Death of Life

Genesis 3:8-24

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” Genesis 3:8-9.

Verse seven in this chapter tells us that the eyes of both of them were opened; they knew they were naked and tried to cover themselves.  The coverings were an admission of guilt, yet out of a growing sense of the frightful consequences of their sin they hid themselves.

Notice that it says Adam and his wife, not Adam and Eve. God also directs His question to Adam, not to Adam and Eve. Adam is the head of his household and the corporate head of mankind; as such he is responsible for the actions of both of them. This does not mean that Eve was inferior, nor does it mean that when they walked in the cool of the evening with God that Eve was not invited to be a part of the conversations. Eve and all women are co-equal with men in God’s eyes, but there is a definite sense of order to be maintained.

“God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” verse 9, it is not that God did not know where Adam was, the question was for Adam to ask himself. This is a question that each of us should ask ourselves occasionally.

Where are you? Are you far from God? Are you afraid to return? Are you contemplating committing some sin; have you justified it in your mind? Are you angry, bitter, contemplating suicide? God is near and He holds out His hands to you and beckons you to come to Him for He is merciful.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous [self-righteous], but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13.

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:8-10.

“To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” Daniel 9:9.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16.

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8-9.

“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.” Psalm 145:17-20.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. “ Proverbs 3:5-6.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17.

“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36.

We now see the interaction between man and God as the consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve are dealt with. Adam’s sin was in direct contradiction to the one thing that God asked him not to do, the results are inevitable, and God has to act on this issue no matter how much He would rather show mercy. However, as we go along it will become evident that judgment will be tempered with mercy.

“So he [Adam] said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’” Genesis 3:10-11.

God comes directly to the point here. First though there are a few things which may be of interest; while they are not mentioned, they could be implied. There must have been a short period of time between when they sinned and the Lord’s appearance in the garden.

It would have taken them many minutes or an hour or more to search out and sew together the fig leaves to wear. What must their fearful conversation have been like as they frantically searched about for a covering?

Where was the serpent, did he remain with them, or did he stay at the tree while they went looking for something to cover themselves? One thing we can say for sure is that the serpent was present while God spoke with the couple, probably because God had summoned him to be present.

However it is my opinion that the serpent was with them at least when God was there because Satan was still infesting it and he wanted to gloat over having destroyed Adam and Eve so easily. Instead he found himself being judged along with the serpent.

Adam now replies to God’s question, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Notice that God called this a commandment.

“Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’” Genesis 3:12.

You find no admissions of sin in this dialogue, only the passing of the buck. This is understandable, in situations of extreme fear; people have a tendency to quickly pass the hot potato on to someone else. This kind of behavior is alright for children and the fearful, but it is not how adults act. Only admission of guilt and repentance are the correct response before God.

While it seems that Adam is blaming his wife for his actions, it is, the woman that God gave me that he blames, meaning that this mess is all God’s fault. Men have been blaming God ever since for the messes which they have created themselves. Men have no desire to follow God nor will they have Him reign over them, in spite of the fact that He is the only one capable of caring for them.

“But the thing displeased Samuel when they [nation of Israel] said, ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.’” 1 Samuel 8:6-7.

Without comment on Adam’s reply, God turns to the woman.

“And the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” Genesis 3:13.

Admirably Eve does not start in on, her husband’s having freedom of choice, and it was not all her fault, rather, she answers God’s question carefully as the facts stood, but she too passes the buck and still does not admit guilt.

Do you notice how God keeps asking all these questions; does He not know the facts? Well, we know that God is omniscient; meaning that He knew everything that was going to happen from eternity past, including the part that Satan was going to play in this little scenario.

In fact God knows everything that anyone is going to do or say, right up to and beyond the last words cried out at the end of the battle of Armageddon.

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:1-4.

Questions that God knows the answer to in His head do not benefit us who do not read His mind, so He asks them out loud so we can benefit.

“Where are you?” Genesis 3:9b.

“And Jesus said, ‘Who touched Me?’ When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, ‘Master, the multitudes throng You and press You and You say, “Who touched Me?”’” Luke 8:45.

“So He asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood.’” Mark 9:21.

“So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, that our [blind] eyes may be opened.’” Matthew 20:32-33.

God does not have to ask these questions, He already knows the answers. The questions are to inform those around Him, and the readers of Scripture, His motivations, and to fill in the blanks when He takes some sort of action. Other questions are to elicit a statement of faith on the part of those whom He questions.

