The fall of mankind that took place in the Garden of Eden plays out in the lives of us as individuals on almost a daily basis. Our human nature is such that we are never really satisfied with what we have and always leads us to want more. God had given Adam and Eve everything they could hope for. There was beauty, security, freedom and abundance all around them in the Garden at all times and at first they were content. Genesis 2:25 illustrates this for us ” the man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” But it takes only a brief time until the free will that God gives to each of us humans leads us to disobey God. At our core, we are stubborn mules who think we know better than God what is best for us. Pride was the tool that the devil used to weaken Adam and Eve to the point of disobeying their God who had provided everything they needed for comfort and fellowship with Him. It is no different for us. Our pride leads to sin, which leads to death! After Adam and Eve sinned and ate of the forbidden fruit, they were instantly overwhelmed with guilt. Where just a few passages ago they were fine with their nakedness because they were walking with the Lord, now in Genesis 3:7 their sinful action has left them feeling vulnerable ” Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” It is the same for me. Sin leads to shame. Sin entangles. Sin cause guilt to overwhelm.
I am still weak and vulnerable anytime I am filled with pride and like a stubborn mule, I seek my own path. When I am away from the word of God or like a lost sheep, I stray from the Good Shepherd for very long, I am so vulnerable . But I have come to realize that true contentment can only be found in close fellowship with the Lord. Even King Solomon, ” The wisest man that ever lived,” according to 1 Kings 3:12, came to the same conclusion. He was blessed with wealth beyond imagination and was given the privilege of building God’s temple, yet he could find no lasting contentment apart from obeying God. He devoted himself to studying and exploring all kinds of things. He sought worldly pleasures and satisfaction in his fleshly pursuits, but he quickly realized they were folly and without value as the contentment he was seeking evaded him through these pursuits. He tried to find contentment through personal achievement. He undertook many great projects, including the building of an extensive irrigation system to bring water to his groves of flourishing trees. In the end, he decided according to Ecclesiastes 2:11 ” that yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
We can all earn great lessons from the wisdom of Solomon. Despite massive wealth, great accomplishments, and any fleshly pleasure he wanted, he still could not find peace or contentment apart from God. Many live life for the applause of others, but in the end, that will also prove meaningless. The only things that will truly matter is what we did in the name and for the honor of King Jesus, our Lord.