Tag Archives: adam

Cycle of Trees

I know it’s probably questionable how many people actually want to read my poetry, and so that’s why I haven’t posted any around here lately (if you are curious to look at what poems I have posted in the past, click here and sift through the Getting Creative posts; there are only a couple pages worth at this point in my blog’s life, so it’s easy hunting) but here’s another one from my vaults, written during a brief period when I wrote several Christ-inspired poems.

I have another post I’ll be doing today, but it’s more of a rant than anything else, and whatever spiritual spin I will put on it will be slight, so I thought this poem could help fill what otherwise might be a  spiritual vacuum in today’s postings.



The first tree—
A tree in a garden was our downfall
Or rather—
The man who ate off it
caused our

          Oh, Adam, why?
          You poisoned your soul
          corrupted your seed
          damned descendants—
          for a taste of fruit
          You listened to Satan’s lies
          You drowned out your Father’s love.

The second tree—
—Our family tree—
—Adam’s tree
was as corrupt as his broken spirit

Humans born sinners
from the

Because of disobedience

But it pleased God
to make a way
to replant—
—that family tree

          A second Adam
          to obey and serve
          and make us children of God


The third tree—
A tree of death
upon which a godly man was nailed

A grim tree
But a tree from which
Jesus’s spirit leapt—
carrying our sins with him

 He restored the way
—to God

          The only son
          defeated sin and death
          what Adam lost
          —for us

The fourth tree—
The new family tree

Its fruit those who love Jesus
And who can be called
—children of God

Not because they deserve to
But because
The son of God let himself
be nailed—

To a tree.

Old school part 1 – You’re aging well

So, today I begin that long-promised series on Old Testament “oddities”—that is, those things in the Old Testament that in many cases make people go Hmmmmm even more so than the miracles in the New Testament do. I had originally figured I might tackle things chronologically but I think instead I’ll bounce around as the mood hits me to tackle one story or topic or another. We’ll be spending most of our time in Genesis and Exodus of course, but given the more “mythological” feel of those two books, I doubt that will surprise you much. I’ll probably do one of these “Old School” posts a week or so; certainly no more than two in a week.

So, what’s on the plate today? Creaky knees, sagging breasts, bent backs and lots of complaining about how things use to be in the old days. Yup. Aging. More specifically, those incredibly long lifespans in the early biblical days.

Adam supposedly lived 930 years, while seven generations later, Methuselah clocked in at 969 and then a couple generations later Noah hit 950. Enoch, supposedly the seventh generation, died young at 365. By and large, after Noah, lifespans took a big dip but still were several centuries long. When we get to one of the next big names of the Bible after Noah, and that would be Moses of course, he lived 120 years, long by today’s standards and certainly by the standards of his day too I’m sure, but certainly a figure that most of us can swallow more easily.

So, I’m going to call bullshit on those 900+ year lifespans aren’t I?


I believe them. Yup, I’m taking this one on faith mostly, but there are some logical reasons as well (granted, the “fact-based” arguments rely on some faith-based assumptions, but it’s logical nonetheless). When God started off with Adam and Eve, things like illness were not part of the equation. I’m not even sure if death was part of the plan and if it was, I’m sure it was intended to be a much different process than the messy ones we go through on this planet. Hell, childbirth wasn’t supposed to be as messy as we know it.

God told Adam that to eat of the fruit of that Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil meant death. And He spoke truly. When Eve and then Adam bit into that fruit, they brought death into their existence. Not instant death, though. That’s one of the reasons Satan went after Eve first. He knew that the fruit wasn’t going to kill Eve right away or even short-term. And he knew that when she realized that, she was going to tell Adam. And Satan knew that was going to make Adam doubt God, which would otherwise have been pretty tough to do considering how tight Adam and God were. And that was the first step to disobedience and sin. And Adam bit. Literally and figuratively.

What happened was that first off, Adam and Eve killed off a major part of themselves spiritually. God intended us to be spiritual beings, even though we were clothed in bodies. That spiritual death was a major blow to humanity because it meant a fundamental separation from God. We also opened the door to illness and pain and all kinds of suffering, which pleased Satan to no end, since he hated us from the moment God told him He was going to create us.

The reason, I believe, for the initially long lifespans, even with illness and death coming into play, was that despite death entering into Adam’s existence, he was still close enough to his original spiritual self to have a hardy body and a long lifespan. It is the subsequent generations that brought a progressive weakening of that reserve and a steady descent into being almost wholly beings of the flesh, with only the barest smattering of our spiritual selves left. Note also that, the men of the Old Testament who were the more direct descendants of Adam also had their first children at advanced ages, often after they had lived a century or more. The biology of humanity was a very different thing then, clearly, and probably closer to God’s original intentions. After the Great Flood (which may end up being part 2 of this series), lifespans took a major nosedive, but let’s also remember how sinful and degraded that generation was. So even though Noah was righteous, the human gene pool was pretty polluted by sin and what there was to work with wasn’t all that great.

