God, Our Savior Genesis 3 Adapted from a K. Edward Skidmore sermonhttp://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly .asp?ContributorID=&SermonID=104872
Last week we started our study of the 3:16s of the Bible’s in 2 Timothy 3:16. The ground work has been laid on the fact that; Every scripture is inspired byGod and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable andequipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17 NET
This being the truth, we now journey back to the very beginning.Genesis 3:16 NIV To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will givebirth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
I’m sure we all are very aware of why God said these words to Eve. Have youever worried you’ll never live up to God’s expectations? We search The Bible to learn what pleases & displeases God. God’s people, the Israelites, were given just 10 Commandments to direct how they were to live. The Old Testament isfull of stories about just how hard it was for them to stay on the “straight & narrow.”
Let’s look at God’s expectations of the first humans. Genesis 2:15 NIV Three DO’S; The LORD God took the man andput him in the Garden of Eden to work itand take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; ONEDON’T; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Do you think you could keep the one & only DON’T? How was it they were unable to obey that rule? I think it’s obvious! They had no idea, noknowledge of good and evil! It’s hard for me to imagine two functioning adultpeople working & caring for the greatest garden ever. Wise Adam had already named all the creatures on earth. And still they have no clue what right & wrong is.
Can you imagine The Creator God specifically telling you not to do something & not understanding it’swrong, evil, to do what you’ve been told not to do?Adam and Eve were living the kind of life people can only dream about, enjoying perfect weather, perfect health, the perfect marriage, and everything thatmoney could buy without even needing a bank account.
I think that’s the kind of dream that makes a show like “Deal or No Deal” so popular. Surely you’ve seen it, there are 26 suitcases up on stage and the Contestant must choose the ONE they think is worth a million dollars. Then there’s all kinds of suspense as they pick from the suitcases one by one toeliminate them, hoping for the best. Well,Adam and Eve had the “Deal or No Deal” set up, with a twist.
Picture yourself playing the Garden of Eden Game Show. In The Garden of Eden Game, ALL the suitcases except one are winners. Not only that, but the Game Show Host calls you aside and gives you inside information. He tells you, “You can pick ANY of thesesuitcases and you’ll win it all, but don’tpick number 26 over there. That one willwipe out your winnings and you’ll be out of the game forever.”
What a set up! Only one wrong suitcaseand the Host TELLS you which one it is. You can’t lose! Right?Well, that’s the way it seemed when God told Adam and Eve: “You can eat fromANY tree in the Garden, except this one.” Then, a new Player entered the scene.
The Entrance of Satan Genesis 3:1 NIV Now the serpent wasmore crafty than any of the wild animalsthe LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, „You must not eat from any tree in the garden‟?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3 but God did say, „You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, oryou will die.‟ ” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it youreyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In Genesis 3 we find out the Creator ofthis beautiful world has an enemy. He iscalled “the serpent,” and the entrance of this mysterious creature will change everything. The great deceiver clothed himself as a serpent, one of God’s good creatures.He insinuated a falsehood and portrayed rebellion as clever, but essentially innocent, self-interest.
Therefore “the devil, or Satan,” is later referred to as “that ancient serpent” (Rev 12:9; 20:2). (NIV Study Bible)The only reason I can come up with as to why God allowed him into the garden in the first place is because God, at Hiscore, wants mankind to have freewill. Hewants humans to make a decision, make up their own mind, to be near Him, communicate with Him, love Him & submit willfully to his guidance.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, „You must not eat from any tree in the garden‟?” We don’t read about Adam and Eve talking to any other animals. Do youwonder if all the other animals were ableto talk as well since there’s no indication Eve was scared when the serpent talked?
Commentators have various ideas about why this talking serpent didn’t frighten Eve. One idea is Adam & Eve frequentlytalked with Spirits & Angels that took the form or inhabited animals. Case & point is Balaam’s donkey. Also with Abraham, Lot & others angels took the form of another animal, humans.
A visitor to India stayed with a friend at his home. The friend made a point of asking the visitor to wake him if heneeded to visit the outhouse in the night. Well, the host slept so soundly, and thevisitor had his own flashlight so he wentoutside on his own in the night to tend to things.
The next time he came to visit there, thefriend explained to him that he wanted tohelp him in the night because they had a cobra living in the wall of their compound that roamed at night, and the friend wanted to protect him from hisserpent night watchman. The visitor was sure glad he hadn’t encountered this cobra in the former visit.
