In a lecture entitled “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” Randy Pausch talked about something he called a “head fake.” A “head fake” is when you think you’re learning about one thing, but you’re actually learning about something different.
Genesis chapter three contains one of the great “head fakes” in the Bible. When you read Genesis chapter three, you learn about the fall of man where Adam and Eve decided to veer from God’s ways and choose their own. Your read about…
- Eve being enticed to desire what God had prohibited.
- Eve going rogue and choosing to ignore God’s desires.
- Adam choosing to follow Eve into rebellion rather than obey God.
- Their sudden shame and hiding from God and each other.
- God sending them out of the garden and into a harsh reality.
The entire chapter seems to be about the terrible sin and punishment of Adam and Eve. But here’s the “head fake.” Genesis chapter 3 is about more than just the sin of man. It’s also about the mercy of God. It’s about more than just man’s fall. It’s about God’s lifting. Think about it…
- God knew what they had done, but He still came to pursue them.
- God could have laid into them, but He asked them what happened.
- God could have wiped them out and made someone else who would obey, but He committed to seeing it through with them.
- God could have left them barely clothed, but instead He clothed them.
- God could have left them in the garden to eat from the tree of life and thus be stuck in their condition, but he sent them out and guarded the entrance to prevent that from happening.
Our tendency is to fall. God’s tendency is to lift up. Our tendency is to run from Him. His tendency is to run toward us.
Think about how God is showing you mercy, despite your choices.
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.f