The French word marionette means “little Mary.” According to scholar Scott Cutler Shershow, puppets often intertwined theology and theater, and the name marionette probably came from the figure of the Virgin Mary in a Nativity crèche. Marionettes are controlled by pulling strings attached to its limbs. The puppeteer is usually located up above the stage, controlling the actions and movements by lifting the strings up or down. The puppet can do nothing on its own.
God did not create us as marionettes. We are designed by God to think and choose. Adam and Eve had to decide whether to obey God’s instruction in the Garden of Eden or whether to listen to Satan and disobey. Their choice, of course, had far-reaching consequences, even for us today.
The serpent offered a tempting proposition: “You will be like God knowing good and evil” (v. 5). First Eve and then Adam considered this enticing proposition and then made a choice. Would they obey God’s clear instruction? Or would they believe the glittering alternative of the serpent? They chose to eat the fruit, and instantly they realized the consequences of their action (v. 7).
God did not create mankind to be His puppets or slaves or robots. He created human beings with the capacity to process and think and decide. They could choose to listen, to worship, and to obey. Or they could choose to doubt, to disappoint, and to rebel. God desired the love of Adam and Eve, but He did not require it. And, He gives us the same choice today. As our key verse today reminds us, all of us are born with the inclination to choose sin as a result of the choice made by Adam and Eve. Thankfully, through Jesus we can also choose life and obedience.
You are designed with the ability to make choices. You can obey God, or you can ignore His prompting and follow the temptations of the world. Our freedom to choose does not guarantee that we will make wise decisions or escape the consequences of foolish ones. Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you make choices that obey God and bring Him glory.