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Genesis History (Adam & Eve): The Entrance of Shame & Blame

Scripture: Genesis 3:1-24
Date: 06/16/2001 
This sermon is on a pivotal chapter in Genesis (chapter 3) on sin and suffering. Here is the beginning of sin, shame, and guilt. God is asking, "Where are you?" He did not arbitrarily make us without freedom of choice. God took a risk because of love.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Today we’re going to continue our study that we have been making our way through, the book of Genesis. Genesis, His Story, and today we’re dealing with part 7. Now I’ll be honest. I’ll make a confession. I have been postponing this study, to some extent, because it is such an important chapter, I’ve just not felt that I was prepared the way I want to be. This is a pivotal chapter in the Bible. Chapter 3 is the key. As a matter of fact, you might say that with me and you’ll remember it. Chapter 3 is the key. One more time, and then I’ll tell you why you’re saying it. Chapter 3 is the key. The third chapter of Genesis unlocks so many mysteries about why there is sin and suffering. There is a battle between two spiritual powers. And relationships, everything down to why we wear clothes, marriage, is all in chapter 3 of Genesis. A very, very important passage. And so, by God’s grace, today we’re going to go from verse 1 of chapter 3 to the last verse. And the title of the message is The Entrance of Shame and Blame.

Now we cannot go, at this time, because Genesis doesn’t really go there, and explain rebellion in heaven, and the fall of Lucifer. I think most of you know that’s what led up to this. I believe Adam and Eve had been very thoroughly warned by God and counseled by angels to avoid the tree in the midst of the garden—not the tree of life, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—because the penalty for eating from that forbidden tree was death. No, it was not an apple tree. You see all these paintings and pictures of Eve giving Adam an apple. The word apple in old English is like the word meat. It meant the food of a nut. Apple meant any fruit. It’s like in the old English when you say corn, and Jesus talked about the corn falls on the ground, it wasn’t American corn on the cob. They didn’t have that. It had not been discovered yet. Corn was the general word used for a kernel. Some grain of wheat. So the same thing can be said of the word apple. It was often used to speak of the object of fruit, but it was not a golden delicious or a red delicious that she took from the tree.

So here we find the world is beautiful, but then there’s the entrance of the serpent. So go with me in your Bibles to Genesis chapter 3 and we find here in verse 1 it says, “Now the serpent was more cunning, crafty, than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” This dazzling, flying serpent was one of the most graceful, beautiful, shining of all the creatures. And it evidently lodged in this tree in the midst of the garden. And Eve had wandered from her husband’s side. And she was beholding the garden. Maybe she was taking some of the tree of life. You know the Bible says in the midst of the garden were two trees. She had every right to be at the tree of life. But she, perhaps, began to saunter over towards that other tree and look at it and think. And that opened the door where Lucifer thought, “This is my opportunity.”

So I’m just trying to create a picture of what happened here in your minds. “And he said to the woman,” I’m still in verse 1, “has God indeed said, ‘Ye shall not from every tree in the garden?’” First thing I want you to know is that the serpent quotes God and he misquotes God. “Hath God said?” First question in the Bible is the devil questioning God’s Word. When you look in the world around you and see all the misery and the pain and the suffering and the sorrow and the death and the sickness, keep in mind, every time we’re tempted by the devil, and even some in religion, to question and doubt God’s Word, all this is a result of doubting the Word of God. Jesus tells us man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. I think it’s significant, the first question in the Bible is the devil questioning God’s word, and that is the chapter where sin enters. The first question in the New Testament… I’m sorry the first question that God asks in the Old Testament, he says to Adam, “Where are you?”

The first question that is asked in the New Testament is man saying, “Where is He,” and the first statement of Jesus is, “I must be about My Father’s business.” The first statement of Jesus when He begins His ministry is, “It is written.” First question of the devil, “Hath God said?” First statement of Jesus as He begins His ministry, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Now Jesus is the second Adam who defeated the garden with that statement. The first Adam and Eve fell because of doubting the validity of God’s Word. Can you hear where Jesus is sending us a signal in the New Testament? The first Adam fell because he doubted God’s Word. God said, “Eat it, you’ll die.” The devil said, “You won’t really die.” And Jesus comes and says, “It is written,” to the devil, “you will live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” And of course, after 4,000 years of death, hopefully man has gotten the picture that you do die from sin. That paradise was lost.

So we read on here. The serpent said to the woman… I’m sorry. The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat from the fruit of the trees in the garden. But the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it lest you die.’” Now she adds something that God does not have in the first narrative. He said, “Don’t eat it.” She says you shouldn’t even touch it lest you die. So He may have given them additional instructions. You know why I think God said if you touch it you’ll die? Because if they touched it, the next logical step was to eat it. That is toying with temptation. Now you notice something else, I want to back up just a moment. The devil said, “You’ll not really die.” And he said, “Hath God said that you’re not to eat from all the trees in the garden?”

