Genesis 3:8-13

November 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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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. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Man and woman both have disobeyed God in the one command that He gave them. The only thing that they couldn’t do was eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To many, this may seem unfair. They couldn’t eat from one tree. What did it matter to God if they ate from the tree? But, thinking about it, isn’t that how we look at everything we can’t do? Don’t we often look at the commands of God in the negative instead of the positive? When we hear “flee immorality” we bristle because it is immorality that our sinful nature loves. But what about Adam and Eve? They were without sin before they disobeyed God. What was it that drove them to disobey God? I believe that it was the persuasion of being like God that the serpent laid out before them (remember Adam was there with Eve). It was really the only thing that they could be tempted with. They had everything else. They were perfect (literally), they lived in paradise, they were pretty much immortal; what else could move them?

When they began to think about God and how they were different and the question of the serpent rang in their ears, doubting what God actually said, it was enough to lead them into sin. Satan was beside himself at his ability to get God’s prime creation to turn their backs on Him. And, like a double-edged knife, once Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, once their eyes were opened, they not only realized what they did was evil; they knew that they would never be like God and they had forfeited all they had for a lie. In a pitiful effort to appease their guilt, they covered themselves with fig leaves to hide their shame (nakedness). And when their Lord and Creator walked in the garden, they hid themselves from His presence. How often do we give up everything for a lie? How often do we sin against God and then try to hide our shame? How often do we try to deceive ourselves into thinking we can hide ourselves from God?

The Lord walks in the garden and begins to call out to Adam. Many who hate God or see religion as a crutch gawk at this. They mock God because the all-powerful Creator doesn’t seem to know where the two people He made are at. They don’t understand that God wasn’t calling to them because He didn’t know where they were at. He called to them because He was giving them a chance to step out into the light of His presence, confess and repent of their sin, and be reconciled to Him. Just like He gives numerous chances to those who mock Him for what they see as ignorance. And, sadly, like Adam and Eve, many fail to step out and acknowledge God for who He is and look at themselves in His pure light.

When Adam finally came to God it was with fear. He had heard the Lord and knew that He had disobeyed the commandment. He was honest enough to tell God that he was naked (he wasn’t supposed to know). It is here that man falls apart and falls into the nature of sin. God asks him two simple questions that have equally simple answers. He asks the man: “Who told you that you were naked?” and then “Did you eat of the tree that I commanded you not to eat?” Both simply answered. And yet, instead of answering God directly, instead of confessing his sin and repenting for his disobedience, Adam avoids both questions altogether. He puts the blame of his sin directly on his wife. It is a purely self-serving move on his part. Whether or not he’s ignorant of the hurt that he will cause their relationship is unknown. More than Adam blaming his wife, he blames God. “It was You who gave her to me! If You wouldn’t have given her to me, I would never have sinned.” This line of thinking is wrong too, but in his newly sinful state Adam neither knows or cares. All that matters is that the blame for his sin is not his own. How often does this echo throughout history? Myriads of people alive today blame others for their sin. They blame God for their sin, either directly or indirectly. If they do it indirectly, they say that their sin is just natural and “it’s the way they were born”. Join the club. We are all born sinners, but to blame God for this is to take a page right out of Adam’s playbook. It is his fault that he sinned and it is his fault that we sin now.

Unfortunately, Eve seems to fare no better when God asks her the same basic question. She doesn’t have the man to blame, so she blames the next best thing: the serpent. Now, of all the things that could bear the blame, the serpent would be the most probable. But, the sin still belongs to Eve. Satan sins from the beginning (1 John 3:8), but, he doesn’t force us to sin. We choose to sin, and whether there are environmental factors or not, it is still our choice to go through with it, even as our conscience screams at us not to.

Two perfect people, without sin, in fellowship with the Lord of all in a way you and I will never know. Two perfect people who allowed themselves to be tempted to disobey God’s commands and lead down the path of sin. We would do well to study what has happened to Adam and Eve. The devil’s tactics haven’t changed since the Fall. The packaging may have changed, the ability to tempt or lead people to sin may have become easier, but it is still the same basic form that we see in the garden.

If we sin, we must not hide from God. We must drag ourselves and our sinful nature out into the light, where God’s justice, mercy, and grace can shine on that darkness and we can mortify that sin. We must be willing to fight against ourselves and what comes “naturally”, but we can’t do that alone. It is God’s grace that allows us to even recognize our sin, much less repent for it and put our faith in Christ. Even the faith is a gift! But they are freely given, to all of those who will hear the call of the Lord through the sounds of a hammer on nails and the words, “It is finished!”.

If you have not repented for your sins, you are in danger. You are not guaranteed another day, and you cannot save yourself. Your intelligence won’t save you, your works won’t save you, your silver tongue won’t save you. The only thing that will save you is the cross of Christ and the One who hung there. He has already paid for your sin. Through your repentance and faith, that payment will be applied to your account. It is available to you now, will you take it?

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