For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (
Genesis 3:5 ESV)
The bait of Satan was that they would "Be like God". They would be wise in their own right and not be dependent upon God for their decisions. Complete autonomy. How often do we fall into that trap, the desire to be independent of God, authority of any king, the desire to have to answer to no one but myself and what I think is right or best for me. Later in Noah's day we see the sam inclination in humanity: "And everyone did what was right in their own eyes."
Even thought this independence and autonomy is a natural drive (thanks mom and dad) it is the very root of rebellion and broken relationship with God and others in our life. We shun close relationships that begin to pry too deeply into our secret selves, we spurn accountability and really fake transparency. We fear that if we are truly known for who and what we really are, then somehow, someone will have an upper hand against us to control us. To be known is to be vulnerable, to be vulnerable is to be controlled and to be controlled is death. The only way to keep from being controlled is to cover ourselves, at least the parts we are ashamed of; and to hide from God and others.
In the end, the very thing we thought would "make us like God"; complete independence, ended up making us more like Gollum.
"Actor Andy Serkis has revealed that his portrayal of Gollum in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is inspired by addiction. Serkis first brought Gollum to life on the big screen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy over 10 years ago. Gollum is a creature consumed by his desire to possess "the ring," which he often refers to as "my precious" and "my birthday present." Throughout his rather wretched life, he's often torn between this desire and a parallel yearning to be free from it. "Gollum is entirely based on the notion of addiction," says Serkis. “The way that the ring pervades him, makes him craving, lustful, depletes him physically, psychologically and mentally.” "It was important to find something very real to people watching in this day and age,” he says. “You feel sorry for him but you hate him. Gollum has a weak personality and isn't able to cope with the power of the ring.” Even the character's distinctive, scratchy voice was designed to show "how he carries that pain [of addiction]"."
Lord, help me to trust you enough to turn away from those things that would harm me and my dependent relationship with you.
Pastors Phil Harris of Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.