Now, you might say, “Oh, Deke, you must also be one of those folks who thinks the Earth is 7,000 years old and shit.” Nope. I don’t believe that at all. I think Adam was created quite a bit more than 7,000 years ago. I won’t get into all of that too much in this installment, but those folks who lived so long, even in the generations immediately following the flood, were long before the recorded civilizations like the Babylonians or Egyptians or anyone else of the region. From what I understand, Jewish genealogies are sometimes “abbreviated” for the sake of convenience, with the lesser or insignificant generations excluded. And even if that hasn’t been the case in recent millennia, I think it was for the genealogies in the Bible. Quite a few more generations existed that the Bible tells us of in my humble opinion. I suspect Adam goes way back to Homo Erectus or Cro Magnon times or somewhere in that epochal neighborhood. We’ve had a long time for Adam’s blood and Eve’s to help build humanity, and also a long time for the deadly nature of that fruit to worm its way fully into our biology.

The fruit has fallen far from the tree, as it were.

Who really blew it in Eden?

apple.jpgA lot of people get a little worked up about the patriarchal nature of Christianity. God the father. Jesus the son. Twelve apostles that were all men. Male-centered language all over the place in the Bible. Understandably, it’s the women who are most likely to feel a bit peeved about this state of affairs. Who can blame ’em? Seems pretty sexist on the face of it.

While I do believe in things like only men being pastors, men as spiritual head of the household (at least in households where they are present) and a lot of things like that, I understand why it doesn’t sit so well with a lot of women. I’ll pick some other day, though, to defend the reasons for men “outranking” women by a small margin on spiritual matters. (And believe me, it ain’t necessarily a privileged position.) 

Instead, let me take this moment to get women off the hook for something by noting that it isn’t the fault of a woman that humans got kicked out of the Garden of Eden and the world took such a nasty turn for all of us spiritually (yes, I believe in the Eden story, and someday I’ll get around to noting why it doesn’t necessarily have to conflict with evolution and other scientific notions).

Yeah, folks, despite centuries of people pointing the finger at Eve, it was Adam who screwed it all up.

Sure, Satan came at Eve first. Sure, she gave in and ate the forbidden fruit. And yes, she offered a taste to Adam. But Adam didn’t have to eat the fucking thing! And despite all the notions that she was some temptress, I don’t think she did something like dangle the damn fruit between her bosoms and say, “Take a taste of it or you won’t get a taste of me for the next few decades, mister.” Hell, even if she had, Adam should have found the nearest waterfall and taken a cold shower.

God told both of ’em not to eat off that damned tree. More than that, Adam was created first and had been hearing God’s voice long before Eve was added to the mix. The man knew the  score. He knew God was good, he knew God was in charge, he knew there was only one freakin’ rule for him to follow: Don’t eat from that tree right over there.

Simple rule.

The problem wasn’t Eve. And you can’t blame her for being a weak-willed sop and neglect the fact that Adam was just as much a pushover as she was. Let’s show some equal treatment here. The problem was that sin itself is a tantalizing thing. God knew that, but he had to provide something counter to Him in order for humans to truly have free will.

The fact that Eve ate the fruit showed that humans could choose to disobey God. It set some major precedent. There probably would have been repercussions for her on some level and maybe for us as a species. But remember, it wasn’t until Adam ate the fruit that they got kicked out of Eden. God didn’t evict Eve. Not until Adam went and disobeyed, and then they both got the heavenly boot. Problem for all of us is that, essentially, the Earth was deeded to Adam. He was the steward of this planet, and when he disobeyed, Satan got a major foothold, taking over the lease in some respects from God.

When Adam looked at Eve and saw she hadn’t been struck dead for eating the fruit, he decided to doubt God and give in to the temptation to do his own thing. And that’s what separated humans from God in a spiritual sense. The guy was put in charge, and he was too much of a wuss to hold out at least long enough to have a few kids.

Because the world would be a vastly different place, I suspect, if the human race had started on the right foot with babies first being born to an obedient couple, or at least a couple with one obedient member. Instead, it started with two people who disobeyed and had been left spiritually dead, one of whom was the head of the “household” (whatever passes for a household in a big garden, at least).

And ladies, this should give you some sense (even before I go into any major debate on male leadership in the faith) of why I don’t think it’s always such a wonderful thing, for example, that I am spiritual head of my household because I’m the guy. With that position comes some responsibilities and burdens that I’d rather pass along, thank you very much.

That being said, at least I’m glad I wasn’t the guy who screwed it up for the rest of us.