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Genesis 3:7-14

Last week we discovered another first.

In Genesis 2:24, God gave mankind His first revelation.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Adam spoke these words, but he certainly didn't originate them.

In fact, at that particular time, he knew nothing about fathers and mothers.

He had been created as an adult, never having known what it was to have parents, and yet he established the correct relationship between the marriage and the parental bond.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Ephesians 5:31, Paul makes mention of these historical words, and in the very next verse, he reveals the mystery that lay behind this "one flesh" relationship: "--but I speak concerning Christ and the church."

Also in Matthew 19, Jesus quoted these words in order to defend the institution of marriage, and He correctly identified them as God’s words, not Adam's.

They were God’s first inspired words, and they nailed down the permanence of marriage.

Yes, God intended marriage to be permanent, not only because it is the fabric of society, but because it was to be a fitting type of the permanent relationship between Christ and His Church.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Dhapter 3, we are given an accurate account of Eve's temptation.

The serpent had assured her that "Ye shall not surely die," and she swallowed this lie hook, line, and sinker. 

And in so doing, she allowed the words of a mere creature to supersede the Words of God.

Psalm 17:4 says, "--- by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.”

Nevertheless, Eve chose human reasoning, rather than God's Word, and it led her unerringly to---

·       the lust of the flesh

·       the lust of the eyes

·       and the pride of life

Relying upon her own investigations "---she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At this point, I would like to take a moment to consider the basic changes that must have taken place in Adam and Eve's life before they would have ever considered this momentous step.

First of all, they must have realized that they would be severing their relationship with God.

After all, such a step would clearly indicate that they didn't trust Him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And it all began with Eve.

On the basis of the serpent’s testimony, and as a result of her own investigations, she was totally convinced that God was lying.

Had it really gone that far?

Yes, I'm afraid it had.

After all, God had clearly said, "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

She knew that.  She even told the serpent that . . . but she ate the forbidden fruit anyway.

Why would she do such a thing?

Was she trying to commit suicide?

Of course she wasn't. 

The truth was, she was totally convinced that it wasn't a tree to be dreaded, but rather, " a tree to be desired to make one wise.”

In fact, she staked her life on it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Secondly, she was convinced that God didn’t really love them.

She had come to the conclusion that this commandment was based on an ulterior motive that wasn't in their best interests.

"For God doth know"--- doth know what?

That---"ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

And she believed it!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thirdly, she thought she could outsmart God:

Oh, we'll call His bluff.  We’ll eat of the tree anyway, and "be as gods".  He can’t keep us down!

Oh yes, we’ve got a little more than stealing apples here!

We’ve got total rebellion.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

However, it might surprise us to learn that God did not hold her chiefly responsible. 

In fact, scripture tells us that it was Adam, not Eve, who was credited with plunging humanity into sin.

We see that in Romans 5:12.  "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."

Certainly Adam and Eve were much alike in their disobedience in the sense that they both rejected God’s commandment, but their pathway to disobedience was completely different.

And 1 Timothy 2:14 explains this difference.

"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."

Oh, she was in the transgression all right. That fact cannot be denied, but she was deceived. 

As we have already pointed out, she had swallowed Satan’s lie hook, line, and sinker.

However, according to 1 Timothy 2:14, "Adam was not deceived.”

Apparently he wasn't taken in by the serpent's wild story about becoming "as gods.”

Then why did he do it?

What motivated him to disobey God?

I think Genesis 3:6 gives us a clue.

It says, Eve "took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

Notice the time difference?

When Adam made his fateful decision, Eve had already eaten.

So there was a period of time, be it ever so brief, when Eve was a fallen sinner and Adam was not.

The most striking consequence of this unusual situation was the fact that Eve was now under Satan's control rather than God's.

As Jesus pointed out in John 8:34--- "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."

And just like Satan himself, no sooner had she become a sinner, than she became a tempter.

Oh, Satan was very clever, wasn't he? 

He used the most subtle animal in God's creation to tempt Eve, and then he used that very special person, that unique individual whom God had created especially for Adam, to bring him down.

So ladies, be very careful of that tremendous influence you have on your husband, and commit it unto the Lord.

Fulfill the words of Proverbs 31:12--"She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some people have made the romantic suggestion that Adam decided to share his wife’s fallen condition rather than go on without her.

If that is true, he cannot be commended for his choice.

Yes, if that is really true, then he chose the gift rather than the Giver.

Unlike the second Adam, he was not willing to say "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

So Eve "gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."

On this particular occasion, Eve took the leadership, and it is interesting to note that from that point on, Adam was given the responsibility of leadership in their family.

However, that isn't the real problem, for up until then, Adam didn't rule over his wife. 

