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"The dry irrigation of the wilderness" (Genesis 2:15-17, Genesis 3:1-7, Matthew 4:1-11)

Colin ThompsonColin Thompson, Sunday, 5th March 2017

A paradox.

Genesis 2:15-17

15Yahweh God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die." (WEB)

Genesis 3:1-7

1Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'" 2The woman said to the serpent, "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, 3but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4The serpent said to the woman, "You won't surely die, 5for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. 7The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (WEB)

Matthew 4:1-11

1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry afterward. 3The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4But he answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'" 5Then the devil took him into the holy city. He set him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 'He will put his angels in charge of you.' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you don't dash your foot against a stone.'" 7Jesus said to him, "Again, it is written, 'You shall not test the Lord, your God.'" 8Again, the devil took him to an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. 9He said to him, "I will give you all of these things, if you will fall down and worship me." 10Then Jesus said to him, "Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.'" 11Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and served him. (WEB)

About Colin Thompson: Revd Dr Colin Thompson is Associate Minister of Wheatley URC and Emeritus Fellow, St Catherine's College, Oxford.

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