THE LOST PRINCESS

Henry_Meynell_Rheam_-_Sleeping_Beauty

Galatians 4:1-7  “1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father’ 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

I began with the truth of the Word of God. Now let me illustrate with the help of an old French fairytale, Sleeping Beauty.

SLEEPING BEAUTY

At the christening of a king and queen’s long-wished-for child, seven good fairies are invited to be godmothers to the infant princess. The fairies attend the banquet at the palace. Each fairy is presented with a golden plate and drinking cups adorned with jewels. Soon after, an old fairy enters the palace and is seated with a plate of fine china and a crystal drinking glass. This old fairy is overlooked because she has been within a tower for many years and everyone had believed her to be deceased. Six of the other seven fairies then offer their gifts of beauty, wit, grace, dance, song, and goodness to the infant princess. The evil fairy is very angry about having been forgotten, and as her gift, enchants the infant princess so that she will one day prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die. The seventh fairy, who hasn’t yet given her gift, attempts to reverse the evil fairy’s curse. However, she can only do so partially. Instead of dying, the Princess will fall into a deep sleep for 100 years and be awakened by a kiss from a king’s son.

The King orders that every spindle and spinning wheel in the kingdom to be destroyed, to try to save his daughter from the terrible curse. Fifteen or sixteen years pass and one day, when the king and queen are away, the Princess wanders through the palace rooms and comes upon an old woman, spinning with her spindle. The princess, who has never seen anyone spin before, asks the old woman if she can try the spinning wheel. The curse is fulfilled as the princess pricks her finger on the spindle and instantly falls into a deep sleep. The old woman cries for help and attempts are made to revive the princess. The king attributes this to fate and has the Princess carried to the finest room in the palace and placed upon a bed of gold and silver-embroidered fabric. The king and queen kiss their daughter goodbye and depart, proclaiming the entrance to be forbidden. The good fairy who altered the evil prophecy is summoned. Having great powers of foresight, the fairy sees that the Princess will awaken to distress when she finds herself alone, so the fairy puts everyone in the castle to sleep. The fairy also summons a forest of trees, brambles and thorns that spring up around the castle, shielding it from the outside world and preventing anyone from disturbing the Princess.

A hundred years pass and a prince from another family spies the hidden castle during a hunting expedition. His attendants tell him differing stories regarding the castle until an old man recounts his father’s words: within the castle lies a beautiful princess who is doomed to sleep for a hundred years until a king’s son comes and awakens her. The prince then braves the tall trees, brambles and thorns which part at his approach, and enters the castle. He passes the sleeping castle folk and comes across the chamber where the Princess lies asleep on the bed. Struck by the radiant beauty before him, he falls on his knees before her. The enchantment comes to an end by a kiss and the princess awakens and converses with the prince for a long time. Meanwhile, the rest of the castle awakens and go about their business. The prince and princess are later married by the chaplain in the castle chapel.

  1. THE CURSE

In the fairytale, we see that a King and Queen have an enemy, the old fairy, who is bitter about being an afterthought at the Christening Ceremony. She gets back at them by putting a curse on precious newborn princess. In order to protect her, they send her out of the palace for fear of her pricking her finger and entering the sleeping death. They place her in a humble cottage, thinking that she will be away from civilization and will not be harmed if she remains there until after her 16th birthday.

How sad for the king and queen. How they longed to hold their daughter and watch her grow day by day. Instead, they were separated from her and entrusted her to some fairies. She had a pleasant enough life, but she was not enjoying the total wealth, love of her parents, and did not even know really who she was, that she was an heir to the throne and Princess Aurora.

In Genesis 3:7-9,15-25 we read another story about a lost identity. “7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

(This is where human life began. How amazing that God could take the dust and breathed His essence into it and with his personal breathe of life, the first man came to life, perfect in form, innocent and ready to learn from God himself.)

