1. THE TEST PUT BY GOD
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Genesis 1:16 Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”
In many nations of the world men, as well as women can choose their husbands or wives themselves. The parents only give advise. This is good, for the two of them will have to live together for the rest of their lives. Many men would not like to marry a woman unless he is certain that she likes him more than all the other men she knows.
God also wanted to be certain that these two people He created, liked and trusted Him, and so He put a test to them. In that large garden with its millions of trees, He created only one tree of which they were not allowed to eat the fruit. This one was called the “Tree of knowledge of good and bad.”
Up till then they had only experienced what was good, but by eating the forbidden fruit, they would also experience what was bad.
So, this was an easy test to pass. They did not have to be clever or to study hard, they only needed to be obedient. They had, had enough time to take a good look at everything God had given them and now had to vote whether they wanted Him to be their God or not. Now let us see what happened.
2. MAN TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 but not the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it. You shall not touch it, lest you die.’”
4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t surely die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it, too. 7 Their eyes were opened, and they both knew that they were naked. …
Here we find another person in the garden. It is the devil appearing as a snake. He had previously been God’s beautiful angel. Then he became proud and uplifted himself. He desired to be above God which means that he wanted to be God. God cast him out of heaven, and he became God’s enemy. He had no power to attack God, so he tried and succeeded in beguiling His two beloved children.
He waited till Eve was away from her husband and then lodged his attack.
He could not touch her body but deceived her mind with his cunning words. He caused her to believe that God was not good to her because He had forbidden her to eat the fruit of that specific tree. He said that by eating the forbidden fruit, she would be able to increase her knowledge. God made her to know only that which was good. By eating the fruit, she would also be able to know what was bad. Her knowledge would therefore have increased. Then she would be just like God Himself. That is what satan said.
Eve believed him that it was good to know evil also and she distrusted God Who had kept her away from evil. She believed satan’s lie that God had kept His best thing, which was to know what is bad, away from her. She believed that the devil had opened her eyes to see that God was not entirely good to her. This meant that she could no longer trust Him with her life. She changed her mind about God.
In doing so, she rejected Him and no longer subjected herself to Him. She would no longer accept Him as her God. From then on, she would make her own decisions in life whether He liked it or not. In short, she would become her own god running her own life.
The rebellious deed
Her thoughts went over into a deed. She ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam who had arrived, and he also ate.
At once they were aware of an enormous change that had taken place within them. They were shocked, ashamed and afraid of themselves.
The Spirit of God Who had brought light and life to earth and to them, had departed and darkness and death had taken over.
The first area of life that was affected by their sin, was their sexual experience. Since God’s life is rooted in love, the man and his wife too were loving beings. Their sexual coming together had been an act of love, the one wanting to please the other more than pleasing himself. It was a physical expression of a heart-felt love. Love means giving rather than receiving.
This had dramatically changed. When now looking at one-another’s naked bodies they did not experience tender love, but a fierce lust to gratify themselves.
What is more, they could not get these evil thoughts out of their minds again. This was scary, so they hastily sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves from one-another’s eyes.
But that was not all. In looking around them at the beautiful trees, animals and birds, there probably was a coldness inside of them. They no longer enjoyed God’s good creation because they had become bad.
Evil can only be known by man by experiencing it and once he has experienced it, it takes control of his life and he cannot be freed from it by his own will and efforts. Evil cannot be studied objectively. If you have never eaten a certain fruit, you cannot get to know how it tastes by just looking at it through the shop’s window, no you must bite off a portion, chew and swallow it. If it is poisonous, you will quickly have to get to a doctor, or die. Likewise, sin must be experienced (eaten) before it can really be known.
Evil tastes good and sweet while you are eating it, but afterwards your mouth becomes bitter and your whole being suffers and begins to move towards the grave.
Adam and Eve did not drop dead on the spot. Their spiritual (inner) death came first, instantaneously, then proceeded to affect their bodies, eventually causing their physical death.
3. GOD COMES TO THEIR RESCUE
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Genesis 3:8 They heard Yahweh God’s voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.
