Read: Genesis 3
Genesis three is often considered the darkest chapter in the Bible. It is the narrative of the fall of mankind into sin and misery. Though God fashioned Adam and Eve and brought them into his presence, dwelling with him in the garden, they determined to rebel against the command of their Creator by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The chapter is not without hope, however. Embedded within the bad news is the good news of the Gospel. The entire chapter is a summary of the human condition. All mankind is born into sin, but the hope of the Gospel remains a free offer to them.
The narrative opens with an ominous statement: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.” Here we learn one aspect of our enemy: he is a deceptive being. He is the father of lies, and he proves it in his effort to deceive Eve and lead her in the wrong direction. There is a lesson for all of us in this simple observation, and that is we must pay close attention to the efforts of the Evil One, or we will fall into temptation and sin. Jesus warns his disciples to “watch and pray lest you enter into temptation.” We are taught to pray, “Lead me not into temptation.” Temptation comes to us all, but there is no temptation that we face that is not common to man. We must, therefore, recognize that our enemy is crafty and, as such, he will employ whatever means necessary to ruin us.
The exchange between Satan and Eve highlights this section of the narrative. What is important to note is how she is so deceived by Satan’s efforts that she adds to the command of God. The command was not to eat the fruit of the tree. She adds a further prohibition not to touch it. Further, Satan convinces Eve that death will not occur if she disobeys. Yet, death did not, and it came immediately. Rebellion against God is death. It is spiritual death, and it leads to physical death.
Two items are of importance in this section. First is the illogical response when man sins against a holy God. Note that they attempted to hide from the omniscient, omnipresent God. Of course, that is impossible, but man does odd things when under the influence and deception of sin. Second, blame-shifting occurs. It is not personal responsibility but blame that takes center stage. Again, due to sin, we are prone to doing that whenever we sin. Instead of owning our sins, we look for excuses and shift the matter to lessen our guilt and somehow justify our behavior. Third, amid man’s misery and the effects of sin, God graciously offers hope to them. That hope comes in 3:15, of which the rest of the Bible is a commentary. Through the seed of the woman, a redeemer would come to crush the serpent’s head and eradicate the effects of the fall. Throughout the Old Testament, we see the woman’s seed and the seed of the serpent. The first line will bring forth the Savior. The second line seeks to destroy him. Fourth, man is evicted from the comfortable presence of God. They are relocated to the East of the garden and made to labor and toil. It is not until the construction of the Tabernacle will we see God invite man back to his presence from East to West.
- The labors of the Evil One are constant. He never rests. God’s people must be aware of his schemes, watching and praying lest they enter into temptation and sin. Book Recommendation: Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (Thomas Brooks).
- Though we sin daily in thought, word, and deed, we are comforted by the fact that our God in heaven does forgive sin. He did so in the garden by slaying an animal and clothing our first parents. Without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sin.
- The sequence of events that led to the first fall.
- Memorize Gen. 3:15 (the first gospel).
- The response of God to the sin of Adam and Eve.