Eve truthfully states that, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Scripture confirms that she was telling the truth in the New Testament.

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3.

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 1 Timothy 2:14.

We now find the serpent speechless, finally!

“So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:14.

If you look around at snakes today, if indeed this serpent is their representative, you will find that they do not seem to be particularly handicapped by their lack of legs. In fact if you try to catch one you will find that they are very quick. So they do not miss what they never had. This guy however is going to suffer for his willingness to be a puppet.

It does not seem very clear what God meant when He said that the serpent was to be more cursed than all cattle and every beast of the field. In fact the only thing that comes to mind is that the serpent is the only creature to be changed completely from one form to another.

While many animals have adapted to their environment, this is not evolution. For instance before the flood of Noah, the north pole was tropical, implying that the polar bear had to have adapted from being a bear that perhaps lived in a cool mountainous environment to one who could endure harsh cold conditions.

Dogs are an example of careful breeding by men to bring out a characteristic that they valued in the animal. Before the flood there may have been only one or a few breeds of dog but men over the centuries changed all that. Men have done this with edible plants, flowers, cats, rabbits; whatever interested them. But the serpent lost his legs, and perhaps his wings. Now that is a curse.

As for the serpent’s eating dust, you have seen photos of snakes slithering along flicking their tongues seemingly as though they were licking the dust. The dust is a metaphor for the lowest of the low, when someone hits rock bottom he is seen as the dust of the earth. And the snake in this case, is seen as eating the dust.

So what is the big deal? Why do all this to a serpent some six thousand years ago?

Yes, it has been some six thousand years or more since this happened. Yet think of this, even today, even in the most pagan societies the snake is seen as a symbol of evil. More than that, the serpent is recognized as being symbolic of Satan; it is often used in idolatrous rituals, or as a talisman, even worshipped. This legless creature has become a reminder to every society that God judged at one time, and He will judge again soon. The serpent will have a connection to Satan until the Devil himself is judged.

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9.

God now turns to the one who spoke through the serpent and though it appears as though He is still speaking to the serpent, it is evident that it is Satan whom He is addressing.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15.

Satan hates women. There is not a place on earth today or throughout time where that is not shown by the despicable things his stooges do to women, and the contempt in which they are generally held.

He has good reason to hate them because right here it is prophesied that the Seed of the woman, Jesus, will bring an end to Satan’s rebellion, which He did, Satan was humiliated and completely defeated at the cross. In time he will be destroyed and cast into the lake of fire forever. Until then he intends to wreak havoc, to steal, kill, and destroy.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11.

God says that He will put enmity between the woman and Satan, He also says there will be enmity between “…your [Satan] seed and her Seed [Jesus Christ]; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

If you bruise the head of a serpent, you kill it, but to bruise Jesus’ heel, by having Him crucified, would be painful (an understatement) but not destroy Him, because Jesus rose from the dead.

“…knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more, death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Romans 6:9-10.

God now deals with the woman.

“To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for [toward] your husband, and he shall rule over you.’” Genesis 3:16.

The Amplified Old Testament, The Lockman Foundation translation, and published by Zondervan Publishing House, states part of this verse in this manner, “…I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy’. And the New American Standard Version renders this, “…your pain in childbirth”.

The reason the point is being stressed is that the words quoted in the New King James Version earlier renders this, “…I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception” which is obscure in that one may feel that it is a reference not only to pregnancy but the sex act itself; leading folks to miss the point altogether.

Conception is the beginning of pregnancy and the child is viable at conception regardless of the fairy tales the pro-abortion crowd likes to spout about viability. It is after conception that the curse really kicks in, “…in pain you shall bring forth children”, often pregnancy is extremely uncomfortable with many miserable side effects, and dangers.

Sometimes the birth can come quickly and fairly easy, while some may be in agony for more than 24 hours. This is certainly no walk in the park, and women should be given more credit for their strength and courage in enduring a pregnancy.

“Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:15.

So why did God put this horrific curse on women? Perhaps the reason is highly symbolic; a woman brought sin into the world and the misery that everyone born of a woman will endure throughout their lifetimes, so it is a reminder to all women that it began with them.

By the same token it is the privilege of a woman through her Seed to crush the sin that so enslaved mankind through Jesus Christ the Savior. It was Eve who brought sin into the world, and it was her daughter Mary who bore Jesus into the world to end it. Both death and eternal life has come through the woman.

Finally, “…your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” verse 16b. This difficult phrase has been explained as a deep attraction a woman would have for her husband. However, the most likely meaning may be that the woman would desire to rule over her husband, but he will rule over her.

