As a ‘creator’ myself (I love photography, restoring things, repairing things, yard-work/gardening, playing drums, and even computer programming, to name a few), I take deep, deep pride in ‘my creations’. As God returns to find ‘His creation’ has gone off the rails, as it were, the whole scene reminds me of a classic Three Stooges scene. But there is that ‘hurt for God’ part in all this, too (more on that later). As Christians, we all have heard of “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. Suffice it to say, that I would title this ‘scene’ as “The Father, the Wife, and the Holy Smokes”. Watch, and see…
The Father, the Wife, and the Holy Smokes
No sooner do we deviate from the rule… no sooner do we yield to temptation… no sooner are we ‘fulfilled’ by the promise of satisfaction from breaking this rule, and the depth of the “aaaahhhhhh…. NUTS” feeling kicks in. Some call it guilt… some call it embarrassment… some even call it enlightenment or awareness. Sure, too often it takes longer, but usually it is almost instantaneous for us…. almost instantly, the reasoning that got us ‘here’ is all flown out the window and we are no longer blinded by the ‘yea, this makes sense to break this rule’ dialog we JUST had!
Almost instantly, Adam and Even were ashamed… they were embarrassed… they were ‘aware’ of their calamity, and it caused them rush to cover it up. Not only did they cover themselves from each other seeing their ‘nakedness’, but they also took to hiding in the garden because God was coming back… they certainly did NOT want Him to figure this out. Apparently, that ‘fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ did not include rational thinking, too!
As God gathered all parties involved, my ‘the Three Stooges’ scene kicks in, because God begins with Adam to determine how things went so awry in just one afternoon of leaving them alone. As the story goes, Adam blames the Woman, and the Woman in turn blames the “serpent” (who by now must be feeling pretty smug and rather “I told you so” about his presence and power with God).
This very moment is SO critical for us all. See… not ONE of them took responsibility for their part in the violation… not ONE of them accepted their role in the calamity… to God, this surely MUST have looked a bit comical… again… almost like the Three Stooges all pointing to each other… all giving that “not me” look… all shuffling and flustering and fidgeting… trying to avoid eye contact with God and the pending doom.
Me? I still feel SICK for God at this point… His own creation (Man, then Woman from Man’s rib) essentially blaming Him for getting them all into this mess. Essentially stating, “were it not for you, we wouldn’t be in this mess”. See… personally, when I ‘make’ something, I have such pride, such satisfaction, such a deep feeling of accomplishment, in many ways. And there’s God… watching His creation doing the Three Stooges equivalent of “I didn’t do it” dance… and He surely has to be broken from that scene.
That whole scene results in Mankind being forced from the Garden, and the Garden ‘sealed’ to protect and guard us from being able to eat any more from the Tree of Life. See… we ate from the “Tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and due to that, we can no longer eat from the “Tree of Life”, which means… “we shall surely die“, as God Himself told us.
Disobedience rarely grasps the consequences. The Consequences rarely credit the disobedience. Ooooh, that the two could corroborate.https://twitter.com/vocalbillity/status/1233547531159621632?s=20
Coulda Hada Pear
Many of us have heard this whole story over-n-again, and in so many variations and surroundings through our lives. Or, maybe you are relatively new to the story. Regardless… none of this really helps us in our daily lives today, it seems… most of this is just a reminder of why we are in this mess… how God seems to be holding us accountable for their mishap.
As Jesus told us many times though, “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit sayeth…“, which is so very important for us to grasp. Some time ago in my life, I had someone tell me, “Not everything has to be a life-lesson”, and while it is easy to acknowledge the frustration being conveyed with that statement, we must always be ready to learn from our life-lessons. See… Our lives have many little ‘garden of Edens’ and areas of responsibility, trust, and ownership handed to us by God. We must be diligent, attentive, and certainly obedient to God’s leading in our lives… to God’s calling for our lives… and even better… God’s “rules” for our lives.
Our lives are made up of so many facets… there are so many ‘areas’ in our lives… a seemingly endless list of character traits, of personality interests, yearnings, and flaws too. Take a moment and think through the complexities of your own life… the preferences in food… in temperature… in movies or stories… in careers…. even in the company you keep. Take each of those and imagine they are little ‘spaces’ in your life… maybe like the honeycomb that bees make for their hives… anything to help you visualize these ‘spaces’ in your life as though they were/are little “Garden of Eden” spaces… areas that God has given you charge over… to tend… to care for… to protect, improve, and live in. Then… consider that God has given you the same “of all the trees in your Garden, you can eat but not the fruit from that one” kind of conviction. Consider that God is leading you to trust Him with this main rule… this main guideline… this main ‘for your protection’ direction. Sure… many would argue, “If God doesn’t want us to ‘eat of that fruit’, why would He put it there at all?”, and you must, must MUST remember that God sets up a world for us where we have free-will to choose His way. We have free-will to obey… to trust… to have faith that He does have our best interest in mind, and He is not setting us up to fail.
Man’s Main Purpose: Care for the Garden/World
Consider this one interesting point. Our main purpose on this earth is to be caretakers. I mean… both before AND after this calamity in the Garden, we are told that God put us into the Garden to care for it. Once we disobeyed, God ‘forced’ us out of that Garden, but we still were charged with caring for the ground.
- Before: Genesis 2:15 KJV – “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”
- After: Genesis 3:23 KJV – “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken“.
Please notice… as God is making the earth, the heavens, the beasts of the fields and then man himself (even before making Eve), He “placed us into the Garden to dress it and keep it“. This is something of a nurturing and thoughtful way of letting us know that the Garden of Eden was ours to not only live in, but to manage… ours to take personally… ours to hold dear and treat with deep care. But, then we are ‘forced’ out of that Garden (so we don’t eat from the Tree of Life and keep living), and we STILL have to ’till the ground’, but now it is much more a punishment.. much less rewarding… much, much more a reminder that we are essentially digging our own grave (back to the ground from whence we came).
Again though… as you face these little ‘spaces’ in our life with God by your side, please keep in mind… keep it in your heart… keep it in your very words and deeds that He wants you to trust Him in each of these ‘gardens’ of yours… He wants you to live in the garden forever and ever.. He wants you to ‘dress it and to keep it’, as that glorious Garden of Eden example He gave us back in the day. That sly serpent will taunt you with “Yea, but God really meant…” half-truths, and there will always be those ugly opportunities to ‘reason’ through the rule you are facing, to question the ‘why’ part of God putting this temptation in your garden, then telling you to not partake. In the midst of all the discussion, reasoning, and rationalizing eating ‘that’ fruit, just consider that you ‘coulda hada pear’!