Genesis 3:6-8

November 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

It’s somewhat odd that such a short passage of scripture would contain the beginnings of the fall and corruption of mankind, but it does. These three verses show the process of how Adam and Eve fell then, and how man still falls today. In the 6,000 or so years that the earth has been around, the process hasn’t changed. So why does it still happen? How do we recognize it when it comes our way? How do we stop it from affecting us?

Before we look at these things, let’s look at what actually took place in the garden that day. It is important to understand that this is something that happened after the Creation was finished. This would seem like a no-brainer to most people, but unfortunately it’s not. There are many who talk about different theories of Creation (progressive creation, gap theory, theistic evolution, etc…). They present these theories as intelligent, reasoned responses from a meshing together of scripture and science. In today’s day and age, that may seem like it’s worthwhile, but it’s not, and for a few good reasons. For many, these types of ideas are presented in order to “get them in good” with the atheistic/pro-evolution intelligensia, while still maintaining some sort of standing with the faithful. This falls apart from both sides. The intelligensia don’t care about anything having to do with faith (especially Christianity) or anything based on it; and the faithful see anything that denies the truth of scripture as wrong. One of the main problems with all of these ideas is that you have death and decay occurring before the fall of man. This is in direct opposition to scripture. In Genesis 1, we saw that at the end of the Creation everything was deemed by God as “very good”. This would include all of creation, like the angels. At this point, even Satan hadn’t rebelled yet. For the theories that co-mingle science and scripture, this is a killer. All of them have to have death and decay before the fall in order for them to be able to fit the millions of years that evolution calls for into scripture.

The more offensive quality of all of these theories, in my mind, is that they arrogantly reject the plain reading of scripture. If read plainly, you can only get six, 24-hour days for Creation. If you reject this, and you reject the biblical timeline presented for man, then where do you start taking everything as factual? Abraham? If that’s the case, then you’ve erased the entire foundation for the history of man, sin, and even Jesus Himself (Jesus’ lineage is traced all the way back to Adam….)!

Scripture says that after the Creation took place, Eve was in the garden. She was near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the serpent had begun to tempt her to eat the fruit. He had questioned what God had said. Eve’s response added to the words of God by saying that they couldn’t eat of the fruit or even touch it. When she touched the fruit and didn’t die, she must have felt emboldened. After all, she had been told (or so she thought) that she couldn’t touch the fruit without dying. If God was wrong about this, couldn’t He be wrong about eating it too? The serpent had told her (as we saw last week) that if she ate the fruit she wouldn’t die (even though that’s what God said would happen), but she would become “like God, knowing good and evil”. The serpent (Satan) downplayed the consequences God had clearly laid out when He gave them the order, and played up the things that she would gain if she ate of the fruit. The scripture then says that the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was a desire to the eyes, and that it was “desirable to make one wise”. Here is the trap that Satan continues to lay before man day in and day out! God has taken great steps to make sure that man knows exactly what His laws are, to the point that He has given us a conscience to know right from wrong. He has written His laws on our hearts (Romans 2:15) so that we know whether or not what we’re doing is in alignment with those laws or not. It is here that Satan plays his high cards. As he did in the garden, Satan tramples the boundaries/laws God has set forth and  creates a mirage where man can “be like God” with all of the powers and abilities as such. He then lures man away from sound reason by enhancing the beauty of the sin over it’s reality. The visual attraction of the thing resonates within the man and leaves him to continue building this false image on his own. The image gains life through the longings of the man. In his race to gain wisdom, he neglects the dangers of his creation and plunges headlong into sin. Sadly, all of this is done in an effort to gain wisdom apart from God.

Before we continue, let’s look at an all to common occurrence and how it fits the pattern of the Fall. A married man has been having trouble at home. Things have gotten heated and there have been arguments and fights. The love that was there when he and his wife first got married is nowhere to be found. When he comes home there is no kiss at the door, no smiles or laughter, only a long list of things to do. Because of this, he starts working later into the evening. He tells himself that he’s doing what he needs to for his family’s provision. Because the man can’t talk to his wife about things, he confides in a co-worker. She is beautiful, smart, and much more understanding than his wife has been. She really seems to know how he feels and that thought alone gives him hope. They meet after work to talk about some of the latest atrocities at home and end up having dinner. They begin to meet more and more often, leading to weekends away from home for the both of them. Before anyone realizes, the man has “fallen in love” with his co-worker and has committed adultery. He has given his heart to another and has forsaken his marriage covenant. When his wife finds out, she’s devastated. She has been suspicious but has held out hope that her husband wouldn’t do something like that. She and her kids look around to see the home, the family, and the life they had in shambles.

