Today we look at Genesis 3, one of THE pivotal chapters in Scripture. In the first two Chapters we’ve looked at creation. In Chapter 1 we had the “big picture” view, then in Chapter 2 we zoomed in on the Garden of Eden and the creation of man. There has been one constant so far…Everything has been good, or God even went so far as to say “very good.” (1:31) So, creation in it’s original condition is very good. All things are as they should be. There is no pain, there is no death, there is no sin. Even relationships are perfect. (2:25)
Sadly, we will see in our passage today, things did not stay this way.
Genesis 3:1 starts out with the serpent. Now, we aren’t told here that the serpent is Satan, but other areas of Scripture certainly help us to identify the serpent with him. (Revelation 12:9, 20:2, Romans 16:20 also helps make the connection) The picture we get of this serpent certainly shows us that something about this creature is amiss. The bible says that he was the most cunning of all the wild animals. The serpent goes on to ask Eve a question, “Did God really say, “You can’t eat from any tree in the garden?”
How many bad decisions start out with, “Did God really say?” The Word of God is sure, perfect, and good. If the Word of God says it, you can take it to the bank. But this is how Satan operates…he plants a seed of doubt in your mind. “Did God really say?…” He then misquotes God. He asks did God really say you can’t eat from ANY tree in the garden. He wants the woman to feel as if God is somehow depriving her of something good. But we know that isn’t what God said. Of all the trees God planted, there was only one that they were told not to eat of.
The woman responds in verse 2, but as we see, she gets it wrong too. She adds to what God had actually said. She got the first part right, “But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, “You must not eat it…” Well yes, He did, but then she adds, “…or touch it, or you will die.”
God never told Adam or Eve not to touch the fruit. He simply said not to eat it. So, she already is on shaky ground. Whether it is carelessness on her part, or whether Adam has inaccurately communicated God’s Word to her, I don’t know. But we see here that Eve does not have a firm grasp of God’s Word, and ignorance of God’s Word always leads to trouble.
We see from her statement, that even though she hasn’t taken it as far as the serpent did…she still feels somewhat deprived. She can’t even touch the fruit! Or so she believes…She did though get the part right about death.
Again in verse 4 we see the serpent continuing to plant doubt in her mind, “No you will not die..” , says the serpent, “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So, the serpent follows up a lie with a half truth. It is true that once they eat of the fruit, they will be like God. They will know good and they will know evil. But, the serpent says that they won’t die. This is a half truth. They wouldn’t die physically immediately after eating the fruit, but they would die Spiritually. They would be separated from God. Their sin and disobedience would drive a wedge between them and God. And one day, because of this sin and disobedience, they would indeed die physically.
After hearing the Serpent’s words, the woman looked at the tree, and she saw that indeed the tree was good for food, and it was delightful to look at…The Bible also says that it was, “desirable for obtaining wisdom.”
Sin initially is always desirable. It is pleasurable to the eyes, and it promises us more than what we feel like we already possess. Eve wanted to taste the fruit…it looked good. She wanted to be wise, she wanted to be like God in knowing good and evil. Perhaps God just didn’t want her to have that…perhaps God was holding out on her. Perhaps she knew better than God what she needed, and what was best for her.
Does this sound familiar to any pattern of sin you’ve ever experienced in your life?
Here’s the rub. She was already like God. She was created in His image. She already had all she needed. God had provided her and Adam with all that they needed for food. She even already knew about good and evil, if only she had understood. She knew good. She knew God. God is the definition of good. She had never experienced evil, but certainly anything contrary to the good that was in God is evil. God had already told Adam about death…so she understood the consequences of disobedience to God…which is the definition of sin, the root of evil.
Then the woman eats. Not only does she eat, but she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it.
Here we see another problem. Adam was the one charged with watching over things. Adam was the one given dominion over creation. The woman was to be his helper. Adam was actually the one told not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Certainly, it can be inferred that it was his responsibility to pass the message along to his wife.
It would seem that Adam failed on a couple of fronts. First, Eve didn’t accurately know what God had said about the fruit..which caused her to be more susceptible to Satan’s lies. Second, if Adam was with her the entire time, why didn’t he take charge of the situation? Why didn’t he step in and correct her, and say what God actually said. Third, why would he allow her to even entertain these thoughts? Fourth, why would he obey his wife rather than God?
We often blame Eve for being deceived by the serpent, but Scripture actually places the blame on Adam. It was through Adam that the curse of sin entered the world. (Romans 5:12) Adam didn’t sin because he was deceived, actually he sinned with understanding! (1 Timothy 2:14) Eve desired the fruit, but apparently so did Adam! And because of these misplaced desires, the world will never be the same.
Verse 7 tells us that then, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked…”
Genesis 2:25 tells us that Adam and Eve were naked but felt no shame. This as we said speaks to the perfect intimacy they shared with each other, and with God. Because of their sin and disobedience, this is no longer the case. Now they knew they were naked, so they “sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” This intimacy is forever gone as a result of their sin. For the first time they knew shame and they sought to hide their bodies from each other…But it doesn’t stop there.
Verse 8, “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden…and they hid themselves among the trees of the garden.”
Not only is their a loss of intimacy between the man and the woman, but also between them and God. Not only does shame exist between themselves, but also between them and God. Where once Adam walked with and spoke with God, now he seeks to hide himself from him. As we said earlier, a wedge has been driven between God and man. The relationship has been broken. Sin has entered the world…
This is the world we find ourselves in. A world infected with sin. A world separated from God. A humanity hiding from God and denying the truths of His Word. In many cases it has even gotten to the point of denying his existence.
If the Bible ended here, what a tragic ending it would be. But praise God this isn’t the end of the story…And praise God there is hope. We will see that next time…I hope you’ll join me!