May 31

Genesis 3:8-10

“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” vs. 8

Every ancient civilization had creation myths, stories that were told to successive generations describing how the world had come into existence, and how human beings ultimately made their appearance. We’re familiar with many of these tales, particularly those arising in our own ethnic heritage, but we’re not likely to take them literally. It’s different though with the passages in Genesis that tell the stories of creation and the goings-on in the Garden of Eden. Even though they appear to be Hebrew creation myths, because they are in the bible there are many who insist on taking these verses literally. They mistakenly believe that calling something a myth means that it is untrue–and that’s just not the case. In fact myths were developed by human storytellers in order to communicate universal truths. Jesus did the same thing when he invented parables. He knew that stories have power–and that’s the way it is with the Genesis myths. This particular story is a powerful description of the alienation that exists between humans and God. We know what it’s like to hide from God when temptation has gotten the better of us. And whether we take it literally or not, this story nails the truth of our own existence in a way we can’t ignore. 

Thought for the Day: Why is biblical literalism so popular?

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