“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”….So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” ~Genesis 3:4-5, 6b

 

If we’re honest, we’ve all thought Snow White was kind of dumb for taking the apple from the gross looking hag in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  However, it is a trait she came by honestly: her predecessors shared the same trait of gullible innocence.  The text describes Psyche as “open-hearted and simple,”[1] “very simple-minded,”[2] “silly.”[3]  Not exactly glowing recommendations, but her beauty makes up for it I suppose.

Knowing his beloved’s weaknesses, Psyche’s husband tells her not to heed her sisters – that she shouldn’t even see them!  However, she insists upon it, and promises not to disclose anything about him when they visit.

Psyche is naive and foolish, thinking she knows best.  Granted, her sisters seem full of affection and love toward her, so it’s not entirely her fault she fell into their trap. Despite the love and provision of her husband, despite everything she knows and has experienced, she believes their lies about him.  How could she possibly believe he is a horrid snake, intent upon eating her and her unborn babe? 

Yet she does.  It is this belief that causes Psyche to betray her husband.

Psyche in all of Us

Why didn’t Psyche listen to her loving husband?  Why did she insist that she knew better, when he was so much wiser?  Why did she act upon the lies rather than simply asking her beloved about them? How could she so easily believe her beloved is a monster that would harm her?

And yet, in Psyche’s betrayal, we see ourselves.

Why don’t we listen to our beloved, Jesus, when He tells us something?  Why do we insist we know better, when He has told us He knows all?  Why do we act on lies rather than taking them to the Cross?  

And although we may not consciously see God as a monster, we often treat Him as if He is out to harm us.

Eve was the first to believe this lie.  She believed the lies of the Adversary – that God was denying her something good, that He didn’t have her best at heart.  She believed, and she acted upon the lie.  She betrayed her Beloved.

Just as Psyche did.

Just as we do.

The rest of the story charts Psyche’s desperate journey to regain her beloved, doing impossible tasks in order to get him back.  We do the same.  We obey God with everything we can possibly think of, turning our love into legalism to try and earn back His favor.  Psyche does grow wiser from her fall and learns to heed advice, but not even that can save her from Venus’ cruelty; likewise, no amount of wisdom and safe-living can save us from our Enemy’s cruelty.

In the end, Psyche cannot win back her love.  In the end, her love must come for her.

Just as ours must….

 

Sources

[1] Apuleius, 111.

[2] Ibid., 113.

[3] Ibid., 115.


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