The first time the devil questioned God’s Word, he quotes God and he misquotes God. Now isn’t that what happened in the wilderness too? Finally Satan took the Word of God, he quotes form Psalm 91 and he misquotes Psalm 91. Does the devil know the Bible? Does the devil know the Word of God? Better than most of us. Probably better than all of us. And he’ll use it and misuse it to his advantage when it’s appropriate. See this is one advantage the devil has over God. God can only use truth. God cannot commingle truth with error. But the devil can use any combination of truth and error, and that’s what makes him so insidious. And that’s what makes every false religion appealing, is there are elements of truth. That’s how you catch a fish. You have very good fish food with a hook in it. And so, this is how he caught the human race.

The woman, quick to God’s defense, said to the serpent… Now you might be wondering… There’s so many things I want to talk about. Why wasn’t she running? How many of you would run if a snake started talking? Keep in mind, they had known no fear. She had innocence. She had that gullibility of people who had never heard a lie. And she was very trusting. She didn’t know fear. She didn’t walk through the woods in apprehension like we do today that a bear might jump out of the trees or something. But they had peace. They were at one with God’s creation. They had dominion. What would they be afraid of? And here this serpent is in the tree talking. And, it’s in some commentaries, it’s not in the Bible, but I’m inclined to agree, the serpent was probably mashing his mouth into the fruit, swallowing it, going, “Mmm. Look, I’m eating it.

Nothing’s happening to me.” And she thought… It began to create doubts. The serpent’s okay. But she was defending God. “God said we may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden.” They could eat from all the trees. Except one. Does that sound unreasonable? God was very fair. People always want to know, why did God place a tree there at all? Why did He… Was He trying to trip them? You know the devil accused God that His government was not fair, it was arbitrary, it was cruel and harsh. So God gave all of His creation, not just this world but I believe unfallen worlds, the opportunity to hear the devil’s campaign against God. But the only place that the devil could meet with them was at this one location. And when Eve chose to go to the tree, she went to the devil’s pulpit, in essence, to listen to what his point of view was. Whenever you get into a debate with the devil, unlike that fable about the devil and Daniel Webster, even Daniel Webster can’t outsmart the devil. When you debate with the devil, you’re on enchanted ground and he is a master. And you are placing yourself where you’re going to be tripped. He’ll trick you every time. Don’t try to argue or debate with the devil. What did Jesus do when the devil tried to rationalize with Him? He said, “Get behind Me,” “It is written.” Your only defense is the Word of God. You try to use your intelligence and your wit against the devil, he’s got his black belt. You haven’t even begun. And you’re in over your head.

So after the woman said that, “But of the fruit,” verse 3, “of the tree which is in the midst of the garden God said you shall not eat it, neither shall you touch it lest you die.” And the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.” Once he said that he’d crossed the line. In other words, “You need to believe either God or me. God said you won’t die…or God said you will die, I say you won’t die.” Isn’t it pathetic that many of the religious leaders of the world today are echoing the devil’s first lie? The Bible says the penalty for sin is what? It’s death. The wages for sin are death. God said we have two choices. Believe in Jesus and have everlasting life, you don’t believe and you perish. All through the Bible you’ve got this consistent theme. The devil is the one who said you won’t really die.

You’ll ever go live forever and ever in heaven or you’ll live forever and ever in hell, but you’re immortal. You can’t die. Not only are you immortal physically, not only do you have an immortal spirit, but you can go all the way and be like God if you eat this fruit. Well you know, they’d never tried this out before. They didn’t know what their limitations were. They were newly created. They thought, “Maybe God is keeping something from us.” At least this is what Eve was thinking. And he began to say, “For God knows,” verse 5, “that in the day that you eat of it,” God said in the day you eat you’ll die, the devil says, “in the day that you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.” And she’s thinking, “Well, my eyes are open now. I’m beholding beauty and paradise on every side. But you’re telling me that somehow my vision is veiled. There’s something I’m missing.” And he played upon her desire and curiosity. God created us curious. Did you know that? Curiosity is the mother of invention, as well as necessity.

Curiosity also killed the cat. Curiosity is a bitter-sweet gift. But I believe that God created us with a curiosity because that’s how you learn. Babies are so curious and sometimes they wonder what happens if you stick a screwdriver in an electrical outlet. Curiosity can be dangerous. But if babies had no curiosity they wouldn’t be near as interesting, for one thing. But they wouldn’t learn. And so he played upon her insatiable desire to know. “You mean there’s great knowledge that I could have if I eat this fruit?” Then he said, “Well look at me. I was a regular flying serpent, but now I’m a talking flying serpent because I’ve eaten the fruit.” Can you see the suggestion? Sometimes I think we’re a little hard on Eve. We think that she just chucked what God said. We don’t understand the drama and the emotions of what was happening there. Furthermore, the Bible tells us that this was a beautiful tree.