“8 Now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground– trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to ear from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not ear from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you ear from it you will certainly die.’ 18 The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ 19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man.’ 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

So here on Earth, after God had shaped all of the different animals from the dirt, every created being became more and more complex. Adam, God breathed His breath into. He received a substance of the Creator Himself into his being. When Eve was created, she was even more elevated in that she was not formed from dirt, but rather from a rib near to the heart of Adam. God knew Adam needed a mate, but much more than that, there was more of the essence of God that he wanted to reflect in his creation of Eve. The Hebrew translation for helpmate has a meaning closer to a problem solver. Someone who would be a nurturer, who had more of a global way of looking after all of the family and taking care of the young as well as her husband.

Adam and Eve were the King and Queen of the Earth who walked and talked daily in the cool of the day with their Creator, God. What a glorious life with no evil, no sorrow, no pain, no shame, no competition, no envy, and no offenses. How wonderful to be taught all that there was to learn from the very mouth of God. To be his pupil, yet to be his beloved as well.

Yet, here in paradise, they did not realize that a bitter enemy wanted to take their place and reign over the earth. They had no concept of envy, hatred, or pride. Lurking in the garden and awaiting his opportunity to trick one of them out of their dominion over this perfect world was the fallen one who had rebelled against God. He was beautiful and lost his place as the highest archangel of worship.

Satan came to Eve and tempted her to taste the fruit of the forbidden tree. She relented and ate it. She looked for Adam and he ate it as well, so they both disobeyed. This is when the curse fell on them and sin entered this world.

              2. THE CONSEQUENCES

God came and had to deal with their disobedience. He was crushed. It was always a possibility, because he had allowed them free will, but he was crushed that their relationship could be destroyed so easily. That the couple showed so little regard for his one request.

First the serpent received his consequence which was to crawl on his belly. Then, the woman was told that she would always endure painful childbirth. She would have to depend on her husband, not on God, to provide, feed, and bring in all they needed to survive. Then she was told he would rule over her. For up until now, she reigned equally with him. Now there would be strife, anger, impatience, misunderstandings, and a whole multitude of other things that would come between them.

Adam, would have to plow and cultivate the earth and harvest their food. Worse yet, thorns and thistles grew up and choked out their plants. Instead of easily plucking pleasant fruits and vegetables that grew without any of their efforts, all at their fingertips given by God; they exchanged it all instead to sweat and to work long back-breaking hours day after day in order to just survive. The greatest loss was their daily communion and walks in the cool of the day with God. Their life became empty and their striving caused great sorrow.

So, the daughters of Eve never knew life in Eden. A cherubim and a flaming sword that swung back and forth guarded and prevented anyone from entering and approaching the tree of life.

             3. THE COVERING FOR THE CURSE

In the Sleeping Beauty story, when she falls into her sleeping death, her one chance to escape her fate is for a prince to come give her a kiss. When she received his kiss, she awoke, and discovered that she was the Queen of a realm. Just now, she began to enjoy her legacy as a member of a royal family with privilege.

So, daughters and sons of Eve, our prince, Jesus Christ, was the one who saved us from our curse. He paid the ultimate price. He humbled himself and became a man. God allowed  him to come knowing full well that he would be misunderstood, called a bastard, and accused of working for Satan when he performed miracles. How scandalous to allow the Prince of Peace to be beaten, nailed to a cross in order to break the curse and purchase our redemption which brought all of us back into a place where we regained our legacy as part of the Kingdom of God!!! What love!!! The blood of Jesus was the price for our defiance.

If there anyone who has not accepted the gift of redemption from Jesus Christ it is yours. You simply have to ask Him into your life by declaring that Jesus is the Son of God and ask forgiveness for your sins. You can joyfully accept God’s generous gift of freedom from sin and it’s curse. Come back into the lineage of royalty that was intended for you and reign in heaven with God for eternity, rather than suffer eternal death.

PRAYER:

Lord, I thank you for loving all mankind so deeply that you provided a way for us to be pardoned and embraced back into your kingdom. Please forgive me of my sins. Come and fill my life with your Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me your ways. Let the Word of God speak to me and bring new understanding and life to me. Transform me into your image and into your character of love. Cleanse me from evil and cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

(Fruit of the Spirit- Galatians 5:22)

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