By: Maggie Leonard
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Reflection—v. 4, the snake said to the woman, ‘You won’t die’
Wait, what? Did the snake—the most intelligent of all the wild animals, according to verse one—just call God a liar? God said, ‘Don’t do this or you will die.’ The snake said, ‘You won’t die.’ And the woman and the man did not die… so… that’s awkward. Either God lied to us, or God doesn’t know everything. OR maybe we have a limited view of what it means to die. The snake is indeed smart, but I can’t help to think that the woman, and we, have been the victim of a gifted manipulator. There are some who will come up with new words, trying to redirect a conversation with their nuance. And there are others who will change the conversation by redefining the words in play—the snake is the latter of these. ‘You won’t die,’ he says. There is an inference that eating the apple from the knowledge of good and evil will not kill humankind—they will continue to live and breathe. But perhaps this is not the implication of these words. Theologically, we believe that Jesus came to give abundant, full life to the whole world—to offer healing and mercy. Knowledge itself does not kill, but it does give us options. So often we do not make decisions that nurture love, humility, patience, kindness, and peace. Seeking other things, like notoriety, money, momentary pleasure, and indulgence slowly bring us toward death—separating us from God. God doesn’t lie, but we do rationalize ourselves away from the life and truth God offers.
Prayer Holy God, help us to trust in your truth.