“You’ll be like God knowing good and evil.” Isn’t it also fascinating that the devil back then, and still today, he tempts others with his own desires? He wanted to be God. He implants that same desire in Eve. He also made her unsatisfied with her present state. Get this. Just before she goes to the tree and talks to the devil, she’s in paradise. She’s living forever. She’s eating from the tree of life. There’s no fear, no sin, no sickness. She goes and talks to the devil and she’s unhappy. Something’s missing. He creates a discontent with her present state. Does the devil still do that today? Has the devil mastered the art of getting us to neglect our blessings and to focus on the negative? And so she begins to crave something, “You know, I’m not really satisfied anymore. Maybe this is what’s missing.” He has to market his product.

So it tells us here in verse 6, “So when the woman saw the tree, that it was good for food,” now notice there’s several things that happen here. You’ve got the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. There are these three principle areas of temptation. Jesus was tempted how many times? Three primary areas of temptation. Anytime you’re tempted to sin you might say, “Oh, Jesus was never tempted with my temptations because they’re modern ones.” All temptations fall into one of three categories. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. You think about what yours is. And it’s either something physical, it’s either a mental craving, or it’s pride. Everything falls into one of those three areas. Notice it’s outlined here in Genesis. “She saw that the tree was good for food.” Lust of the flesh. Second part, “That it was pleasant to the eyes.” It was beautiful to look at. And third thing, it smelled like chocolate. “It was desirable to make one wise. She took of its fruit and she ate. She also gave to her husband with her and he ate.”

Now, some people say, “Her husband with her? A-ha. Eve and Adam were together. It wasn’t just that Eve fell. Adam was right there at her side. Her husband with her. She handed it to him.” No, it means they were in the garden together at that time. Adam was not present during this time of temptation, because there’s absolutely nothing in the dialog that indicates that he was there. She brought it to her husband. And I believe that when she first presented it to Adam—and he knew, he recognized, he had great intelligence, photographic memory, that was the forbidden fruit, and there was a big bite out of the middle of it, and it was still coming down the corners of her mouth—Adam thought to himself, “Oh, no.” Great sorrow overwhelmed him. He knew that death would come on Eve. And he loved her so much that he put love for Eve ahead of love for God.

He put the word of Eve ahead of the Word of God. And that was the entrance of shame and blame. I think they felt a chill at that point. I think the temperature changed. I think that they were overwhelmed with suddenly a sense of… First, right after eating the fruit I think Eve felt exhilarated. Is there any pleasure to sin? How many of you think that the fruit tasted like crab apples? No, it was probably delicious. It did smell good. And probably when she first ate it, maybe she felt—it was the placebo effect, I don’t know—but she felt exhilarated. And there’s all of that with sin, but it’s temporary. And then the results of sin are eternal. Then they felt that cold draft and they noticed that their warm robes of light had gone out. Rolling blackout. And they saw they were naked. Yeah, the knowledge of evil was very vivid. And all of a sudden they were filled with shame and fear and guilt. Notice what happens here. He took it and he ate it. “Then the eyes of them both were opened,” verse 7, “and they knew they were naked.” Yeah, they had the knowledge now. “And they sewed fig leaves together to make coverings.” They were embarrassed, they were ashamed.

One thing we learn here in Genesis, what was the first purpose of clothing? To protect from the elements? Or was it modesty? Don’t miss that they made aprons. And that word means what it says. It was like a little towel around the waist. And how pathetic to have clothing made of fig leaves. Nothing had died up to that point, including leaves. And they were, perhaps, hoping that these fig leaves… And if they’re big today, imagine how big they were then. You might have needed two leaves and could have made a garment. Yards and yards of fabric. Of course, Adam and Eve were probably a little bigger then too, and they needed more leaves. But fig leaves in the Bible represent man’s attempt to cover his sin. They represent self-righteousness. When Jesus cursed the fig tree because it had leaves and no fruit, it was a symbol for the Jewish nation that had form but no power. A form of godliness and denying the power. And if we come to church every week and we go through the forms and we don’t have a vital relationship with God, we have fig leaf religion. It’s just a sham. It’s a form of self-righteousness. It’s an attempt on man’s part to cover his own nakedness before God, and that will not do. It will shrivel in time. Amen? And so fig leaves, of course, symbolize this and much more.

