Where does conflict come from?

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”

In chapter 2 Adam and Eve were in a loving intimate relationship with God and with one another eating fruits and berries, naked, unashamed, and yet after they eat from the tree it says in verse 7 “the eyes of both of them were opened”. Before verse 7 they were in an age of innocence and Satan whispers into their ear that God can’t be trusted, that God is holding something back, God is trying to keep them from experiencing life, which is what Satan whispers into our ear today. He tempts us to do it, try it, God isn’t real, He doesn’t matter, and it will be so much fun!

Verse 7 tells us their eyes are opened to good and evil, they see they are naked, they see their bodies and in that moment shame, lust, hate, jealousy, envy all come rushing in and their only response is to run, hide, and cover themselves. Satan made it sound like it would be so much fun, so much better, but they immediately go from peaceful loving relationships with one another, without shame, to trying to cover and hide their shame.

Notice in verse 8 that they hear the sound of the Lord walking in the cool of the garden. He is right there with them as He previously was in a loving relationship, but this time they hide in the bushes. This is the first time man’s understanding of God is distorted. There is guilt, condemnation, separation, and the Lord God calls out to them, “Where are you?” Now seeing how this is God speaking I am pretty sure He knows where they are. Like playing hide and go seek with a 2-year old hiding behind a table and just giggling because they are convinced you can’t see them. We laugh at Adam, but we do that with our sin sometimes don’t we? You can’t see what I am doing. This is my little secret. Notice God doesn’t condescend, doesn’t yell, doesn’t belittle, but looks to draw Adam out in love and compassion.

From the moment humanity responds in disobedience and shame enters into the equation we see God tirelessly dedicating Himself to restoring the relationship and draw humanity out from the shame and back into relationship with Himself. There has been supernatural cosmic conflict and humanity has offended a holy and righteous God. Adam and Eve know it is offensive because they are hiding and they are hoping God will just ignore their physical and spiritual condition. Today we want Him to just act like it never happened, just ignore it, overlook it, just forgive and forget, but God knows what the relationship could be and instead wants to draw us out and resolve the conflict.

Notice Adam response. I heard you, I was afraid, so I hid. This is what sin does. It creates shame, guilt, and separation between us, and God, so that we are constantly running and hiding and hoping that it will just go away, however. Scripture teaches us that God didn’t leave us in that state of conflict. He didn’t leave us hiding behind the bushes, but that He ultimately resolved all conflict in Jesus Christ’s work on the cross so that today we can have healthy conflict with one another in our marriages and our relationships so that we can have healthy conflict.

2 thoughts on “Where does conflict come from?

  1. Deanna

    I fully agree with aslomt everything you say, Miki, and continue to hold deep appreciation and respect for you and your work. I believe that those who are already working for social change could benefit from some of what NVC has to teach if it was presented to them as an integral part of their progressive activities. I wish you well in doing that.Love and blessingsMichaelRabbi Michael Lerner


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