Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
So the LORD God said to the serpent:
“ Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:9-15
This first prophecy of the Lord’s first advent is a wonderful, huge dose of hope! Our Lord, Jesus Christ, became a human and then confronted the core issues of human natural and spiritual heredity. He began as wounded as we know we are, but persevered and opened a door for all of us.
The snake symbolizes our “proprium,” our feeling of life, which dominates our thought and intention from early in our childhood. We are cursed as adults to lives of striving, frustration, anxiety and craving because we have been bitten on the “heel.” Our life on earth is dragged into the dust by our given perspective-–through our senses only. It is the depths of denial to think anyone is born otherwise, or that our lives can be different without serious spiritual work that includes confrontation, turmoil, and chaos. We are wounded. There will be grief. We feel separated from God; loveless, clueless, hopelessly lost in a dust storm of epic proportions.
The conundrum is that our self awareness works to actually block our sensation of the Lord’s life and presence in our lives. The snake’s bite has all our attention. We know only self realization, self actualization, self reality. In the esoteric world of philosophy, existentialism is an accurate description of the situation. The solution offered, that acceptance of one’s radical aloneness leads to satisfaction, is inadequate. It asks me to be satisfied with unhappiness as the highest aspiration of humans; as an acceptance of the reality.
Those of us who seek a different answer have discovered the elegant solution of Redemption by the Lord God Jesus Christ. He invites us to believe that our experience of beauty, innocence, goodness and truth indicates the reality of Good and Evil. (We have to be careful here, and note that evil was not created by God; it is merely the perversion of Good. But humans did that, and we bear the scar, which is quite real and impacts our life regardless of our birth and belief. That is a discussion beyond the scope of this small article!).
He then invites us to believe that our experience of needing other people to achieve a truly satisfying life points to the fact that we must have His help in this most fundamental need: to be rescued from the evil spirits whose poison has a ready entrance into our life through the wound we were all born with. This is labeled an “act of faith.” But it will not be an effective thought until we freely use our reason to choose to be rescued. If you catch yourself bemoaning the fact that God created us with this responsibility, then you are not really ready to make this free, rational choice to put your very life into the hands of the Lord.
The Lord invites you to listen to the prophecies of His birth recorded in the Word, and consider their accuracy for your regeneration. We have here only touched on the first one. By making a conscious decision to override your normal desires with the ideas of spiritual living from the Word, you are getting off your belly, getting above the dust, and seeing the glimmer of the Lord’s truth, and, if you are sensitive enough, which takes practice, you will begin to feel the warmth of His love.
That is His promise! Try believing it!
Precursor December 2006