So then it goes on to tell us, verse 8, “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 God among the trees in the garden.” All of a sudden they’re ashamed. They entrance of shame and blame. Please don’t miss this point. Some people think God is hiding from us. At the very beginning when man disobeyed God, God did not run from us. He came looking for us. Man ran from God. God is pursuing us. He loves us. You read in the book of Hosea and it talks about the prophet going after his wife that has committed adultery. This is a picture of God pursuing even his disobedient bride in the book of Hosea there. As well as in Genesis. They heard the sound of the Lord. Now before when Adam saw God walking in the garden, he’d run to meet Him. It was his greatest joy. Can you imagine being able to commune and reason, one on one, to be instructed, made in the image of God, your Father, Adam who was the son of God? What a privilege to have that kind of relationship. Now he hears God’s voice and he runs from God. Adam is on the lam with his wife Eve. They’re hiding from God. Why? Because they’re guilty and they know they’ve disobeyed. “And the Lord God called to Adam and He said, ‘Where are you?’” First words of God in this scenario after sin, “Where are you?”

You know, I’ve often heard that voice even before I came to believe in God. Whenever I did something notoriously wrong, I would hear what I thought was my conscience saying, “Now where are you? Where did this get you?” Have you ever heard that voice before? “Are you better off now than you were before?” Does everyone here know that God does not ask questions because He’s ignorant, but because He wants us to think? When He said, “Where are you,” He was wanting him to think, “Where are you now? What have you done? Are you enlightened? Have you become like God? Or have you become like the beasts?” “Where are you?” So Adam came slinking out of behind one of the trees. And he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden and I was afraid.” Even Adam doesn’t know why he’s afraid. “Because I was naked and I hid myself.” And God said, “Who told you you were naked?” In other words, “I didn’t tell you you were naked. Where did you get this idea that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?” And the man said, “The woman.

The woman You gave me. The woman You gave me, to be with me. It was a defective model that You made. I was asleep when this happened Lord. It’s Your fault. She brought it to me. She gave it to me and I ate it. I understood she was to cook for me and this is what she brought home.” Now isn’t that something. They go from a situation and a relationship where Adam and Eve, they love each other more than their own lives. That’s what real love is. Before sin man naturally obeyed the great commandment to love the Lord with all his heart and to love his neighbor, that means love others, and then himself. That’s why, I think, Adam in part ate the forbidden fruit because he loved Eve more than himself. He was willing to die and share her fate. His sin was, though, he loved her more than God. And wait until you see how God deals with some of these mixed up emotions. Each one of the various curses addresses the wrong behavior of our first parents.

Adam is blaming God for sin. Do people still do that today? When God says, “Why,” we say, “Well You made Lucifer. Obviously he was wired wrong. It was a defective chip. Why else would he have rebelled? If You knew he was going to do this, and if You know all things, it’s Your fault God.” Have you heard that before? Have you thought that before? Fess up. Sure we have. We’ve all wondered, “Come on, Lord. You saw it coming and you still let it come.” You know why? The only answer I have, the best answer I have for this is always addressed to the parents. How many of you knew, when you had children, that they would always obey and be compliant? Never be disrespectful. How many of you knew that? You received something in writing. Let me ask the question this way. How many of you knew that there was a strong likelihood that they would rebel and at times be disrespectful and disobedient? Let me see your hands. You knew that. And you still had children. Why? Because love involves risk. Some of you have loved and you’ve been hurt. You’re afraid to love again.

Love involves risk. And when God makes His creatures free, the only way they can love is if He makes them free. He takes a risk. And if God arbitrarily would say, “I’m only going to make creatures that come from the factory like manikins and say, “I love you God, I love you God,” can they love? If they really have freedom of thought and freedom of choice, then He would continue to create the ones that might choose on their own not to love Him. And that’s what happened with Lucifer and our first parents. Now I believe there are infinite worlds out there yet undiscovered that are unfallen. This world is the only fallen world. And God so loved this world that He took on the form of a man and came down to save this rebellious race. Part of the reason is you and I are born into this world without having the opportunity that Lucifer and Adam and Eve had.

Back to chapter 3. “’The woman You gave, she gave it to me and I ate.’ And God says to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent that You made…’” Can you hear the implication there? They’re just passing the buck. God says, “Adam what have you done?” Adam says, “Eve did it.” And God says to Eve… Eve says, “The serpent did it.” Suddenly the serpent is speechless and he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Pardon the pun. “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me.” Now, we’re beginning to make a very important spiritual transition here. “God says to the woman…” Who does the woman represent? From here on. Who does the serpent represent? And it says the woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.” You know how the church gets in trouble? Eating the wrong thing.

This is what we’re supposed to eat. The reason we start doubting God is we start changing our diet. I’m not even talking physical now, I’m talking spiritual. We go to the Babylonian cafeteria and pretty soon we’re questioning God, and we are making fig leaves. The first chapter of Daniel begins by Daniel resolving he would not eat from the Babylonian cafeteria and God blesses him. There’s a spiritual significance here. So the woman ate the wrong thing. And she was deceived by the serpent into eating the wrong thing. You and I need to be very careful about what we choose to eat as a church and as individuals. You are who you are because of what you eat. Physically and spiritually. That’s something that most of us get to choose from day to day. What we’re going to eat physically, and what we’re going to eat spiritually. And our mental input, whether it’s from our reading material or the music we listen to or the magazines or the television or videos or movies I know some people attend, they form you. And many of us have run from God because we’ve been eating the wrong thing.

