“Adam! Adam!” the voice like a thousand rivers called. Adam shrunk back into the thicket and hid his face. The white light which had always been so comforting to him, now pierced his eyes almost burning them. Fear pulsed through Adam’s veins.
His wife, equally as unnerved, shrunk behind her husband clinging to his arm. Something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. Something in the tree branches right above them. Something red. It was the Serpent! That wicked creature who had tricked her into creating this whole mess! But the Serpent was acting unlike any of the other snakes in the garden. Its head was thrown backwards and a sickening hiss-like gasp came from its fanged mouth. Was it laughing?
“Where are you, Adam?” the King called once more. He was only a few steps away from the man and the woman’s hiding place. Adam swallowed his fear and stood.
“I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid because I was naked…” Adam said his voice breaking. It was the most honest answer Adam could manage. Adam braced himself for whatever would come next. The woman slowly emerged from the thicket and joined her husband. God’s eyes bounced from Adam to her, and then back to the man.
“Who told you that you were naked?” He asked. His tone was calm, but firm. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I instructed you not to eat?”
Adam shrunk backwards crestfallen at the quickness in which his sin had been discovered. His mind switched into defensive mode.
“It was this woman which you gave me! She brought me the fruit and I ate it!” he relented. Adam purposely shifted a portion of the blame on God in his response. In his mind, had the Creator simply never made the woman, none of this would have ever happened!
God’s eyes fixed on the woman. “What is this you have done, child?” he asked her. The woman followed the lead of her husband. After all, it wasn’t her fault! If that Serpent had never shown up, she wouldn’t be standing her being forced to explain herself.
“That Serpent” she cried pointing at the red snake hiding in the trees “He lied to me! He tricked me into eating the fruit, promising me wisdom, so I took some and ate it!” The woman was almost proud of herself for that response.
The King nodded silently. Adam and his wife held their breath. Would everything be alright?
“This knowledge was not meant for you, child” God said, His tone deep. All at once, God’s eyes flashed with white fire. “Show yourself, Lucifer!” He demanded.
From his hiding place in the tree, Lucifer suddenly felt his muscles turn weak as if they were made of sand. He immediately lost his grip on the branch and tumbled to the soil in a miserable heap at the feet of the Shining One. Cursing out loud, Lucifer tried to change forms from this serpent back to his mighty angelic one, but he found he could not. The white light pinned him to the ground.
Then the Lord God said to the serpent “Because you have committed this treachery, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belling eating dust as long as you live. I will cause great hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. And you will strike at their heels, but they will crush your head!”
As God was speaking these things out loud, he was speaking something else to Lucifer, still trapped in his weak serpent form. What God was speaking to Lucifer was less words and more images. Lucifer saw water pouring from the sky, filling up the Earth. There was a ladder reaching up to the heavens and a man sleeping underneath it. A man climbed a mountain and received tablets of stone written in the very handwriting of God. His face shone like that of the Shining One. There were kingdoms and wars. A golden temple was built, destroyed, and built again. A young man walked down a desert valley and dipped his head in a river. The skies opened and the voice of God exclaimed- “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!” Words hung about this young man and burned into the mind of the Devil like hellfire.
“Salvation. Redemption from this curse which you have brought onto humanity.”
Then the Devil saw himself fighting with a mighty arc angel. But he was not strong enough, and the angel overwhelmed him, binding him in a chain and casting him into Sheol, sealing the entrance of the pit over him. The Devil lay bound in the fire as it burned through his skin, but did not consume him. Maggots feasted on his charred flesh.
“And you will come to a horrible end!”
“No!” Lucifer screamed but no words left his serpent form. Only a series of misery laced hisses. “You had best kill me here!” he screamed in his mind “Or I’ll drag multitudes of the decedents of Adam to the pit with me! They will be cursed like me, separated from you forever!”
God didn’t say anything in response to the threat made by the thrashing snake at His feet. Instead, His attention turned to the man, the one he had made chief of all of His Earthy creation, and then back to the woman. To the woman He said-
“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy and in pain you will give birth. Your desire will be to control man, but he will rule over you.”
To the man, He said-
“Since you, the pinnacle of my creation and chief of all things that move underneath the sun, listened to your wife and ate from the tree- the ground is cursed because of you. And you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles among your crops. By the sweat of your brow, you will have food to eat until you return to the earth from which you were made. For I forged you out of dust and to dust you will return. For you, Adam, and all of your descendants will surely die.”
Based upon Genesis 3: 8-19
The Bible Unpacked
Copyright © 2021 by Jeremiah Ryan
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