Chapter 2: Conflict

The opening chapter of our story is as beautiful as can be. The beauty, the unity in the midst of diversity, and the wholeness that characterizes creation are a sight to behold. But in the blink of an eye, or the crunch of teeth biting into a piece of fruit, everything changes. In Chapter 2, the issue isn’t primarily about failing to keep a regulation, that’s just a part of it. The real issue is the fracturing of relationship that occurs when Adam and Eve do exactly what God told them not to do.

It’s quite clear what should happen next. It’s only a matter of time until the death penalty is enforced, after all God had been crystal clear with Adam and Eve that death would be the consequence if they disobeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree. But as it turns out, God goes against God’s own word. Though the facts undeniably warrant the death penalty, God is stubbornly and thoroughly pro-life. From the very beginning, God is a God of forgiveness and grace.

Yet even God’s forgiveness and grace do not nullify the natural consequences of Adam and Eve’s betrayal of God’s trust. Genesis 3 spells out the variety of ways in which their actions will cause all kinds of repercussions far beyond their own lives. But it’s vital to note that Genesis 3 is not prescriptive, in other words it is not portraying how things should be. Rather, Genesis 3 is descriptive, portraying how things are and how things will be because of the natural consequences of Adam and Eve’s bad choice. And almost immediately, God sets out to try to minimize the fallout and to try to bring about redemption in what otherwise seems like a hopeless situation.

The following video offers a chance to meditate on the ways in which sin fractures relationships and to focus on God’s desire for all creation to enjoy a sense of wholeness, both internally and communally.

Questions for Reflection

1. How have you experienced the fracturing of relationship that is sin?

2. In what ways have you caused the fracturing of relationship through bad choices you’ve made?

3. To whom can you extend forgiveness and grace this week, the way God extended Adam and Eve forgiveness and grace?

4. Who might you need to reach out to in order to begin trying to rebuild relationships that have fractured because of your choices?

Living A Better Story Playlist

If stories form the script of our lives, music provides the soundtrack. This playlist–comprised of songs that explore the themes of the various chapters of the story of Scripture–is intended to help saturate our hearts and minds with lyrics and music that will help us with Living A Better Story.

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