Prior to the fall, I see that Eve LOOKED on the tree. She SAW that it was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and able to make one wise. Subsequently she TOOK of it, ATE of it, and GAVE it to her husband. He likewise TOOK and ATE, as well.
It is only after these 7 action words that I see the resultant behavior accomplished (and reported by Adam) in that he HEARD the voice of God, COVERED, HID, and FEARED, BLAMING other than himself.
What separates the first set of actions from the second? I need not look very long at all to define that answer as one more action word, DISOBEDIENCE.
As an unbeliever, it is easily understood that disbelief separates me from a relationship with the God of Heaven, Who created me in His image and for His pleasure. Only the substitutinonary blood of Christ has atoned for my sin, and hearing the voice of God, I will experience the fear of death until that atonement has been received by faith, destroying the power of death and delivering me from the fear of daeth. Hebrews 2:14-15 clearly teaches me that "forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
Additionally, as a believer, disobedience in any shape or form always separates me from fellowship with my God. I am so aware that, according to 2 Timothy 1:7, fear is not of God, but rather, He has given me power, love and a sound mind. Thus, just as in Genesis 2, only disobedience at some level will precipitate fear. It may, in fact, simply be the disobedience of ceasing to keep my mind stayed on Him, where Isaiah promises perfect peace in 26:3 if I will do so. Or it might be violating 2 Corinthians 10:5 in allowing my thoughts to be controlled by my human problem-oriented circumstances, rather than God's divine solution-oriented promises.
When I think about the fear of death, I must quickly bring my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ / Word of God, and remind myself that Jesus said " he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die" in John 11:25-26. So, knowing that " to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord", as I know from 2 Corinthians 5:8, replaces fear with anticipatory hope of that 1 John 3:2 awakening in His likeness, seeing Him as He is. What a blessed victory...praise the Lord!!
(C) 1998, 2014 N. A. Collins
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