Death and Exile
When death becomes reality for people.
There are plenty of consequences to cover after humans go doing their own thing, despite being given the guaranteed fallout by God. In this post, let’s cover the main consequence that will follow humanity throughout the story: death.
The immediate and impending consequence of humans deciding for themselves what’s good and evil, for them to essentially diss God, is to be exiled from his presence and die. And here we’re flowing with the story and picking up on human death—no other death is brought into focus here.
Human unraveling comes through Adam’s choice to not partner with God. So if that’s what these free-will agents want, they get to have it in full. Remember, Eden is just one spot on the planet at this point. Eden is where God’s space and human’s space meet; where God’s will is realized. To try and have the kind of life that God provides without God ain’t on the menu and so they have to go.
Now notice that although God has deemed his creation good, it’s not Eden! Adam was brought there. Humanity was given the blessing to rule over earth and that didn’t change. So when humanity gets the boot, creation caught the boot as well!
The Results of Exile
Literal death comes as humans chose to not trust God and every other human given the chance follows suit as they are born in this exiled status. Nature suffers as well. Often it produces thorns and thistles instead of grain to eat. Childbirth is miraculous, yet wrought with uncertainty. And though people genuinely care for one another, selfish impulses can dominate and ruin relationships.
What we see today is the result of humanity deciding right and wrong by its own power at best with mixed results; at worst with devastating fallout. And instead of looking to “the truth”, we often find ourselves wrestling for “our truth” mostly at the expense of others in some manner.
So, humanity finds itself stuck outside—exiled away from intimacy with God, away from the fullness of Life, left to deal with the opposing forces of order and chaos with no way back to God. Because if these humans, who had this kind of reality didn’t listen to the Voice, how will anyone else after them?
Well, there is this weird statement by God addressed to the serpent figure—that it would bruise the heel of the “seed of the woman”, and at the same time it would have its head crushed by the same.
Whatever that’s about, for now people will have to live out this new reality. And that’s where the rest of the story of the Bible and we will pick up next.