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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 3: The Fall

 

v.1-5 Satan tempts Eve

v.6,7 Both Adam & Eve disobey God

v.8-11 They Encounter God

v.12-13 They both make excuses

v.14-19 Imposed Consequences of their Disobedience

v.20,21 New Approaches to Life

v.22-24 Banishment

v.1-5 Satan tempts Eve

 

v.1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?”

v.2,3 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”

v.4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.

v.5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 

[Notes: The ‘serpent' is subsequently revealed as the Devil, Satan, the accuser. [see Rev 12:9] Eve clearly remembers the instructions given to Adam. Satan challenges whether they would die and proposes an alternative – self-enlightenment. That latter part was true but of course he did not spell out the consequences. Temptation usually forgets there are always consequences - see Gal 6:7]

 

 

v.6,7 Both Adam & Eve disobey God

 

v.6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

v.7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

 

[Notes: Adam and Eve were clearly together; she has the thoughts and he fails to check her and goes along with her and eats of the forbidden tree. Having done it, they suddenly realised that something has changed, they are self-conscious and guilty and feel the need to cover themselves, to hide themselves, so take leaves and sewed them into clothing [self-effort covering]

 

 

v.8-11 They Encounter God

 

v.8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

v.9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

v.10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

v.11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

 

[Notes: It appears clear that God was appearing in human form in the Garden and whether he was singing or simply making noise moving through undergrowth, they hear him coming. Their immediate instinct is to hide, they feel guilty. God who knows everything, calls to them to reveal themselves. Adam confesses he was afraid because he was naked. This is more likely to suggest this guilt-shame-defensiveness need to cover up and God challenges him as to what has happened.]

 

 

v.12-13 They both make excuses

 

v.12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

v.13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”  The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

[Notes: The ‘blame game' ensues. Adam obliquely blames God for giving him the woman and now she is the one who led him astray. She blames the serpent for deceiving her.

It is a truth that Satan is a created being but it didn't take much for both Adam and Eve to use their free will to disobey God. This act is referred to as original sin. It is a truth that we all have free will and it doesn't take much for us to ‘do wrong'. We would define sin as self-centred godlessness resulting in wrong. In this original instance both humans a) sought their own pleasure and additional knowledge [self-centred] and b) disregarded what God had said [godless]. Excuses or blame count for nothing before God; we are all held responsible for our own decisions and actions.]

 

 

v.14-19 Imposed Consequences of their Disobedience

 

v.14,15 For the Serpent

v.14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
v.15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 

v.16 For Eve

v.16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

 

v.17-19 For Adam

v.17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,' “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.

v.18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

v.19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

 

[Notes: We have suggested 'Imposed' consequences because they are not necessarily [although some could be] consequences that flow automatically from the sin, but are imposed by God. A curse is a divine decree for bad, an imposed judgment.]

 

 

v.20,21 New Approaches to Life

 

v.20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

v.21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

 

[Notes: The Hebrew word for Eve means ‘life' or ‘living'. Commentators often point out that for the couple to be clothed by God animals had to be killed. Possibly a subtle glance to the future when animal sacrifices would provide ‘covering' that comes by the sacrifice being seen as stand-in for taking punishment of the individual's sin, in a sense providing protection from punishment.]

 

 

v.22-24 Banishment

 

v.22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever.”

v.23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

v.24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

[Notes: Mankind now knew [by experience] the difference between good and evil. They would also be able to work out that to defeat the judgment of death for their disobedience they could eat of the other special tree, the tree of life, and so, despite their sin, have eternal life. One might suggest that beings that exercised their free will for evil, if allowed to live for ever could wind up utterly destroying the earth and each other. Limiting the length of life would, therefore, limit in a small measure the damaging effects of unrestrained mankind. Death is a way, therefore of saving the world and giving the next generation the opportunity to make a better job of it than the previous one.

 

NB. Many of these inferences that have been made in this chapter are purely that – inferences – because often reasoning has not been made clear. The simplest and shortest conclusion is that when mankind exercises its freewill for bad, bad consequences follow. It is the way God has designed mankind. Perhaps the simplest example that can be given is in respect of eating. Gluttony produces obesity and obesity a variety of other, even life-threatening, ailments. Someone has said that God gave mankind exactly what we wanted, freedom of life without Him, but the trouble is that God, by His very presence, is a life-bringer and where He is absent that life-bringing power is limited, and thus life is a struggle.]

      

   

Continue to Chapter 4