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Genesis 2:24-25 and 3:1-6
As we discovered last week, Eve was a very special person.
For one thing, unlike the rest of creation, she had been brought into existence after Adam had been created.
And while sea life and animals, and even man himself had been formed from the basic elements of our planet, Eve was created from living matter.
Yes, she was made from Adam's rib, requiring an operation, and even the involvement of pain, had not God rendered him unconscious.
And finally, we were made aware of that special "one flesh" relationship that existed between Adam and Eve.
Yes, Eve was very a special creation, not only because she was the perfect "help meet" for her husband, but because she was a type of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Yes, Eve was like the Bride of Christ in many ways.
She was pre-dated by her husband, who is a type of the Eternal One.
And like the church, her husband was wounded to bring her into existence.
Also, Eve was part of Adam's body, as is the Church of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:30 "--- we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
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However, Adam and Eve are not the only couple to foreshadow this blessed relationship.
For instance, there is Isaac and Rebekah, and several other couples that are mentioned in scripture.
However, rather than focussing on these individuals at this particular time, I would like to continue our study of the marriage relationship itself that we began in last week’s lesson.
As you will remember, the Jewish custom of espousal, current in Jesus’ day, effectively described the Church’s relationship to Christ during the age of grace.
And just as the espoused bride waited for her bridegroom's arrival, so we should be expectantly waiting for Christ’s second coming.
For 33 years, Jesus walked the dusty roads of Israel, but this time, His feet will not even touch the ground.
No, He will come in the clouds, and His espoused bride will meet Him in the air.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
But there is more!
Not only does the espoused Jewish bride describe our relationship to Christ in this age of grace, but the institution of marriage itself is very instructive when it comes to describing this heavenly relationship, and vice versa.
Let me explain.
As we noted in last week's lesson, God (through Adam) placed the marriage relationship on a firm foundation. --- " Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
Yes, God intended marriage to be permanent, not only because it is the basis on which our society is built, but because Christian marriage foreshadows the eternal relationship between Christ and His Church.
And not only does the permanence of this earthly institution teach us a valuable lesson concerning eternal security, but this heavenly relationship with Christ is a stabilizing force in our own marriages.
So both the type and the antitype are very important, and both are completely intertwined.
That’s why Satan has made such an effort to tear down the stability of marriage, and the stability of our salvation.
Let’s look at Ephesians 5, where Paul uses the type and the anti-type to explain and strengthen each other.
5:21-33 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the
fear of God.
It should be evident from this passage that it is not only Adam and Eve that are a type of Christ and the church, but, actually, every Christian man and woman inside the bonds of marriage should typify this heavenly relationship by their conduct.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Because of our inseparable union with Him and in Him, we are assured of our salvation, our righteousness, our inheritance, and our home in heaven.
It is a relationship that can never be broken.
Because we are God’s dear children, we can expect to be disciplined if we disobey; but because we are the Bride of Christ, we will never be lost.
No, there will never be a single member of Christ’s body in hell.
And as our relationship to Christ is the foundation of our peace, so our earthly marriages should be an island of peace, and the umbrella under which the children can safely dwell.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
23-24 "And Adam said, This is now bone of my
bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken
I’m sure everyone will agree that V 24 places marriage on a stable foundation, but was this utterance merely Adam’s opinion on the subject?
Certainly V 23 tells us that it was Adam that spoke these words.
However, I still don't believe he was the author of these words.
As a matter of fact, I believe they were actually God's first revelation to man, and they emphasized the importance that He placed on the stability of marriage.
No, Adam could not have been the author of these words, because they involved a subject he knew nothing about.
After all, Adam had been created as an adult, never having a father or a mother, and he had never been a father himself.
No, he knew absolutely nothing about the concept of parenting, and yet he said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother.”
With no previous experience to base his statement on, Adam effectively laid down the basic principle that the marriage relationship should take precedence over the parental relationship.
And even though Adam was fully aware of the physical aspects of the statement "and they shall be one flesh," there is a much deeper meaning to his words than he could have ever imagined.
Paul brings this out in Ephesians Chapter 5.
V 31-32 "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." (Essentially he was quoting Adam's words, and then he makes this additional statement.) "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
So, even though Adam was completely unaware of the fact that he and his wife were a type of Christ and His Church, and that their marriage was a picture of the church's unending union with Christ, he effectively nailed down the permanency of marriage on the very day that God brought Eve to him.
Yes, Adam was God's very first prophet.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now, I realize that some marriages end in divorce, and there is nothing that the unfortunate partner can do about it.
I have the greatest sympathy for those who have gone through that devastating experience, and I'm not here to judge them.
However, the principle still remains--God intended marriage to be permanent.