Genesis 3 gives the first introduction to an Evil Being that we call Satan. A Barna survey reported on April 10, 2009; Four out of ten Christians (40%) strongly agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/260-most-american-christians-do- not-believe-that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exis
That is NOT the way the Bible presentsSatan. Scripture describes a literal being who is intelligent, clever, crafty andshrewd. He is able to communicate andto influence us, and his desire is for our destruction. Certainly, the serpent of Genesis 3 represented Satan’s interests. He provided the occasion for the first couple to hear an alternate voice besides the voice of God.
His purpose was to inject doubt into thesituation. We only notice two statements he made to Eve. The first Satan tookGods positive command (You are free toeat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and rephrased it in a negative way: "God wont let you eat of every tree." (Guzik)
The second flatly contradicted God’s words. “You will not surely die,” Hispurpose was to drive a wedge between the Creator and His Creation. Hismethodology is always predictable. He always tells Lies. In fact, Jesus called Satan “the father of lies.” John 8:44 Satan’s lies are usually cleverlydisguised. In this case, he mixed partial truth with his lies.
Now, for all the bad things we could say about Satan, all he actually did was introduce a TEMPTATION. He did not hold the proverbial gun to their heads.Eve could have ignored him. She couldhave run from him. She and Adam could have “told God on him” later that evening. But instead Eve hung on his every word, the way someone might listen to a “hot stock tip.”
The Entrance of SinGenesis 3:6 NIV When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good forfood and pleasing to the eye, and alsodesirable for gaining wisdom, she tooksome and ate it. She also gave some toher husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD Godamong the trees of the garden. 9 But theLORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave mesome fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” Thewoman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and allthe wild animals! You will crawl on yourbelly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, andbetween your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said, “I will greatlyincrease your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which Icommanded you, „You must not eat of it,‟ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to theground, since from it you were taken; fordust you are and to dust you will return.”
Going back to the “Game Show” illustration. If there’s only ONE wrong choice and the Host tells you whichsuitcase not to choose, there is only one reason you would lose, that reason is if you don’t trust the Host.
And that’s the tragedy of Adam and Eve’s sin. There was nothing special about the fruit they ate. It wasn’t poisonous, it didn’t hold some magical power. But the act of eating it showed that way down in their deepest hearts,they did not trust their Creator. How that must have broken God’s heart!
We could say a lot about sin, whatcauses sin, why people are drawn to sin,how people rationalize their sin. But thebottom line is: Sin means we don’t trust our Creator. Sin proves that we DOUBTGod and that we are willing to act on the doubt. In its essence, sin is always REBELLION. And rebellion results in inevitable consequences. The first consequences hit right at the heart and soul of Adam and Eve.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they werenaked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. It only took one taste of Rebellion for Adam and Even to go from naked and NOT ashamed to naked and ashamed. Nothing changed about the shape of their bodies. The only change came in the shape of their minds.
Their darkened minds twisted what was Perfect into something Perverted. The result was a feeling they had never experienced before: the feeling of SHAME.
Sin brought on another emotion that is familiar to all of us, but was unknown to Adam and Eve until that moment. God asked Adam why he was hiding amongthe trees, and He answered, “I heard youin the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Genesis 3:10 NIV
Sin is the author of Shame and Fear. When we sin, the first thing we fear is “getting caught.” We can even become paranoid, constantly “looking over ourshoulder” to see if we’ve been found out. It’s that kind of fear that usually getsCriminals caught. They draw attention to themselves by driving away like a maniac or some other guilty behavior.
In the case of Adam and Eve, their fear and shame led them to hide from God. For the first time, they wanted to avoid fellowship with God. Their relationship with the Creator was broken, just as their relationship with each other wasbroken. The same thing happens to all of us when we sin. We find ourselves wanting to avoid God. And we build up barriers between ourselves and the people closest to us.
The minute they sinned, Adam and Eveexperienced inward death, the death of innocence and the death of relationships. But other consequences of Sin would follow. The whole worldwould now suffer corruption and death.People sometimes ask, “If there really is a God, why is there so much sufferingand pain in the world? Why do we havewar sickness and death?” The answer is found here in Genesis.
Now that Sin had entered the world, God explained there would be PAIN in childbirth and in our work. You have to wonder what it would have been like if Eve had not sinned before she had her firstborn. Maybe she would have come up to Adam one day and said, “Well, honey, today I bent down to pick up something, and, well, here is our newson. I didn’t even know he was coming.”