Some people stop going to church because they’re eating the wrong thing. Sin will keep you from God or God will keep you from sin. And if you’re sinning, you feel guilty, and you stop coming to church. When church is where you need to go in order to find the forgiveness. But that’s just a dynamic of life, that’s a law of life that is played over all the time. So now the Lord speaks in response to this. First He says to the serpent because the serpent is the last one who has no defense, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all the cattle and more than every beast of the field. And on your belly you shall go. And you shall eat dust all the days of your life.”

Now I want to pause right here. Fact. Serpents, snakes, the way we know them today, they do go on their belly and they do… When He says eat dust, they don’t. That’s not their food. Eating dust. Have you ever heard someone say he bit the dust? Doesn’t mean you lean over and you bite the ground. It’s figurative of they hit the ground. And when God says dust shall be your food it means you’re going to be, your tongue’s going to be touching the ground. And is that the case today? The serpent has been cursed as a creature. And there are certain things that we see in creation around us that are reminders. Thorns and thistles is another example. So the serpent was asked to go upon his belly.

You know one thing is interesting. Oh, I wish I had more time. I did a lot of research. The different religions of the world have different scenarios about the origin of sin and why there’s suffering in the world. You know virtually all of them involve a snake? I mean, civilizations that are separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years scattered all over the planet, when you go into what their culture and their fables and their traditions tell about how sin entered the world, they almost all involve a snake. You think that’s an accident? Or do you think they all sprang from the same truth? And in every fable there are elements of truth. Maybe you’ve heard about the Babylonian epidemic of Gilgamesh. And that story as well, a snake deceives. And in many religions snakes are symbols of wisdom. And of course, the Bible says he was more prudent, more subtle than all the beasts of the field, more crafty. But now he’s going on his belly. The snake is humbled.

Now, did the snake himself do anything wrong? Did the snake… Do you think the snake made a deal with the devil and said, “Tell you what, I’ll be your medium?” The whole creation suffered. Not only snakes. Lions and tigers and bears suffered. Everything suffered because of sin. So don’t feel sorry for the snake. He’s just one example. The vegetation suffered.

And then God makes this statement that is really the crux of the plan of salvation. In verse 15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman.” He’s talking to the serpent. What does enmity mean? There will be a war. You ever play with magnets? And you try to push the positive side of one magnet to the repelling side of the other magnet and they push each other away. There’s a barrier. They just don’t mix. You hold them together, you let go they fly apart. There is this force field between the church and the devil. At least between the true church. But there’s supposed to be between God’s church and the serpent a war raging. The Bible says friendship with the world is enmity with God. You cannot have both. So He goes on here, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed,” the seed of the devil, “and her seed.” Now in a little while we’re going to find about how the civilizations of the world forked into two distinct classes. The sons of God, the descendants of Seth, and the sons of Cain. And it was the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. You’ve got these two classes that follow all the way through the Bible until you get to Revelation. “I’ll put enmity between you and the woman.” Revelation 12:17. How many of you know that by heart? There was war in heaven. Remember that? Between Michael and the dragon. Dragon’s cast down. It says the dragon makes war against the woman. There’s an enmity between the woman. Between her descendants. Because she keeps the commandments of God and has the testimony of Jesus.

“And between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head.” Now I’ve got to say something here. When it says seed here, of the woman, it’s singular. First of all, do you all know what seed means? It means descendants. It’s the old Hebrew way of saying descendants. Your seed. And here it is not talking about a nation. It’s singular. It’s saying this one individual would bruise the head of the serpent and the serpent would bruise his heel. Now that word bruise there is a difficult word. Sometimes it means to crush, to hit, to overwhelm. But the good news is that the foot of the seed of the woman, who is that? Jesus. It is wounded by the serpent, but the serpent’s head is wounded by the foot. A foot is what you use for progress. When your foot is wounded, your progress is impeded. Has the devil successfully impeded the progress of the church, the seed of the woman? Yes he has. But has the Lord crushed the head of the serpent? I’ve seen it many times. Riding around up in the hills on my four-wheeler or motorcycle I periodically come across a rattlesnake.

Sometimes you see them in the road before you can turn around them. You turn too sharp going fast in a motorcycle, and you fall. And so I would try and I would think, “If I’m going to run over the snake, I don’t want to run over him so he turns around and he bites me.” I try to run over their heads. Because if you crush the serpent’s head you mortally wound them. And Christ took the venom of the serpent in His foot. His progress was impeded, but He crushed the serpent’s head at the cross. When the devil thought that he was victorious and Christ rose, he found out that he had thoroughly been crushed. His kingdom had been overwhelmed. How do you know that the devil knows that he’s overwhelmed? Revelation 12, “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea for the dragon, the devil, the serpent, has come down to you having great wrath because he knows his time is short.” He knows he’s going to be defeated.