No, the problem wasn't the fact that she took the leadership.  The problem was she exercised faulty and rebellious leadership.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

However, Adam didn’t need to follow her, did he?

He still had the power of choice, even though it would have cost him dearly.

And God made that point very clear in V 17. "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife.”

Yes, Adam listened to his wife, and then, with his eyes wide open, for he was not deceived, he ate of the forbidden fruit.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So the bottom line is this.

No one forced either of them to eat of the forbidden fruit.  It was their own choice.

Eve chose to believe the serpent rather than God.

And Adam decided to follow his wife rather than God, and the results were immediate.

V 7 "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”

Satan sort of told them the truth, didn't he? 

He said, "in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened," and they certainly were!

He also told them that they would know "good and evil," and that was true also.

And in many ways it was true that they became "as gods.”  

In V 22 God confirmed that fact when He said, ---"Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”

Ye,s it was the truth, but it wasn't the whole truth. 

And the very first thing their newly acquired conscience told them was "they were naked.”

So, as is always the case, Satan’s twisted truths are lies.

They knew good, without the power to do it, and they knew evil, without the power to avoid it.

And because of their disobedience, they now had a sin nature, and a conscience to point out their shortcomings.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have a question to ask you.

Was the knowledge of good and evil, and this sudden awareness of nakedness, just a coincidence, or did the one produce the other?

Actually, we only have to look around us to find the answer.

Both animals and human babies have no psychological need for clothing, and both have no moral knowledge of good and evil.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So let's examine this new possession that Adam and Eve paid so dearly for.

Our conscience is a lot like physical pain.

Both are a warning system to let us know when something is wrong.

However, pain in itself does not give us good health, nor does our conscience automatically bring us into a right relationship with God.

They are only a warning system to encourage us to take the appropriate action.

In the case of physical pain, we can do one of three things:

·       We can use a home remedy. We're not really sure if it works, but at least we’re doing something.

·       Or we can use pain killers to help us ignore the problem.

·       Or we can go to a qualified physician and let him treat the malady.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And we have just about the same three choices when it comes to our conscience. 

For instance, Adam and Eve tried the No. 1 option.

Yes, they tried a home remedy--"they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

This has always been a very popular solution.

Down through the ages, man has devised many home remedies for his sin problem.

Religions abound, with more being added every day.

And like Adam’s fig leaves, they give us a certain amount of respectability, at least among our fellow men, but not before God.

On that terrible day when we stand before our Maker, all the bloodless religions in the world will be about as effective as Adam’s fig leaves.

V 10 "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

Yes, in spite of the fact that he was clothed in a garment of his own making, Adam was still naked.

Someone has made the comment, Human religion continually strives to be clothed, while Christianity is founded upon the fact of being clothed!

The starting point of the one is the unobtainable goal of the other.

And because the fig leaves really didn't suffice, Adam and Eve "--hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yes, they hid from God, which is a lot like option No. 2.

And many people still use the pain-killer approach to deaden their conscience.

In fact, conscience pain-killers have always been a hot item:

·       alcohol and drugs

·       endless entertainment

·       the continual accumulation of new things

·       or just plain busyness; no time to think about God.

However, just like Adam, we cannot hide from God forever, for "---it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

Far better to let our conscience lead us to the Great Physician Who is ready and able to heal us.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 8 "And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.”

I'm sure they recognized His voice, and probably they also recognized the time.

Yes, it was "the cool of the day.”

Adam’s work would have been over, and they would have been looking forward to their Creator's visit.

It had always been a welcome voice, and a welcome visit, but not on that evening.

On that particular evening, everything was different, because Adam and Eve were different!

V 8 "---and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden."

They had obtained the knowledge of good and evil, only to find it condemn them.

And to gain this prize, they had lost:

·       their peace

·       their fellowship with God

And had inherited:

·       corruption

·       fear

·       and a sin nature

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 9  "And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?"

This question proved two things:

·       man was lost

·       and God would seek

In short, it demonstrated man’s sin and God’s grace.

Satan had based his whole argument on the premise that God really didn’t love them.

However, the fall of man, which had been so cleverly engineered by Satan, was to prove the opposite.

Yes, God is love, and His very words, "Where art thou?" demonstrated that fact.

Oh, God wasn't looking for Adam and Eve; He knew exactly where they were.

You see, people aren't lost because God cannot find them; they are lost because they will not respond.

And that is the first requirement of salvation.

Matthew 11:28  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

However, people can't come until they have heard God’s voice, and that’s where we come in.

Yes, "---we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20.

They need to hear God’s voice, and they need to respond.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Why were Adam and Eve hiding among " the trees of the garden" rather then anticipating God's visit?

Adam was quite clear on that point.  V 10 "---I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

This was the first time in their lives that they had been afraid of God.

They were afraid because they were naked, and because they were sinners, and their conscience made that point very clear. 

