The Great Questions of the Early Chapters
by Nigel Daring
In reading the first three chapters of Genesis, some important questions arise: How come the all-seeing God never foresaw Adam and Eve's disrespect? Why is Lucifer inspired to challenge God? Why does he approach Eve, not Adam? Why are Adam and Eve enticed by the idea of being God? God knew the subversive decision Adam and Eve would make. And I dare say, that is why He created all things. He has been playing a game, not just with the first couple, but with all mankind. Lucifer cannot be present in the Garden of Eden, except that God condones it. And God watches the interaction between the Devil and the first couple, an implied reading of the story. Now observe the sequence of events. God instructs man and then sends the tempter with a contrary message. God really measures man's commitment, strength, and willpower with the presence of the Devil in the garden. But observe the punishments parceled out. Each participant chastised, doomed to a fate, regardless of the excuse he or she makes. Adam declares he was enticed. Eve argues that she was misled. But God punishes them anyway. This generally means each man is responsible for his actions regardless of the circumstances driving his decisions. After physical passing, a man may explain to God that he had to be a criminal in order to survive. He will be punished for his actions. God can easily argue that He knew his situation. In fact, He ordained his dilemma to test his willpower. But his weakness and faithlessness led him astray. God has the power to deliver from trying circumstances if man holds true to moral principles.
The game insinuated earlier pertains to God's setting up the first couple. Adam and Eve lived with God in the spiritual realm before cloaking with flesh. They saw God in His glory and would never have fathomed disrespecting Him out of shear fear. God knows souls in His Kingdom obey Him out of love or dread. Those who love Him remain with Him as angels, never knowing corporal form. The others, however, are given fleshly existence and a body of circumstances according to their nature. God determines each man's family background, culture, and location in time/space with respect to his personality. God wants to unearth something about him. Generally, the more goodness a man has inside of him, the harder his life becomes. God sets each man up according to his personality to make decisions in the creator's apparent absence. Man's decision-making regarding obedience to his maker accordingly lacks the ingredient of fear of Him. In reality, God always watches. Only a fool makes evil decisions with the belief he can escape judgment. But then men are fools, Adam and Eve being the first ones.
But what is Lucifer's motivation to have men disobey God? Why not just leave Adam and Eve in the garden to live at peace according to God's wishes? Lucifer shows them some glory away from the tranquility of their lives as if it is to their benefit. He tells them they could be God. In reality, their sin benefits him. He wants to be God. By having men disobey God, he knows their only alternative is to serve him. Once they lose their roots, balance, and sense of self, they open themselves up to his influence in the world of Evil. That's how he gets his God feel.
That's how he's been getting his God feel. Throughout the ages, he's been driving human history. Men have been obeying him, absorbing his ideas, filling themselves with notions of grandeur. They've destroyed the natural world, recreating it to suit that interpretation. They've oppressed, subjugated, and enslaved each other to have a kingdom like God has a kingdom. As God has angels worshipping him, men have other men worshipping them. This is how men end up with hierarchical structures of governance, ranked societies, economic disparities, and intolerance. Men have lost their humanity in search of greatness. The idea of superiority is wholly unnatural (ungodly), but it has defined and defiled man's existence. Not said, but understood is Lucifer heads man's hierarchical enterprises. He's the God of man's world.
Men have operated under Lucifer's guidance, not only in their socioeconomic and political realms, but also in their ideas justifying the associated structures. They've come to see themselves as the pinnacle of natural development, formulating farcical theories documenting growth. After Adam responds to Lucifer's temptation, he should really be devastated to know that he just disconnected himself from nature, became at odds with himself (God), violated God's command, became insecure and self-conscious, and rendered himself a tormented soul. But Lucifer rolls by congratulating him, telling him in essence, "You're developing". Man accepts this idea. Rather than see himself a degenerate who progressively degenerates, he views himself as growing. Words like "civilization" and "empire" connote his "developed" existence. A theory of evolution supports the idea of growth. Man frowns upon his natural state, terming it "barbaric", while he thrusts away from it in civilized life. Now man has begun to realize that his so-called development has been ruining the natural world. He also acknowledges that that impact has also been having an adverse effect on his fantasy world.
Lucifer is a twisted freak, he's always been. He sees good as evil, and evil as good. Funny, he's wrapped men up in his view. Men, they look at history, their "development", and are fascinated by conquerors who contributed. They will even call these men "great", "Alexander the Great" for example. There is nothing great about these men. They were mass murderers. They disrupted people's lives unnecessarily, caused a lot of pain and destruction wherever they traversed, and oppressed people. Their behavior underscores an effort to satisfy this egomaniacal notion of greatness, Godness. Some of them even insisted on being deified.
Examples of men's absorption of Lucifer's twisted concepts abound. But let's not belabor the point. Enough has been said for introspection. Rather let us examine the mechanics of the Fall (from God's grace) from the standpoint of who Lucifer approaches: Eve. He inveigles Eve. Why does he choose to entice her, not Adam?
When God creates Adam and Eve, He makes them equals. Parity depicts the natural state of affairs between man and woman. When Lucifer approaches Eve, his move represents the first instance of inhumanity: the denigration of women. He essentially asks her to seduce her husband, to objectify herself, which reduces her from equal partner to a thing of lust and desire. She follows his lead, dooming herself. God consequently tells her she would be destined to a fate of serving her husband. In this instance, He prognosticates a doom she invites on herself, not what He directly inflicts. Lucifer knows that Adam would reject him if he approaches him directly. They are both male concepts and Lucifer does not have flesh. But the Devil also knows Adam and Eve's potential (the weakness of spirit), and the potential their relationship and physical existence offer. That he exploits this knowledge is troubling. But the exploitation also exposes the relational order that would result from the Fall, the hierarchical structure based on a concept of superiority. Adam rules over Eve with Lucifer the head of them both. This setup has stained man's history since.
Observe that cultures living in harmony with nature have men and women on par status. Their roles may be different, but not their class. In ranked societies, women occupy a lower position. When they perform roles akin to those of natural societies (childbearing, childrearing, homecare), their tasks get stigmatized as unworthy of compare to male ones outside the home.
The Fall declares women's status as sexual objects in civilized and modern societies. Looked at in the extreme, we see women as prostitutes — even male prostitutes never cater to women clientele; they solicit business in the guise of female hookers. The half-cloaked and bare-assed woman has entertained men, sold magazines, promoted parties and shows, hyped up and decorated sporting events, lured men from revered commitments, etc. Women have debased themselves to appeal to male power, just like Eve does to Adam. Modern society has done much to improve the status of women, but no complete change will come without mankind reverting to the order of nature. This does not necessarily mean running to live in the wild, but having the wild run in society. Contemporary civilization must have women live in total equality with men.
Finally, why are Adam and Eve enticed by the idea of being God? This reflects some deep insecurity on their part. The man who strives to move up may be deemed ambitious in modern terms, and so he is. But that strife for power and status is endless, restless. His wanting to move from one state to the next shows his discontent with his current position. The move up, however, does not remove insecurity once he realizes there are steps above him. God is absolute; no man can be Him. God is content being God. Adam should be content being human. In that way he would actually be like God in being pleased with his natural identity. But he falls for a ruse.
When we look at the early chapters of Genesis, we must examine the cast of characters individually and in relation to each other. We must ask tough questions. We must examine their roles, their decisions, and the effect of those decisions. We will arrive at answers that shed light on our nature and conduct. The story of Adam and Eve has left us a legacy of behaviors that has pervaded human history.