Talked about the see of the woman. Interesting little vignettes that you find, all the way through the Bible, of these women who are looking for promised children. As a matter of fact Eve, I believe, that when she first had Cain, she said, “I’ve received a man from the Lord.” She thought this would be the seed of the woman. That perhaps Cain would be the Messiah, the Savior. And then all the way through history, and every Jewish mother was hoping her child would be the seed of the woman. And seven women had miracle babies. And the interesting thing was all of those miracle babies were types of Christ. They were all men. Because they were all types of Christ. And they were foreshadowing that final miracle baby which was who? Jesus was the last. There were seven miracle babies, and then Christ who is the final one. He was the seed of the woman that the church was looking for.

In Revelation 12:1 it says, “I beheld a wonder in heaven. A woman standing on the sun, clothed with the moon, twelve stars above her hand. And she’s great with child, travailing to be delivered.” A pregnant woman in heaven. Clothed with the sun, moon, and stars. God’s church. Clothed with the light. And who is that child she brings forth that the Bible says caught up to heaven and He is to rule all nations with the rod of iron? That’s Jesus. That is the seed of the woman. You can go to Revelation. It helps to interpret Genesis.

Something else I think is interesting. The first three chapters talk about paradise and how it was lost. First three chapters in the Bible. The last three chapters in the Bible talk about sin is destroyed, paradise is restored. And so, here, between these two, you have the history and the answer, the solution, the serum, for the problem of sin. And it’s telling us how to get back to the garden. First three chapters man is expelled. He can no longer eat from the tree. The last three chapters man is restored.

Let’s go on here. There’s a lot in this. “To the woman He says…” So we understand that prophetic oracle that Jesus uttered. And who was God that spoke to them in the garden? I believe it was God the Son, Christ. “To the woman He says, ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception.’” Now these are separate things. Your sorrow and your conception. Here we get into more how men and women are physically designed. I believe that women are more caring than men. Anyone here agree with that? Let me see your hands. Men, how many of you agree with that? Oh, come on. You’re going to make me look bad. How many of you women agree with that? Oh, they don’t have any problem. When I say more caring, I think that the… No, caring’s not the word. More sensitive. How many men would agree that women are more sensitive than men? That’s easier to get a response from.

That’s good and it’s bad. That means that you’re more feeling, you care more about what other people feel. It’s bad, you’re more easily sorrowed. You’re more easily hurt. Was that safe to say? “I’ll greatly multiply your sorrow.” “And your conception.” Now conception is different from birth. Conception is after you conceive. Could this be an early reference to what we call morning sickness? “I’ll multiply your sorrow in conception.” “In pain you’ll bring forth children.” Now we’re talking physical about women. These are facts of life. It hurts, typically. They’ve got things to lessen the pain these days for women to have babies. But who does the women represent? The church. “In sorrow you’ll bring forth…”

You know, it is still true today in doing evangelism in trying to win people into God’s kingdom it’s an agonizing work. You know in some respects it’s like being doctors. Every now and then a doctor loses a patient. And hopefully they don’t quit. They’ve got to develop a state of mind where they know that they’re hoping to do more good than harm. And they have to think about the ones that they have saved. You know, doing pasturing and evangelism is a lot like that. You see people, sometimes, spiritually they go down the drain. Families falling apart. It is agonizing. And it is in sorrow that real churches bring forth children. Because you see people struggle and then you’re victorious and it’s great and you rejoice for those that are born and born again. But sometimes you see people miscarry. And they don’t make it. And it’s a heart-breaking work to bring forth the church. And Jesus experienced this during his earthly ministry.

“Your desire shall be for your husband and he will rule over you.” Now I’m going to back up to that in just a minute. I want to read what He says to the husband. “Then to Adam He says, ‘Because you heeded the voice of your wife…’” God doesn’t mean, “Because you listened to your wife I’m going to punish you. Men, don’t ever listen to your wives.” What God is saying is, “Because you listened to your wife in this case instead of Me. I said, ‘Don’t eat it.’ She said, ‘Here eat it.’ Because you heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree I commanded you not to eat, 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 to you and you shall eat the herb of the field.’” God adds vegetables to the diet. “’In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread til you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and unto dust you will return.’”

