I confess that I hadn’t come across the term, “Epic Fail,” until I read it for the first time on someone’s Facebook page. Obviously, I’m not quite as “down with the kids” as I thought! According to the number one definition on www.urbandictionary.com, it means, “Complete and total failure when success should have been reasonably easy to attain.” Often it’s used when someone owns up to making a daft decision, and normally it elicits a one-word response, regularly on the lips of Homer Simpson, – “DOH!” It seems to me that, in the phrase “Epic Fail,” this present generation have hit upon an apt description of the scene we read about in in Genesis chapters 2 & 3. The LORD God provided Adam and Eve with every blessing you could imagine under the sun (literally!). They had free reign over all they could see, hear, touch, taste and smell, with only one proviso; that they should not eat from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (2:17) Now, we could go back and forward all day and half the night debating why that was the one forbidden thing. However, if you’ll excuse my being “punny” for a moment, I would say that such a quest is an utterly fruitless exercise. The fact of the matter is that God didn’t just advise Adam to steer clear of this particular tree, He “commanded the man” to do so (2:16). But, you know the story (and, if you don’t, then you ought to read it). Adam and Eve were both duped into trusting a serpent, and ate some of the fruit (by the way, notice that it doesn’t say apple, but “fruit” – Steve Jobs wasn’t around at the time!). What an epic fail; everyone knows that snakes speak with a forked tongue! It is important to understand that satan always exploits our weak points. That is why he approached Eve directly, and not Adam. Whoa – before you run away with the idea that I am outing the “fairer sex” as the “weaker sex,” you need to hear me out. Re-read the story slowly and you will learn that Eve was not created from Adam’s rib until after God gave His commandment about the tree. So, in a sense, she was going on second-hand information when trying to fend off temptation. Maybe that’s why she got it so wrong when she responded to the serpent, “…God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden (CORRECT!), and you must not touch it (INCORRECT!), or you will die.’” (CORRECT!) It’s an interesting exercise to compare what God actually said to Adam (2:17) with what Eve said that God said (3:3). Stretching the truth is the start of a slippery slope and leads to other things. Satan latches on to this and begins to sow seeds of doubt (sorry, another pun!) in her mind and heart. The deceiver then uses her to talk her husband round to sharing in the sin she has committed. In turn, they tried to hide behind an episode of blame shifting (3:12-13). Not surprisingly, this was even less effective in preventing their exposure than were the fig leaves they sewed together to conceal their physical nakedness. As I said at the outset – EPIC FAIL! All of this rotten mess was so avoidable if they had just listened carefully to the LORD God and followed to the letter everything He commanded. Now, take a moment to compare this story with that of Noah and his family (Genesis chapters 6-9). Whilst Noah was far from perfect (9:20), he began well. In a dry and dusty land, miles from the sea and at the tender age of 500 years, Noah obeyed God when commanded to build an Ark. His faithfulness was rewarded with safety when the rain started to fall and the floods rose up. And, the first thing Noah did, when emerging from that deluge, was to build an altar and worship the LORD (8:20). The LORD God responds by setting a rainbow of seven colours in the sky – the perfect number. This symbolises His unconditional love for mankind. Also, have you ever tried to reach that “pot of gold” at the rainbow’s end – impossible, isn’t it? That’s because the forgiveness God graciously offers us in Christ, is never-ending. Now, that truly is EPIC!