Genesis 3:1-5

November 1, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Today, we begin our look at one of the most tragic events in the history of mankind. God has created the universe and everything in it. He then focused on one planet out of billions to start life. While the earth is not the center of the universe spatially, it is the center of the universe with regard to God’s focus. Here on Earth, God created land animals, birds, sea creatures, and then crowned His creation with man. There was nothing at all wrong with this creation, it was perfect. No sickness, no evil, no sin, not even death existed at this time. Man and woman were placed in a garden to tend and care for it. They walked with God and talked to Him face to face. They had no reason to fear God.

Some time after the 6th day of creation all of this changed. I know that it was after the 6th day because the Bible says that after the Creation was finished, everything was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). After the days of Creation were finished, Adam and Eve would have an encounter that they would never forget. Genesis 3 starts out with the serpent being described. It isn’t just some dumb animal that lives by it’s instincts. This creature is more crafty than any beast of the field that God had made. The fact that this is pointed out at the beginning of the chapter doesn’t really bode well for the rest of it, does it?

The serpent then speaks to the woman and says, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” There are a couple things that are usually overlooked here or dismissed with a quick sentence or two. The first thing is that the serpent is talking! This is not the norm for today, but it is obviously possible. Some may say that it is talking because the devil had entered into it. It seems plausible, but there is one nagging thing about it. The woman doesn’t seem surprised in the least that the serpent is talking to her. The dialogue would prove to be the undoing of mankind. The serpent talks about God’s command given to Adam in chapter 2. If you remember, in verses 16 and 17 of chapter 2, God had commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. On the day they did, they would “surely die”. I find it interesting that even today most people still focused on what God said not to do in absence of what Adam could do. God said that Adam could eat of any tree in the entire garden, except this one! Every other tree was fair game for man to eat from.

The problems with the serpent’s question are still echoing today as the devil uses the same tactics on us. First, the serpent (devil) subtly changes the wording of God’s command. God said that they could eat from any tree but the tree of knowledge of good and evil (TKGE). While Eve answers (somewhat) correctly, the question is framed in the negative and is meant to plant a seed of doubt into the woman’s mind. That it worked is evident in the woman’s response. She replies that not only can they not eat from the TKGE, they can’t even touch it! The doubt about God’s commands has clouded her mind and caused her to misrepresent God’s truth to herself. She has led herself to believe that things are worse off than they really are and that God’s word is not true. Unfortunately, after about 6000 years of sin and spiritual degradation, mankind is still falling for the same old lines. The devil may change the way that these lines are presented, but they are still the same tired lines that he used on Eve.

Seeing that his plan is working, the serpent gets bold and flat out denies what God has decreed. He tells the woman that she would not die but that she would be like God and have her eyes opened so that she could know good and evil. Again, this is a bait that the devil doesn’t seem to have to work hard to use to catch unknowing or uncaring people. Today, man still wants to be God. He still wants to decide how his life should be lived, he wants to choose what is right and wrong. He wants to rule his own life and a moral, absolute law-giver cramps his style. It is here that man would do well to pay attention. Too often, we stumble and find ourselves in the same pit that we were in a year ago, all because we decided not to pay attention to God’s Word….

That is all for this week’s study. Next time, we’ll look at how the woman was deceived and how both Adam and God responded…Hopefully we’ll see you here then!

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