How did we get ourselves into our Dire Predicament in the Valley of Tears?
How did we get ourselves into our dire predicament in the Valley of Tears?
The story of Adam and Eve is viewed by many as a child’s fairy tale with little or no relevance to us today. Its lesson is judged too simple and, hence, too well-understood, to deserve any further serious contemplation. It is taken for granted. Few sermons are preached about it. Yet, the story of Adam and Eve is the sine qua non to an understanding of our dire predicament in the valley of tears and God's plan for our salvation.
The serpent, jealous of God's love for us, tried to extinguish it. Surely, the serpent reasoned, if he could induce Adam and Eve to opt out of paradise, their ingratitude would extinguish the bonfire of love that burns for them in the heart of God. Surely, the scope of God's love does to extend to ingrates.
Therefore, the serpent testified to us that we would become gods without God in the valley of tears (Genesis 3:5). The serpent's testimony was the sugarcoating that embellished the valley of tears. God testified that, in the valley of tears, we would die (Genesis 3:3). No embellishment here.
Hence, the conflicting testimony created an unwelcome controversy that was thrust into the laps of Adam and Eve. Newly minted humanity had never encountered testimonial conflict. This was their first time. They were confused. As rational creatures, they knew that the testimony of both God and the serpent could not be true. Yet, their only experience was with reality. They were neophytes with regard to illusion. This was their first encounter with illusion. Until the serpent, nobody had ever lied to them.
So, Adam and Eve decided to conduct an investigation for themselves. They would determine for themselves what was the reality and what was the illusion. Thus, they left paradise and entered into godlessness. Into the valley of tears, they embarked on a fact finding mission.
How did God view their attempt to resolve the conflict in the testimony? Did Adam and Eve's fact finding mission offend God?
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32).
Supremely confident in the liberating power of the truth, God let them conduct their own investigation. He did not stand in the way. He did not stop them. Even though an expedition of exploration into the valley of tears was contrary to their self-interest, he was unwilling to turn paradise into a prison, himself into a warden and them into prisoners to keep them in paradise. A cage is still a cage no matter how gilded. Nor did he drag them back to paradise against their wills while they kicked and screamed like recalcitrant children. He let their exercise of free will play out. God knew that in the course of their investigation they would learn the truth and the truth would make them free (John 8:32). They would learn the truth the hard way. Instead of accepting God's word, they would would figure out the truth for themselves.
And the truth would set them free of the illusion conjured up by the serpent that a life of godlessness in the valley of tears is superior to a life with God in paradise.
Godlessness is autodidactic.
Godlessness itself is the sledgehammer of truth that shattered the illusion that sugarcoated the valley of tearsas the blow of a hammer shatters glass.
And the serpent's foul plot failed. Our ingratitude did not extinguish the bonfire of love that burns for us in his most sacred heart or reduce its intensity by even the slightest degree. Our God continued to love us nonetheless.