This is an all too common happening for both men and women, inside and outside the church. Why does this happen so frequently? For the same reasons that Adam and Eve fell in the garden. One of the partners in a marriage forgets the commands that have been given to them by God. They forget the covenant they made and instead justify their actions by focusing on the hurt the other person may or may not be causing them. They hold on to the hurt and even feed it. They neglect the scriptural commands given to them in Ephesians and 1 Peter on how husbands and wives should treat each other. They no longer see each other as Christians, but as enemies. Along with the tension and fighting, Satan introduces someone that lures one of them away from sound, scriptural reasoning. He plays up the warm, caring attributes of the distraction, enhancing the visual beauty of the person over the reality of the sin(s) they might commit. The imagination of the “perfect person” leads the married person to build a false image and place their hope in this instead of God. This relationship gains a life of its own, leading the adulterous couple deeper into sin. The result is a broken marriage (at least one), broken home (at least one), and broken lives.

The serpent came to the woman to tempt her. He lied to her about what God said as well as the reality of what would happen if she ate the fruit. Many place the blame squarely at her feet. I don’t. The scripture says that the man was there with her when all of this took place. It implies that he saw the entire thing and he did nothing about it. He, too, knew what God had said and as the head of the woman (Ephesians 5:23), as the one responsible for her well-being, it is upon him that some of the blame must fall as well. Had Adam resisted the temptation to eat of the fruit, I wonder what would have happened. Be that as it may, it didn’t happen. Instead, both Adam and Eve were responsible for the fall of all of mankind into sin and death. In their simple action of eating a forbidden fruit, they marred a perfect creation and broke fellowship with their Lord and God.

When they ate of the fruit, they did gain the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge was instantly brought to bear by their realization that they were naked. Their innocence had disappeared and was replaced by shame. In their ignorance (possibly arrogance?) they stitched together makeshift clothing for themselves. They tried to use their own works, their own efforts, to cover their sin and shame. To add insult to injury, they tried to hide from the presence of God when they heard Him approach. Sadly, this is still happening today. Many people get convicted for their sins and try to do some amount of good works to make up for them. As was the case in the garden, this is still inadequate today. There is nothing that man can do to cover his sins. And like our ancestors before us, we try to hide ourselves from the presence of God. We think that if we hide among others like us, He won’t see us or know about our sins. We think that maybe He’ll forget about them and we’ll be off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth. God knows each and every sin that we’ve committed, until it is covered and erased by the blood of Jesus. It is only then that our sins are forgotten.

Today, the level of depravity man has reached seems unprecedented. Where Adam and Eve were ashamed to be naked, so many in America and around the world are not. They parade themselves around without a stitch of clothing, having no shame or fear of God. Photographs of naked men and women fill magazines. Videos of men and women doing things that should only be done in private fill “adult” stores and flow freely across the internet. Even worse, there are now places in Britain where people can perform intimate acts in public while people watch. Where the shame of Adam and Eve led to their humility, as well as repentance for their sins, the lack of shame and humility today shows the depths of the sin that many people have fallen into.

All sin starts out in basically the same way. Man forgets (or more often ignores) the commands of God. He questions the truth or sincerity of what God has commanded and often adds his own feelings to the scriptures. He then focuses on what he desires instead of focusing on whether or not that desire is Godly. He builds that desire through the creative use of his imagination until it reaches the point where it has a life of its own. This desire then leads the man further away from God and closer to sin. It isn’t just sexual sins that happen this way. It can even be things that would be considered perfectly ok in other situations. Many have been drawn away by money, jobs, fame, or power. In and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with these things. But, if they lead a person farther away from God, they could be sinful. This could go even further. In the church, there are many that chase after ministries. They desire to do something so badly that they forget the commands of God, and in doing so, lead themselves away from Him. The desire in and of itself is not wrong. It is perfectly fine to desire having a ministry so that you can glorify God and spread the gospel. However, if that desire becomes the focal point of your life or if it leads you away from God and toward sin, it is a problem.

The bride of Christ is to be unblemished. For this to be the case, she must start in and stay in the truth of God found in scripture. If she is drawn away from the voice of her bridegroom, she will not hear Him when He returns….that would be a tragedy of the highest order…

Next week, we will continue our study in Genesis 3. We hope that you’ll continue along with us! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please send them to us; we would love to hear from you!

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