December 19, 2010
Earlier in the year, I chose to read Genesis 3-9 for one of my reflection essays. I didn’t end up using it, but I found it quite interesting when I sat down to write one of my final blog posts. I found this passage extremely enlightening in many ways. For one thing, we see our first encounter between the human race, and other living species, which sets the tone for God’s feeling towards mankind. In this passage we also see how God’s power can be misinterpreted as almost overbearing. For me, this passage is the most enlightening one that we have gone over, and similar to all the other passages we have gone over, this can very easily be related to in modern day situations.
This passage opens up with the story of Adam and Eve, and the forbidden fruit. The most alerting thing that I noticed was that the first emotion that we come across is that of deception. It’s very interesting that this feeling of deception displayed by the serpent came before any sort of kind or generous gesture by Adam or Eve. Reading about this encounter makes me think of God as a parent. Even though one could make the argument that Adam and Eve did not do anything intentionally wrong, they are still punished for their actions, to show that it is not acceptable to disobey your elders. I can relate to this encounter on a personal level because one of the major lessons that my parents stressed when raising me, was to always respect my elders, no exceptions.
Later in the passage, in Genesis 4.3-4.16, we are introduced to the story of Cain and Abel. Abel was chosen as a keeper of the sheep, while his brother Cain was chosen to till the soil. After given theses tasks by God, Cain expresses tremendous disappointment with his future position as tiller. Once again, before we are introduced to any compassionate emotions we embark upon more disobedience and denial. God questions Cain’s feelings of distress and tells him that his life will have “uplift” if he does his job the right way. God warns Cain that if he does not do right, then “sin crouches at the door,” (Genesis 4:6). Yet again, we see God acting as a parent to human beings as he attempts to teach Cain that doing well by others is rewarded with happiness. However, when God finds out that Cain slaughtered his brother Abel, he shows no mercy. Cain’s punishment is that he must flee the land and that wherever he walks, the ground will curse him. God goes on to say that whoever comes across Cain at any point in time, shall murder him. Even though he spites Cain for killing his brother, God permits the killing of Cain. I found this very hypocritical on God’s part.