the Man and the Woman carried the imago dei.
the poetic imagery in the genesis narrative brings out their attributes – characteristics not only of the creation but of their Creator.
relational. beautiful. unafraid and unashamed. unhindered. unstained. uncovered.
the pair was complete and lived in harmony with all creation, strolling at an unhurried pace in the cool of the day with their Maker, a reflection of his image. naked.
arumin, in hebrew.
but then, the serpent.
the author of the narrative defines him as crafty.
arum, in hebrew.
while the Man and Woman were beautiful in their innocence (arumin), the serpent was crafty (arum) in his deception.
he slithered onto the scene, clashing the beautiful hebraic word pictures of garden and rest with half-truths and confusion.
the serpent represents doubt of not only of God’s own words to his beloved, but of God’s intentions. he said to the woman,
God is playing games with you. the truth is, God knows eating the fruit from that tree will awaken something powerful in you and make you like Him :: possessing all knowledge of things both good and evil.
the Woman approached the tree, eyeing its fruit and coveted its mouth-watering, wisdom-granting beauty.
she plucked a fruit from the tree and ate, then offered the forbidden fruit to her husband, who joined his partner in this guilty pleasure.
suddenly their eyes were opened to a reality previously unknown.
they were still naked. but now they were ashamed.
for the first time, they sensed their vulnerability and rushed to hide their naked bodies, stitching fig leaves together to create a crude covering for their exposed intimacy.
as God walked through the garden he called out to his creation, ‘where are you?’
now distorted by sin, they felt the weight of fear and became embarrassed by their weakness. humanity rushed behind a tree and hid from the One who made them, he who had designed them for relationship.
sin had turned them in on themselves, fracturing their relationship with the Maker.
the imago dei became distorted.
some questions :: how often do we find ourselves doing the same?
so often we’re guilty of trading in the beauty of God’s intent for us and instead believe the crafty tales woven to raise doubts on whether the heart of God is really bent toward us – toward our good.
in what ways do you see the imago dei distorted in yourself? in what ways do you see the imago dei distorted in others?
in what ways can you seek to restore the imago dei in your own life? in the lives of others?