Now I want to back up and talk about these two things. In the curse to the woman it revolves around relationships. With your relationship with children, your husband. In man the curse revolved around his work. Now was God appropriate or what? What would have hurt man more? What would have hurt woman more? Now it’s not that God was trying to hurt. It’s just that you feel the pinch of sin, God scratches where the itch is. And if God had said to man something relational, that may not have been as pointed as he said your work and the success of your work is going to be frustrating and hard. To the woman He said having children, which should have been the highest joy, and your relationship with your husband, is going to be frustrated because of sin. Now did God do this to them or did they do that to them? That’s terrible English, isn’t it? They did it to themselves, didn’t they? So it’s not that God’s saying, “I’m going to see how I can make them suffer.” What was the penalty for disobedience? Death. And some might say, “Well Doug, how come they weren’t dead yet?” Was the devil right?

God said, “In the day you eat thereof you will die.” Alright, first of all, they did die spiritually as soon as they began to eat the forbidden fruit, didn’t they? A light went out. Entrance of shame and blame. They began to blame each other. The relationships were destroyed. The whole creation was affected by it. Everything from the vegetation to the animals to man, the environment was all affected by it. But not only that, a day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. What’s the longest that any man lived on earth? 969 years and his name was Methuselah. What was the average lifespan of people before the flood? 900 something years. Is that right? In the day you eat thereof you will surely die. A day with the Lord is as a thousand years. Was there ever a man on earth that went past that 1000 mark? Or did they all die “in the day?” They died in the first prophetic day physically. They died spiritually the very day that ate the forbidden fruit. Because God’s Word is true. One reason they didn’t drop dead physically that day is because Christ then established an understanding that He was going to take their place. The seed of the woman would come. And they would be forgiven if they embraced the plan of salvation and given another chance.

God, when He makes a command, they’re conditional. God said to Jonah, “Go tell the Ninevites that in 40 days I’m going to destroy the city. He waned them and they repented. They were sorry and so He spared them. God told Adam and Eve, “In the day you eat thereof you will die.” The penalty for their sin was death. That penalty was going to be paid. Jesus said, “I will come. I will be the seed of the woman. I will pay the penalty. So you will not die physically today. You will die spiritually today. You will die physically in the first spiritual day or millennium. But I will take your death ultimately.”

I’ve been trying to avoid it, but I know I’ll feel bad if I don’t touch on this. It says here, going back to verse 16, “Your desire shall be for your husband and he will rule over you.” Is that an ideal relationship? No. Are thorns and thistles ideal? Is pain during childbirth ideal? Was there anything ideal about any of the curses that came as a result of sin? As a matter of fact, it seems opposite. Here Adam obeys the invitation of his wife to eat the forbidden fruit and God says, “From now on, Eve, because you led the wrong direction, I’m going to have the man be leading you. You’re to be subject to him in the family.” Now I could take a whole sermon and launch off into my schpeel about the relationship between men and women, both in the church and in the family. There’s not time for that. And not too many preachers survive those presentations. So I’m going to move on and see if I can just finish this study and that’ll be good enough.

“Til you return to the ground,” I’m back in verse 19, “for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and unto dust you’ll return.” Where is Adam today? Dust. Number 20, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve.” Now the word Eve means life, as well as we can tell. Because she was the mother of all living. And I should tell you the name Adam means man. Some scholars think the word Adam is similar to the word Edom which means red. And they think that this is a suggestion that perhaps our first father was an Apache. I don’t know. But I like to believe that the word means man. And Eve means life, that’s why she was called the mother of all living. “And also for Adam and for his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them.” Now weren’t they clothed well enough? Hadn’t they already taken care of that? What were they wearing? Aprons, belts, of leaf. Fig leaves.

God says that is not adequate. “So the Lord God sewed them…” is that what it says? He gave them. “So the Lord God asked them to help Him make…” is that what it says? Or did He make it with His own hands? “The Lord God made for them…” How do you think He made it? Skin. Do you think God said, “Let there be skin?” And He spoke robes into existence? Revelation talks about the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And as near as we can tell, and I firmly believe it, at this point the Lord very clearly told them that He would come to earth in the form of a man and He would die for their sins and the sin of all their posterity. And in order for them never to forget that He would come someday and die an take their sins, they were to go through this ritual of taking one of the most beautiful and innocent of the little creatures of the field, a lamb, and slain that lamb. And their nakedness being covered with the skins, we believe it was lamb skin, was to ever remind them that their sin had caused death. The first death in the universe was not Cain. The first death in the universe was a lamb. And I believe the Lord, with His own hand, and a breaking heart, instituted the sacrificial system to the horror of Adam and Eve. Oh, do you think that sin made them happy that day?

Eating the forbidden fruit made them happy? Here they were naked, blaming each other, afraid, guilty, and now they watch this little wiggling victim get slain by the Lord. Its blood drains out. Its carcass is skinned. And the wet hide is placed over their naked bodies. Did sin make them happy? What did those skins, those robes of skins… You know, it might have taken several lambs to do that. What did that represent? That represented the Lamb of God who covers our sin with His robe of righteousness. And the Bible says that He made these skins and He clothed them. How many want that robe of Jesus today? I’m not talking about a bloody lamb skin. I’m talking the robe of Christ’s righteousness. He clothed them. He made it. He provided it. And He’ll still do that to you.