And Jesus quoted Adam’s very words (although He attributed them to God)to make this point.
see that in Matthew 19:3-6 "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is
it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
So there you have it. Marriage was instituted by God, and He immediately protected it by His inspired word-- "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
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Genesis 2:25 "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."
Obviously, they didn't need clothing to protect themselves from the elements.
At that particular time, the world probably enjoyed a universally temperate climate.
But what about the moral and psychological implications?
Apparently they weren’t a problem either.
And we will be discussing this subject a little more thoroughly when we get further on in Genesis Chapter 3, but we must begin at the beginning.
And here we are at the beginning of this chapter and V 1: "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
So far we have discovered some unusual things in Genesis:
· The climate and watering system were much different than they are today.
· Man and animals were vegetarians.
· And now, to top it all off, we are about to meet a talking animal--or at least an animal that talked.
I'm sure we will all agree that Satan must have been indwelling the serpent, and that it was he who was controlling the conversation, although the scriptures don't actually say that, or even mention his name in that connection.
However, what is obvious from the surrounding context is the fact that this wasn't the first time that the serpent had spoken to Eve.
Certainly he was of a higher order, for V 1 clearly tells us he "--- was more subtle than any beast of the field." But could he actually talk?
Of course, I wasn’t there, even though I might look that old, but the point is, Eve was, and her reactions are quite revealing, or should I say, her lack of any reaction whatsoever was quite revealing.
the snake just walked right up to her and said, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every
tree of the garden?" And Eve
answered his question without batting an eyelash: "We
may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
If this was the first time she had experienced such a thing, I think she would have run the other way shouting, Adam, there's an animal over here that can talk!
But she didn’t, did she?
No, she answered his question calmly, like it was an everyday event, because it was an every day event.
And if the serpent could actually talk, then he would have been the ideal tool for Satan’s purposes.
Yes, He could get his message across, and Eve would be none the wiser.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
However, there is another scenario.
Perhaps the serpent really wasn't a talking animal.
Perhaps Satan had been talking to Eve through the serpent for a month or so in order to precondition her, and by now she really believed serpents could talk.
Certainly Satan would be smart enough to make such a preparation.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
But actually, it doesn't really matter whether the serpent could talk or not.
What does matter is the content of their conversation, because it has affected us all.
So let's listen in.
If we stand behind these bushes, no one will ever notice us.
Genesis 3:1 "--- And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Here is the very first indication that it really was Satan who was controlling the conversation.
Yes, the very first words out of the serpent’s mouth questioned the reliability of God’s Word---"hath God said"?
Did God actually say that?
Maybe Adam got it all wrong.
Maybe there was something lost in the translation.
And even today, it really doesn't matter who is actually speaking. Whenever the reliability of God's Word is questioned, you can be pretty sure who is controlling the conversation.
Yes, that’s step 1 in Satan’s program--- question the Word of God.
And it’s still step 1 in his program, and it still works very well:
Did God actually mean it when He said --- "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him"?
Surely a loving God would never say there is only one way to heaven. That’s just too narrow.
And besides that, there are so many contradictions in the Bible.
No, you shouldn't take everything literally.
For instance, look at the book of Genesis.
You know that part about a flood covering the whole earth, and a boat that could hold enough animals to repopulate the entire world.
Yes, that’s step 1: Question the Word of God.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
But you have to give Eve credit for one thing.
She did answer the serpent’s question by quoting the Word of God.
2-3 "And the woman said unto the
serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But she didn’t quote it very well, did she?
Somewhere along the line, someone added to God’s statement.
Maybe it was Adam.
After all, he was the only one who had actually heard God’s commandment.
Or was it Eve?
We don't really know, but the fact remains, someone had been careless--or perhaps ever worse--in their handling of the Word of God.
Here's what God actually said: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it." And that's all He said, other than spelling out the consequences.
However, Eve added the words "neither shall ye touch it."
Do you detect a certain tone of discontent in those words?
They were Eve's words, or possibly Adam's, and they revealed a rather negative attitude toward God's commandment.
Isn’t that the way it is with false cults?
They add and take away from the Word of God in order to promote their own opinions and agendas.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So that was step 1: Question the Word of God.
And having found a little chink in Eve's armour, Satan felt confident enough to take step 2.
V 4 "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die."
Having successfully questioned God’s words, it wasn't long before he blatantly denied it: "Ye shall not surely die."
When Eve heard that statement, she should have ran for the hills!
But she stayed, and she listened.
And as she listened, she began to question the motives of her best friend, and that left her wide open for step 3, the substitution of a lie for the truth.
4-5 "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye
shall not surely die:
God had said, "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," but Satan said, "in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened."
Yes, he actually quoted God’s words, and then added some of his own.
