The Garden of Insecurity
Adam and Eve had it all. All the pleasures of God’s created order and only one little rule. They had personal, intimate fellowship with God. All their needs were provided for. They had no fear, no loss, no anxiety. If anyone was ever secure, it was Adam and Eve. They weren’t ashamed of their bodies. There was no conflict. There was no sickness. There was nothing about which to be insecure. But, although they were made in the image of God, they were still human. God made man limited and fallible. “In the image of God” does not mean they shared his perfections and powers. God gave them ability to make wrong choices and minds free to think. I believe there is something about insecurity that is innate to our human nature and I believe it existed before the Fall of Man. Part of it is based on our need for and our dependency on God, and that is a good thing. Any feeling that we have of our own lacks and limitations should connect us with our deep seeded sense of the necessity of God in our lives. Adam and Eve lived in God’s intimate presence, but they were still given the ability to choose to be into or out of that intimacy. How else does the serpent get into this discussion with Eve about God’s words unless there is something that the serpent has seen in Eve, and Adam, to tempt. James wrote “…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…” There was some unhealthy, unwholesome desire in Eve that allowed the enemy to directly attack God’s words: “Did God really say…” The last word from the serpent is “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Satan jumped on that healthy reliance upon God and the result was doubt and insecurity in Eve. If you have everything, what makes you want more? He said “God doesn’t want you to have that knowledge.” Eve showed her insecurity by then taking what wasn’t hers to take. She had a sense of her own inadequacy, a sign of insecurity, took the fruit and gave it to the unquestioning Adam. Adam’s own actions, in the face of what God had told him, also speaks of insecurity in his relationship to Eve. Why does he not stop it at once? Perhaps I am reading too much into the Genesis story, but I don’t think Eve and Adam’s actions come from security, but insecurity. Once they fell, once they sinned, insecurity then became the norm and they covered themselves and hid from God. Yes, there was shame. Yes, there was guilt. And yes, now all security was gone. They lost everything. Intimate fellowship with God, gone. All of God’s ample garden provisions, gone. Now they were ashamed of their bodies and there now would be conflict and sickness and fear and anxiety. Their lacks and limitations would be completely exposed.