Genesis 3 may not be anyone’s favorite part of the Bible. It seems like a realdowner. But even in this tragic passage,we find a thread of hope. With God, even the Curse holds hidden Blessing. Asunwelcome as it is, we understand thatpain actually protects us. A person who cannot feel pain will probably not survive long. It turns out that pain is actually a blessing that allows us to survive in this fallen world.
Even the ultimate consequence of sin, DEATH itself holds an element ofblessing. Without death we could never escape the confines of this taintedworld. God has another place in mind for us, a place where we can live forever.The place He is preparing for us has no pain, no corruption, and no death.
The Entrance of the Savior At the end of Genesis 3, God, the greatCreator and Provider of Genesis 1 and 2 would take on a new role. Because ofour sin, God reached down in Mercy and became our Savior.
In verse 15 God said to Satan: And I willput enmity between you and the woman,and between your offspring and hers; hewill crush your head, and you will strikehis heel.” From the very beginning, Godknew that one day he would put on flesh and come to the earth as the seed of woman to save the people He created from the penalty of sin.
Genesis 3:20 NIV Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. God did onemore thing for Adam and Eve before he sent them out of the Garden. 21 TheLORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
This action may seem incidental until you stop to realize that the only way toprovide animal skin, was for an animal to die. This is the first time physical death is recorded. Adam and Eve must have known that animal died because of their sin.
This was the beginning of the sacrificial system that would eventually becomepart of the Jewish law. It was a picture of God’s plan to save us from our sins. In the same way that God provided theanimal skins, He would one day provide his beloved Son as the sacrificial Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
That is the amazing offer of Salvation that God offers you and me. Do you realize God will still clothe us with thesacrificial Lamb? Galatians 3:27 NET For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
22 And the LORD God said, “The manhas now become like one of us, knowinggood and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also fromthe tree of life and eat, and live forever.”23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.This is interesting to me. They were free to eat from the tree of life. It was not forbidden! They could eat, and liveforever! Evidently they had not ate fromit yet or they had to continually eat from it to live forever.
Q. Why did God prevent Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of life anymore? A: There are three aspects to this. Discipline: This would show to Adam and Eve, and to us, the seriousness of disobeying God. Judicial punishment:God promised them that the day they ate the forbidden fruit they would die.
They died spiritually that day, andaccess to the tree of life was taken away from them so that they would die physically.Mercy and blessing: If they could still eat of the tree of life, they would carry around the guilt and curse of their sin forever. So be allowed to die, and start everything off, culminating in Christ coming and bringing salvation for all was a mercy. (Bible Query)
We still have the opportunity to eat & live forever.John 6:53 NET Jesus said to them, "I tellyou the solemn truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink hisblood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinksmy blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
55 For my flesh is true food, and myblood is true drink. 56 The one who eatsmy flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the livingFather sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me. 58 This is thebread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread your ancestors ate, but then later died. The one who eats this bread will live forever."
Yes, there is still an opportunity to eatfrom the Tree of Life. We get a glimpse of it in Heaven. Revelation 22:1 NET Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life — water as clear as crystal — pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 flowing down the middle of the citys main street.
On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit,yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations.Revelation 22:14 NET Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can have access to the tree of life and can enter into the city by the gates.
In the first 3 chapters of the Bible, wefind a brief account of Creation and The Fall that is so simple a child can understand it. But it’s so profound thatwe could spend a lifetime studying it. We would never run out of things to learnabout our God, our Creator, our Provider and our Savior.
2 Timothy 3:16 NET Every scripture isinspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that theperson dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.Having established this, it is because of what we’ve read in Genesis 3 we can understand why the Scriptures, God’s Word, is necessary.
Humans now, knowing good and evil,need God’s plan of redemption to bring us back to him through the sacrificial Lamb, God The Son, Jesus. John 14:6 NET Jesus replied, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No onecomes to the Father except through me.
It’s very possible that some of us here today are actually trying to hide from God. Maybe there is a “hidden” sin in your life that makes you want to avoid fellowship with God. Well, you may be able to hide your sins from the people around you, but, take itfrom Adam and Eve, you can’t hide from God.
God is calling your name like he did toAdam in the Garden. God has alreadyprovided a covering for your sin. Will you answer His call today?