“And the Lord God said, ‘Behold the man has become like one of us,’” here you have an inference of the trinity, “’to know good and evil.’ And now lest he put out his hand and take of the tree of life and eat and live forever, therefore the Lord sent him out of the Garden of Eden to til the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out and He placed cherubim at the east,” these mean shining ones, shekinah, “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.” Exactly what that looked like we don’t know. But there was some kind of a barrier that was blocking the garden and around especially the tree of life. We believe the Garden of Eden was assumed to heaven during the flood. The same way Revelation says the New Jerusalem is coming down at the end.

If God can bring down the New Jerusalem and the tree of life is in that city, we believe the city park in the New Jerusalem is the Garden of Eden, God caught that up to heaven before it was destroyed by the flood. Up to that time when man brought his offerings before the Lord, he probably brought them to the gates of the Garden of Eden. He could look beyond the gates, he could see the tree, there were the angels guarding the way. And it was a reminder that someday, by God’s grace, because of these lambs, he would again have access to that tree and be able to live forever.

You know, probably one of the most beautiful things is in the truth that God put Adam to sleep, he made an incision in his side and He brought forth the bride. The woman. The church. Or his wife. Jesus went to sleep on the cross. A spear was pressed into His side. A flow of blood came out. And that’s what God used to bring forth His wife, the church. That flow of blood, of course, makes us part of the church. If we are covered by the blood of the Lamb, if we are wearing the Lamb’s robe to cover our sins, then we can again someday eat from the tree of life.

You know, I read these stories about paradise and my mind just goes on and on, thinking about what it must have been like. So different back then before the entrance of sin and shame and blame. I don’t know about you, but I would like to avail myself of the Father’s provision to be a citizen in that new world where there is no more pain and suffering, and no more talking snakes. How about you? Why don’t you turn to our closing hymn. There’s a fountain filled with blood. We’ll sing a few verses. 336. And let’s stand together as we sing.

[Singing]

I’m afraid when I study a story like this with a congregation someone being inclined to think that this is a very colorful fable from antiquity, a myth, outdated. But in reality, it’s a very true story about how sin entered our world. And it is played out again every day in 2001, in people reaching out for the forbidden fruit. We all struggle with sin. We all struggle with temptation. I think we’ve all heard the serpent rationalize with us that God doesn’t really mean what He says, because look at all the sinners that are still alive. But I can promise you friends, the penalty for sin is still death. And the only way to live forever is to accept the provision that was made by the Lamb. As we sing the third verse, there may be some here who feel like that you have been evicted from the Garden of Eden. And you’d like to have access to God’s kingdom again. If you’d like to have special prayer, we’d like to invite you to come to the front. We’d like to pray with you that you can have the robe of Christ covering your sins. Come as we sing verse 3.

[Singing]

The pastors and I were meeting this week and we figured there are probably five areas, I’ll see if I can remember them, where every one of our members are struggling. Five areas where there never used to be a problem back in the days before the fall. We struggle in our families. We struggle in our finances. We struggle in our frames, our health. We have struggles sometimes with our occupation, where we work. In our relationships. And if you’d like to give any of those struggles to the Lord this morning and look forward to a day when He’s going to bring us back to the garden, you may have some special need that you’d like to bring to the gates of Eden right now and cast before the Lord, we invite you to do that as we sing the last verse. And we want you to also, while you’re here, in your mind envision that all your sins will be washed away in that blood, that fountain, that flows from Jesus. Come as we sing the last verse.

[Singing]

Father in heaven, Lord this morning we’ve looked at one of the key chapters in all of Scripture. The episode of the fall. And our hearts are heavy when we consider the paradise that was lost. But we are grateful and we rejoice when we consider that Jesus holds the keys that access may be once again be admitted to the Garden of Eden. Lord, I pray that all of us can experience in reality in our hearts and in our faith that our sins are under the robe of Christ’s righteousness. That our sins are washed away in the blood that comes from the Lamb. I also pray Lord we can look beyond, by faith, and see the tree of life in the city of God, in the Garden of Eden, and hope someday, by Your grace, to keep the perspective that the fruit of sin never brings happiness. I pray Lord we will trust Your Word and that we will reject all of the clever cunning surmisings of the devil and that we will choose to obey. I ask Lord that You will bless each of these people with the varied challenges that are represented in their lives. Even right now as we stand before You, I pray that they’ll experience Your spirit speaking to their hearts and releasing Your power in their lives according to what their prayers might be. And most of all, I ask as we go from this place, that we can be truly part of Your bride, the woman that will be in that kingdom. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.

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