Summary: Crisis and Choice, Pt. 3
THE FUGITIVE PLANET (GEN 3:1-15)
The mythical story of the Pandora’s Box tells of how Greek god Zeus’ plotted to ruin man, seal his fate and cause suffering on earth. Zeus created the beautiful Pandora, sent her to humans and gave her a mysterious chest or box, along with a warning not to open it. Of course, curiosity got the better of her. She knelt in front of the box, took a peek inside and out flew the all the evils and miseries into the world to inflict the world.
Critical questions often surfaced after a disaster or a tragedy. People ask, ‘What are the roots of evil?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” and “Why me?” Genesis 3 introduces the doctrine of original sin, the downfall of man and God’s divine grace. Satan tempted man with the same deception and temptation that caused his own fall: to be like God, not just with God. Man’s sin severs fellowship with God, but Christ’s death reconciles us to God.
However, the foremost questions on everyone’s minds are not moral questions, but religious ones: “Did God make a mistake in creating humans or the world? Couldn’t He do better or right? Why does He still persist or bother with humankind today?”
The Creation of Man was Very Good
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ’You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’" 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Gen. 3:1-7)
One of the most acclaimed movies of 1998 was Jim Carrey’s “The Truman Show,” an inside look at the life, the mind and choice of a man whose every move, word and breath were monitored. Truman was born, raised and kept for 30 years, from the day he was born to be the star of an unedited 24-hour hit TV show watched by cameras, sponsors and audiences all round the world. It was the highest rated show and the biggest commercial success. Everyone loved the Truman Show, except Truman, who did not know his life was a fake, a show and a joke.
When Truman finally realized that his wife, his best friend and even his father were actors to keep him from leaving the movie set island he was born into, he escaped in a sailboat across the man-made ocean. Before he exited the door for good, the creator of the show spoke from the control room, “Truman. You can speak. I can hear you.” Truman asked in disbelief, “Who are you?” The voice replied, “I am the creator of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions.” Truman inquired, “And who am I?” “You’re the star,” was the answer. Truman questioned defiantly: “Was nothing real?” The voice admitted, “You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch.”
The dilemma of creation is to create real people. A person, by definition, is a human being with personality – thoughts and feelings, flesh and blood, fully human, fully alive. God gave us charm, wits and disposition. He did not create us from wood, stone or metal. He also gave us a free will, the capacity to make choices, which is the sheer essence, the chief distinctive and the purest definition of a human being.
God did not make us a robot, a dummy, a puppet on a string, a bird in a cage, or a fish in a bowl. He did not put us in a fake environment, an artificial setting or an imaginary world. The irony of creating free human beings is that He cannot force us to obey or follow Him nor can He completely shield us or stop us from encountering danger, making mistakes and feeling regret; neither can we erase, undo or cancel the past. He gave us the freedom to love or hate, heal or hurt, build or destroy. We can choose to obey or disobey Him, receive or reject Him, run from Him or turn to Him. God doesn’t want us to come to Him because we have to, but because we want to, we choose to or like to.