And How Did God Punish Adam?
June Boyer, Johannesburg – I was interested to read the article “Lord’s Prayer: Germans to stay, Italians to change” (February 7), in regard to translations in the respective countries’ bishops’ conferences of the line “and lead us not into temptation”.
Long ago I came to the same conclusion that our Creator would not put temptation in our way, and taught my grand-daughter to say, “and let us not be led into temptation”. I say the same when I pray silently, instead of “and lead us not into temptation”.
Regarding the letters on the subject of whether women suffer the pains of childbirth as a result of original sin, I find the concept preposterous. To think that our Creator would punish women in this way because of the alleged sin of Eve — what punishment did he mete out on men for the alleged original sin of Adam?
This kind of thinking is rather hard to swallow in this scientific age.
Here’s What the Scriptures Tell us
God doesn’t need to lead us into temptation – he doesn’t put fresh “badness” into our hearts – but he may give a person over to themselves – and this is possibly the worst thing to suffer. We learnt in Exodus that “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” – he didn’t bend Pharaoh’s will or turn him against the Israelites and he didn’t put fresh evil into the heart of an innocent man – but he may have let Pharaoh do what was natural to him. That’s why we pray “Lead us not into temptation” asking God to never let us go and keep us firmly in his hand.
In Genesis, we learn that as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve, man will toil to produce food from the ground and women will bring forth her children in pain. We also know from scripture study that after the fall sin entered the world – and that means that death and suffering entered the world too. Pain in childbirth is just one of a myriad of ways that nature fell – the most important being that we are now born with sinful natures and are separated from God. All of this is precisely why Jesus came – why we need a saviour – to reconcile us to God.