Eve had displayed a characteristic of independence when she listened to the serpent without once consulting her husband. This characteristic is evident in many women today when they either attempt to run the household or use devious methods to cause their husbands to do things their way.

Many women gain power when they divorce their husbands because he does not give them their way in everything. They then have the running of the household to themselves. The chaos in families today is testament to how well this works out. Divorce comes for many reasons, abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, gambling, and men are responsible for much of this misery, but selfishness should not be one of these reasons.

But this is actually a two-edged sword, the woman desires to rule, but the man is lazy and willing to let her do so. The idea behind the word macho is that of a strong virile man lying around in a hammock and having the woman wait on him hand and foot. This is the opposite of what God is saying in this passage. He is forcing the man take responsibility as the head of the family, which is generally against his nature. God is not playing favorites with anyone here; both male and female are expected to carry out their God ordained responsibilities.

“Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it”: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.’” Genesis 3:17-19.

“Cursed is the ground for your sake…” this can either mean cursed is the ground because of you, or it could mean cursed is the ground for your benefit. C.I. Scofield’s note on this in his Scofield Reference Bible, agrees with the latter of these two interpretations:

“The earth cursed (v. 17) for man’s sake. It is better for fallen man to battle with a reluctant earth than to live without toil.”

When his wants and needs come too easily for sinful man, he begins to take things for granted and indulge in his sinful ways, forgetting all about the God who created him. Without adversity men become fat and lazy and start filling their time with degenerate activities.

A world filled with people like this would just slide into hell. Much as I hate to say this, hard work and adversity build character, while indolence destroys it. God said this to Jerusalem shortly before her fall to the Babylonians:

“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter [probably Gomorrah] had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.” Ezekiel 16:49-50.

The land on which the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, and three other cities were situated was a bountiful agricultural area making for an easy rich life which left plenty of time for the evil pursuits that finally doomed them, Genesis 18 and 19.

Pride, fullness of food, abundance of idleness, ignored the needy, haughty, and committed abomination; a factory that makes hell-bound sinners; this is why God cursed the ground for our sakes.

“Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah” Psalm 39:4-5.

“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve [life or living], because she was the mother of all living.” Genesis 3:20.

Scripture plainly states that we all come from a common ancestor, Eve. It is also clear by this statement that we did not evolve; evolution is a man made fiction.

“Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Genesis3:21.

For God to have made these tunics of skin an animal had to die. This is the first indication that sacrifices were made for sin. This sacrifice was not of a fruit, vegetable or fig leaf, an animal shed its blood to atone for Adam and Eve’s sin, and the skin was made into a covering for the couple. God assuredly would have explained the purpose to all this and the practice would then be passed on to their children.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11.

“And according to the law almost all things are purged [cleansed] with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission [forgiveness].” Hebrews 9:22.

Adam and Eve must have looked on in horror as God performed this grisly task; it is unlikely that they had ever seen an animal killed up to this time, and to think that it was their fault must have filled their broken hearts with regret.

God clothed the first man and woman covering their sin and in time the Lord Jesus came into the world to expunge sin altogether for those who will accept His sacrifice as their own. It has always been God both to set a penalty for sin and God who pays the penalty.

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation [an appeasement or expiation] by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26.

“Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’ – therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:22-24.

The man has become as one of Us. The Us referred to here is the trinity, the entire Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not one of Us in the sense that they had become gods, but one of Us in the sense that man now knew good and evil.

Such knowledge becomes a problem when it is combined with the sin nature because the flesh will always descend into evil. The tree of life would then become a temptation, truly adding to the disastrous results of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for then those who ate would live forever with their sin natures.

With the cherubim and the flaming sword the way is shut to all men. It is likely that the garden of Eden with it’s cherubim and flaming sword remained until it was destroyed by the flood of Noah’s day, a period of 1,656 years or more.

Perhaps the gate to the garden with the cherubim and the flaming sword were the equivalent of a tourist attraction seen by the entire population of the earth before the flood; a constant reminder to all who saw it that God judges sin, just as Adam and Eve had told them.

Death of Life taken from blog.godisrevealed.com

Scripture taken from the New King James version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

One thought on “Death of Life

  1. Karen says:

    Dear teacher,
    I’ve been reading since “Flesh..” teaching. Each teaching goes deep into my spirit. There’s so much meat that I must re-read to retain the truths within. I’m blessed by the time & study that you obviously put into each teaching.
    Thank you faithful servant.

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