Yes, they knew themselves very well, but as yet, they really didn’t know God.

Oh, there would be consequences all right, but there would also be mercy.

There would be mercy because God is love. 

And that’s what every fallen Adam needs to know.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 11  "And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"

That is the next step on the pathway to reconciliation.

Adam needed to confront his sin, confess it, and repent.

1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

But Adam wasn’t about to do that!

Genesis 3:12 "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."

Here stands self-righteous Adam.

He had lost:

·       his dominion

·       his dignity

·       his happiness

·       his innocence

·       and his peace

But it wasn't his fault!

Actually, it was kind of God’s fault, wasn't it?

It was "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me", that "gave me of the tree.”

So it was kind of God’s fault, and it was definitely Eve's fault, but it wasn't my fault!

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Don't blame me ---

·       it’s my parents’ fault

·       it’s my rotten luck

·       I know I have a bad temper, but I got it from my Uncle Ben, and so on.

No repentance there!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

V 13 "And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat."

Both Adam and Eve admitted the fact that they "did eat," but they still wouldn't accept the responsibility for their actions.

Adam had only eaten because his wife gave him the fruit, and Eve made it very clear that "The serpent beguiled" her.

So one after the other, they passed the buck, and the serpent didn't have a leg to stand on!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But, actually, none of them had a leg to stand on.

Each one of them had a choice, and they had made that choice.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able."  So you see, Satan can only go so far, and then it's your choice.

He couldn't push Jesus off that pinnacle of the temple.

He could only suggest that He cast himself down.

He could concoct a story to play on Eve's suspicions and appeal to her pride, but he couldn't force the forbidden fruit down her throat.

So, in the end, it was Eve's choice, and it was Adam's choice, and it is our choice.

No, that little story about ‘The Devil made me do it’ just doesn't hold water.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And when God said, "What is this that thou hast done?" He wasn't looking for excuses, or even information; He was looking for repentance.

And had there been any, He would have cleansed them. 

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.

However, repentance was not forthcoming, so He turned to the serpent.

V 14 "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”

Did you notice the difference?

There wasn't any--"What is this that thou hast done," was there?

Instead, there was immediate judgment---   "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle.” 

If Adam and Eve had repented, no doubt their judgment would have been much lighter.

And, certainly, God had sought them out, and He had reasoned with them.

"What is this that thou hast done?"  Didn't you realize the consequences?

And He'll always do that.

Isaiah 1:18  "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

However, He has never made that kind of an offer to Satan, or to the fallen angels, or even to the serpent.

No, only mankind is the undeserving recipient of God’s unmerited favour through Jesus Christ.

For them . . .

·       He seeks

·       He reasons

·       He redeems

·       and He saves

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And there was something else that distinguished the serpent’s judgment from Adam and Eve’s.

What did God mean in V 4 when He said, "--thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field"?

Well, there are several things to consider here, but, for now, we will just look at one fact.

The serpent's curse was never lifted.

In a previous lesson, we talked about the bondage that creation is still under because of man’s sin.

Romans 8:20  "For the creature (or creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.”

In the beginning, both man and animals were vegetarians, but not now.

In today's world, wild animals must be alert every moment, or they will die.

However, this will not always be the case. 

As we learned in Isaiah 11: 6-10, all creation will be restored to its original state during the millennium.

I won't read all these verses again, but you will remember that during Christ's thousand-year reign, --"The wolf" will "dwell with the lamb," and "the lion shall eat straw like the ox.”

God had given Adam dominion over all creation, and when he fell, creation was pulled down with him, and again, after the flood, it descended into what we now call the law of the wild.

None of this was a result of their own actions.  It was imposed upon them because of man's sin.

So it is fitting when the Second Adam reigns over this earth that creation will be released from this bondage.

However, the serpent, who was truly guilty, was "cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field," and will not take part in this restoration.

No, there’s no good news for him, just righteous judgment.

Like the unrepentant sinner, his punishment will be forever.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

And just like Isaiah 11:6-10 that we studied last week, Isaiah 65:18-25 also speaks of the millennium, but with this important difference.

Its emphasis is upon Israel rather than creation, with the exception of V 25.

We will be reading the entire portion, but I would like you to pay particular attention to the last verse.

Isaiah 65:18-25  "But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19: And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
20: There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
21: And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
22: They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23: They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
24: And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
And here’s the verse we are focusing on---

      25: The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."

Did you see that?

The wolf and the lamb and the lion and the bullock will be released from the bondage they have endured because of man, but not the serpent---"and dust shall be the serpent's meat."

So when you see a serpent crawling in the dust, and you realize that he will never be restored to the elegant animal he once was, just thank the Lord for the unmerited favour He has extended to mankind through Jesus Christ.







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