Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | September 6, 2019

The Curious Matter of Your Murder

The Fundamentals of Detection

Inspector Lewis and Chief Inspector Morse

My wife and I are enthusiastic fans of a number of British detective series including the two gentlemen above. Both Inspector Lewis and Chief Inspector Morse have done their best to keep the rowdies from taking over Oxford, England and bring them to justice. Surprisingly, the noted university in Oxford seems to shelter some of the worst offenders.

As these competent sleuths, bring their skills to bear on the perpetrators of the heinous crimes committed within their respective jurisdictions; they follow fairly predictable lines of inquiry which include the five W’s plus an H; who, what, when, where, why, and how. This line of investigation, which can trace its roots back to Aristotle, seems to produce the results needed to bring the culprits to justice.

One of the early questions that must be addressed is the question of when did the victim die, this is followed by the questions of what, where, how, who and why. Some of those questions must be answered by careful investigation or the forensic pathologist and may take some time; some may be determined quickly by the available evidence.

I suggest we use those time honored techniques to try and shed some light on a murder that directly affects you and me; after all, we share a common heritage, we are the murder victims and were killed at a point in the past by the worst mass murderer in the history of mankind.

Examining the Testimony of the Eye Witness

Fortunately, we have the written testimony of an eyewitness to the murder, the Lord God was there and left a record of what happened. While there are several places where we might begin our investigation, I would like to start with the verses in Ephesians 2:1-3 where it is written:

“2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously lived according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient.  We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.”

The Apostle Paul tells us we were dead which immediately brings questions to my mind, if we were dead, then when were we alive and when did we die? It is customary to refer to something being dead that was once alive; to be dead would certainly require a previous condition of life. While one might refer to a dead person or plant, one would not refer to a rock as dead as it never had life.

Fortunately, the Bible, the written testimony of our eye witness, comes to our rescue and relates the sad story of our death. In Romans 5:12-14, the Apostle Paul shares with us the tragic story of how we died:

“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.  13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One.”

We died spiritually, in Adam, in the Garden of Eden; by God’s accounting, we were considered to be spiritually alive, in Adam, before Adam disobeyed a direct command from God and caused his spiritual death and the spiritual death of every human being present and future who would later be born of a human father. The trespasses and sins referred to by Paul are symptoms of the fallen sin nature we inherited from Adam.

What do We Know so Far?

It seems we’re making progress in our investigation; we know the identity of the murderer; we know how and where he did it and have a general idea when he did it. The why may not be as easy to determine at this late date; the normal investigative procedure requires a careful forensic examination of the crime scene which, in this case, is impossible as it hasn’t existed for thousands of years.

We are, however, at liberty to speculate as to why Adam deliberately choose to disobey God’s command. I have written more on this in “The Fall” and will only summarize my conclusions here.

The timing of events between Adam’s creation and his decision to disobey God’s direct command is not mentioned in the Bible. A number of events had transpired including the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib. The command to Adam had been given by God before Eve’s creation so Eve does not appear to have been under that specific command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The Rather Elusive Why

What may have happened, and this is speculation, Eve saw animals and birds eating of this tree without any harm; she probably kept asking Adam about the tree and Adam, in frustration, may have told Eve, don’t eat of the tree, don’t even touch it!” You may recall Eve’s reply to Satan when questioned about that tree:

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3:2-3

We know God said nothing about touching the tree to Adam which is why I think Adam may have added the touching part in a moment of frustration with Eve.

The birds and animals, had likely been eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for an extended period with no harmful results. At some point, Satan tempted Eve and Eve privately ate of the tree. Nothing happened because the command had been given to Adam before Eve was even created.

I think it possible there is a time gap between Genesis 3:6a and 3:6b where Eve offers Adam some of the fruit; I suspect this was the first time Eve had eaten of the fruit with Adam present but not her very first time to eat the fruit.

Let us guess, for a moment, that Adam, after hearing Eve’s story, began to wonder if he had misunderstood God and the fact that Eve had not been affected seemed to support that doubt; Eve offered him the fruit, he ate, and spiritual death immediately followed. I doubt if the fruit was deadly but disobedience to God was definitely deadly!

While all this is pure speculation, it does, I believe, provide a reasonable why for Adam’s actions.

Full Pardon for the Guilty

Humanity is in a peculiar situation; not only is humanity the murder victim in this drama, but also has the imputed guilt of Adam, the perpetrator of the murder. As descendants of Adam, we are judged guilty of the crime of disobedience and are subject to the judgment that accompanies that crime. The only solution for us is to change our family, we stop being descendants of Adam and become descendants of God.

That is made possible by the new birth, we are born again into God’s family and no longer are descended from Adam; by God’s reckoning, we no longer share in Adam’s guilt but have imputed to us the righteous justification that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Adam from above!

“12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:12-17


Responses

  1. A very different analysis of events in Genesis. Certainly made me think and I like that. “Why did Adam choose to disobey “, I ask myself the same question when I disobey God. I do love a good mystery.

    Like

    • Kathy,
      Thank you for your comment and your subscription; I know I’m guilty of trying to connect the dots but I have such fun trying.
      Warmest best wishes to you and David!
      David

      Like


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