And you know what?
That’s exactly what Eve had done!
Yes, Satan used enough truth to make his lie convincing, and then he added,"then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods--."
But they weren't going to be "as gods."
Oh, their eyes would be opened all right, but only to show them that "they were naked.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So let’s re-read V 5---"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Wouldn't you think this would be a hard sell even for Satan?
After all, Eve was living in a garden paradise.
She had an incorruptible body with no possibility of disease or death to worry about.
She had a good husband.
And when the time came for her to have children, she wouldn't experience birth pains.
Yes, she had it made.
But then Satan said, Hey, you haven't seen anything yet. There’s a bright new world out there, and you’re missing out!
And you know what? He still uses that same tactic today.
And although I might sound a little biased, I think he uses it most effectively on Christian young people, or at least on young people from Christian homes.
You see, young people who have been raised by Christian parents are a lot like Eve.
Oh, I realize Christian homes are not always a paradise, but compared to a lot of worldly homes, most of them are.
But Satan begins spreading discontent: You’re missing out. Get a life, man. There are a lot of cool things going on out there.
And there are a lot of exciting things for young people to experience in the world.
Viewed from a distance, they look pretty good.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And Satan has something better for adults, too.
A few years ago, it was THE BRAVE NEW WORLD, and then it was the NEW CONSCIOUSNESS, and THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT.
But, actually, none of these things are new.
They’re the same old lie that Satan told Eve back in the Garden.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
So Eve was in a dilemma.
Who was she going to believe?
Was God really her friend, or was the serpent her friend?
It was kind of like a Pandora’s Box.
There might be wonderful things inside, but you had to open it to find out.
And she just couldn’t take a little nibble and spit it out if she started to feel funny.
No, she couldn't test the forbidden fruit.
But, actually, it wasn't the fruit that needed testing.
It was her heart that was on trial, and it should have passed the test with flying colours.
God had given her everything.
Why would she doubt such a Friend, even for a moment?
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
But Eve had already listened to Satan’s lie, and already her heart was contaminated by suspicion and pride.
And because of this, she had really narrowed down her options.
If you start questioning the Word of God, if you begin to doubt His motives, you only have one thing left: human reasoning.
Now, human reasoning is really great when it comes to solving most day-to-day problems, but it's not worth a fig when it comes to checking out God.
Yes, Proverbs 3:5 is very good advice: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
And with all the emphasis we place on smarts today, the real issues of life are still a matter of the heart.
However, Eve had decided to follow her head rather than her heart.
V 6 "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."
Actually, it's not too surprising that human reasoning came up with "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," for 1 John 2:16 tells us that's all there is "in the world."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And even when he tried to tempt Jesus, Satan could only come up with these same three categories.
In Jesus’ case, he started out with the desire of the flesh---"If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."
What an appealing suggestion this must have been after a 40-day fast.
"Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them."
Here we have the desire of the eyes, but, of course Jesus wasn't buying it.
Then he tried "the pride of life."
Cast thyself down from "a pinnacle of the temple." The angels will catch you, and you will be immediately recognized as their Messiah.
In each case, Jesus countered the Devil's temptations by quoting the Word of God.
And we should hide God's word in our hearts also against the day when Satan tempts us in these very same areas.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Well, Eve had a good look at "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," and right away she noticed "that the tree was good for food."
Well, I should think it would be, after all, God made it.
That was the appeal to the desire of the flesh.
But what about all the other fruit in the Garden of Eden? Wasn't it good for food?
Why do we always convince ourselves that forbidden fruit will taste so much better?
Why does the baby tip over his pabulum, trying to reach his father's food, which he is unable to digest?
It’s just human nature, isn't it?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And then she took another look, a very wishful look, and she discovered that, "--- it was pleasant to the eyes."
How could something be bad when it looked so good?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And she just knew it was "--- a tree to be desired to make one wise."
Now, how in the world did she ever figure that out?
Actually, she didn't figure it out.
The whole idea had been planted in her heart by the power of suggestion.
Remember Satan’s words--"then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.”
By now she thought it was her idea, and it tickled her pride.
Yes! We can "be as gods."
Does that sound a little familiar?
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
Ah, yes, Satan had said those very words, and Eve would be the second one to fall because of pride.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Next week, we will be looking at another first.
Yes, Genesis Chapter 3 records the first time that man experienced God's judgment.
At first, we might be inclined to think that God was a little harsh.
After all, it was only stealing apples, wasn't it?
Actually, we don't really know what kind of fruit it was, but that's not the point.
You see, it wasn't the apple in the tree that was the problem. It was the pair on the ground.
No, it wasn't a case of stealing apples. It was nothing less than rank rebellion.
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