Sin is firstly an act against God
God had been Adam and Eve’s only Friend and best Friend, but now they regarded Him as their enemy, an enemy much stronger than themselves were and now they were suddenly terribly afraid of Him.
Every person that has, even in a small way, done what is bad, is troubled by his conscience and is afraid of God and afraid to die.
Sin is firstly the doing of something wrong against God. The sinner does something he knows is against God’s will. It is like a child that knows it is forbidden to take a glass of cooldrink from the table, yet he reaches out and takes it while looking his father right in the face. In so doing he also shames his father in the presence of his friends.
The wrongness of the act lies in knowingly going against the will of the parent and not so much in the seriousness of the deed. Adam and Eve did not beat one-another, they only ate a certain fruit. Most people will find it hard to believe that you can sin against God by eating a forbidden fruit. Sin is evil because it is rebellion against God, it shames God. Therefore, the Bible says:
James 2:10: For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.
Sin erects a barrier between the sinner and God
Sin causes a person to try and cover up what he has done. He tries to hide his bad deed from the eyes of God. When he is really convicted of his sin, he tries to hide himself from God. The Bible says that in the day of God’s judgment mankind will call out to the mountains to cover them.
Adam and Eve hid amongst the trees when they heard His voice. He however continued calling their names till they emerged and came to Him.
The time when God will finally judge all the peoples of the earth, is still to come. When He now calls people, they need not fear, nor allow their shame to prevent them from going to Him for He is calling them to be helped before it is too late. Yes, He will first deal with the sin, but will then assist them to be restored to Him, to walk with Him again.
God takes steps to break down the barrier
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Genesis 3:9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What have you done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
A court sitting is convened. There are no attorneys and God is the only judge.
When a person caught red-handed is unable to cover his sin, he tries to shift the blame onto someone else or onto his circumstances. Some would go as far as to blame God like Adam did. He said God was to blame, for it was God Who had given him the wife that had enticed him. Eve blamed the snake for deceiving her.
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Genesis 3:14 Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go on your belly and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bear children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and ate from the tree, about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ the ground is cursed for your sake. You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life. 18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
The court trial does not take much time for God already knows exactly what happened. There are however two very important points to note:
- Firstly: God is Holy, which means that He is morally spotlessly clean. He has never sinned and never will. He abhors sin and as the only Lawgiver and Judge, He will certainly punish every single sin that was ever committed. He will pardon nobody. Even Adam and Eve, God’s best friends and children, received their just sentence although they were first time offenders. In the court of heaven, no-one will ever get away with sin.
You will say “But is He not also merciful?” Yes, He is, but His mercy will not cause Him to be unrighteous by pardoning the sinner, for then He would be an accomplice to his sin. To be able to pardon a sinner, His Son, Jesus, first had to be punished for the sin of the sinner, before the sinner can receive mercy. In this way God can be both a righteous judge and a merciful Father.
- Secondly, we must note that God promised that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of satan. This means that from the descendants of the woman, Someone would come that would deal with satan. Here we have the first promise of the coming of the Lord Jesus Who would defeat satan by dying on the cross for the sin of man.
The way in which God removed the barrier of sin
QUOTED FROM THE BIBLE
Genesis 3:21 Yahweh God made coats of animal skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.
When the trial is over and the accused have received their terrible lifelong sentences, the judge adjourns the court and comes down to His bewildered children.
Now He comes to them as a doctor having the right medicine for their decease.
But the cost of the medicine is terrible; it is the blood and lives of two of God’s innocent creatures. God Himself had to grab them, kill them, skin them and then use their skins to cover the nakedness of His children so that they would no longer be ashamed. Once they were wrapped in their woolly garments, they could look up into God’s face again, speak to Him and continue walking with Him for the rest of their lives.
The verse in which this happening is related is very short but has enormous implications. The blood of animals could of course not wipe out the sins of these two people but served as a picture of what would happen many centuries later when, as we have said, God would give His own innocent Son to die on a cross for the sins of mankind.
Of this we will read in the following chapters.
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