Last week we learned that our cultural models come from ourselves:
The truth is that we humans make our cultural models from what we have available, whether it be from a biblical, social, political, racial, global, or worldly perspective (paragraph 5).
Some people might believe that walking in the ancient biblical cultural models was simple, smooth, and straightforward. We may tell ourselves “during the distant past, life wasn’t as difficult, demanding, or dubious.”
On the other hand, our ancestors lived during difficult times. Different from our pain and suffering, but nonetheless tragic—these people lived through oppression, tragedy, and one disaster after another. As we delve into the biblical view of culture, I believe you might see yourself in circumstances that mirror your own, even though we live so many thousands of years later.
As mentioned last week, Adam and Eve were the first progenitors of a cultural model. In Genesis 3:8-12 we read:
… [Adam and Eve] heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”[Adam] answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And [God] said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” … [Adam] said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Sound familiar? Fear, rebellion, unwilling to take responsibility for one’s actions?
Adam and Eve’s cultural catwalk (think metal suspended walkway with many holes in it) started out marred by sin, even though the things available to them were simply trees in the Garden of Eden (Garden of God).
God explained to Adam:
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die (Genesis 2:15-17).
Adam and Eve were God’s first image bearers, had not yet fallen short of God’s glory—still they chose not to obey God’s one rule. They abused what was available to them when they made our first cultural model.
Therefore, instead of living a dignified life, their life launched the cycle of fear, rebellion, and irresponsibility which existed then, has continued to exist, and will exist until the last day.
Next week we will look at Joseph who lived a charmed but catastrophic life, yet came through it with excellence!