“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.”
(Genesis 3:8 ESV)
Panic set in the man’s heart.
Adam found her sitting on a rock. She was crying.
He attempted to console her, gave her some fig leaves to cover her nakedness. They could not understand what this new feeling was, that caused them to hide themselves from each other. It was a sense of dread that the other would laugh or wrinkle their nose up at the sight of them. They compared themselves to each other though they had no need to as there were no one else to impress.
There was confusion.
“Have you talked to Him today?”
“No,” said Adam. “I do not wish to.”
“But Adam, you must. I do not know what we should do.”
“We have disobeyed God. We said we never would. But we did. We did not trust His word. Everything was perfect… now it is dark and uneasy inside me.” He grabbed his belly and pulled at it like trying to extract whatever darkness had invaded and coiled inside him.
The day did not go well. They did not eat. He did not work the Garden. They laid in the shelter of the branches for hours on end. The sun began to settle in behind the distant mountains and Adam got up saying, “I am going for a walk. Do you want to come?”
She did not move but lay on her side staring at a twig. He looked at her with deep sadness. It was not her fault alone. He had been with her. They took of the fruit together. The gnawing inside him continued to harass him.
He walked along the riverside wondering what had changed exactly. There were new feelings inside him, which he could not seem to escape. He had pain in his right leg that he had never noticed before but he did not know if it had anything to do with the fruit. That poisonous fruit! Why did we take it?! Why did we eat? That snake! I would have crushed its head had I seen it! I would have… the thought struck him that he probably would have done nothing of the like but rather listen and be tricked just as she had been. But if I see it again, I will kill it.
The Voice shook him and he hid.
“Adam, where are you?”
He arose and ran to the shelter though he knew he could not truly hide himself from the Maker.
“What is it?” asked the woman as Adam, clearly afraid, huddled in beside her.
“Shhh,” he said. “God is near.”
The two of them sat in silence, listening to the sound of their own breathing.
It was no use cowering in the shadows. They came out of their darkness and into the light of the evening.
Adam spoke to his most beloved Friend. “I heard You among the trees of the garden. I was afraid, because I was naked and I hid myself.”
“Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the Tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
Adam looked around for some reason that evaded him. He had no excuse. He knew God knew. He knew that God need not ask questions to find answers for anything. He was asking Adam to be honest.
“It was the woman, the woman You gave to me. She gave me of the fruit and I ate though we did not die. Yet we are broken inside.”
God spoke to the woman. “What is this that you have done?”
She did not look up but was focused on a centipede that was making its way to somewhere. She was fascinated by the way its legs all worked in time together, so quickly yet barely moving at all. She knew she must answer. Adam had blamed her. She blamed the creature.
“It was the serpent. It was beautiful and it charmed me; it deceived me… it beguiled me and I ate.” Even then, the woman felt a deep hatred, which she had never known, growing within her soul. She hated that thing, that evil beast that tricked her into eating the forbidden fruit.
And then, there it was, emerging out of the grass, its shroud of shimmering scales duller in the twilight yet still eye-catching. Adam bent down and picked up a rock but God was the first to speak. And His words echoed through the Garden as all paid attention.
To the serpent, He said, “because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock forever and above every beast that will walk the fields.
On your belly you shall go this day and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
I will put hatred between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.
He shall crush your head and you shall bruise his heel.”
God had words for the couple as well.
What they had done changed everything forever. Their friendship with God had been fractured by their disobedience and would be passed down to their children and their children’s children. They had distrusted Him. They had forsaken His words and trusted the words of the black creature instead.
The woman, who would now give birth to humanity in the most severe pain, would also have a desire to master the man all the days of her life and would struggle with the urge to control him and all his ways.
The man, meanwhile, would continue to work the land as before, but now it was different. There were consequences. There would be thorns. And, thistles. The land itself would fight against the man’s cultivation. In fact, everything would. Whatever he put his hand to, whether to build or to grow would fight against him. Weeds would dominate the landscape. He would feel the pain of muscle and bone. By the sweat of his brow, he would toil, and finally, death indeed would come for them. It already had. Death and decay had already invaded and infected them, along with the dark emotions of insecurity, brokenness and shame. Their bodies would one day succumb to it all and return to the ground, to go back to the dust from which they had come.
The creature’s shape had shifted and twisted at the words from God, from a walking serpent to a large slithering snake. Its beauty was gone for the moment. The shimmering scales dropped off and it became all black. And yes, it ate the dust, so to speak, as it coiled and recoiled itself along the ground to escape the presence of the couple and of his Arch Enemy, God.
“Crush my head…” it seethed with venom. “Her seed? Crush my beautiful head,” it said again. “I don’t think so.”
And from that moment on, the demon snake, which would learn to shift its shape once again, even to that of an angel of light at one point, had a putrid goal, a chilling purpose, a fatal focus – to destroy that One Seed before it could even grow and make any attempt on its head. “Crush my head… I don’t think so.”
As the snake twisted its way into the shadows, the Lord God took the life of two other animals, clothed the man and the woman with skins, and led them out of the Garden into the dark of the night.
The man called the woman Eve, for she would be the mother of all those after their kind.
To be continued…