Monday 5 July, 2021 – Broken World, Cursed Land

Genesis 3:1-19

3 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 certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from 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. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Heal Country, heal our nation

July 4th -11th 2021 is Naidoc week in Australia. It is a time to listen, learn and celebrate together the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year Naidoc week is themed “Heal Country, heal our nation.” Heal Country is a call to seek greater protection of lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage. Our daily digests this week will focus on God’s creation and our part in it.

As I reflect on this passage, I cannot help but see that the original temptation that Satan taunted eve with was a temptation to overreach. The appeal to overreach God’s good design and take from a tree that was not hers to take from – because the fruit that was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gain – became too hard to refuse. And so, we introduced overreach as a destructive pattern, the sin-pattern, into the human identity, human culture, human systems, and human projects.

As we seek, during this NAIDOC week, to see healing come to our country and our land, may we recognise and repent of the sinful patterns of overreach that have infected our identities, our culture, our systems, and our projects. May we repent before the Lord, and receive His sure promise of healing. 

I need this healing. Healing that flows out from my identity, into the relationships I build and things I create, into the systems that I am part of, into the projects I commit to in the world. 

Jesus, you who became a curse for us so that we could become healed and the new righteousness of God in the land (2 Corinthians 5:21), heal me where I have grossly overreached your design for my life. And may that healing flow out into the world around me, restoring not only me, but those around, and ultimately our nation. Amen. 

Written by Ps. Rob Waugh

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