The Fall

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Devotionals

 Have you ever watched a movie where everything was going so well and then seemingly out of nowhere a plot twist is introduced and everything goes south? Well….cue the eerily tragic music. In Genesis 1, we’re introduced to the LORD God, in Chapter 2 we’re introduced to Adam and his wife…and now in chapter 3, we meet a talking serpent who we will soon see, has bad intentions.

We have no indication of where the serpent comes from. He just shows up. The last book of the Bible, The Book of Revelation, sheds light on the identity of this serpent.

“ And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels with him.” 

                                                                                                                                                                                            Revelation 12:9

Satan is the serpent. Satan himself comes and talks to Eve (the woman) and he asks her a question.

“ He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say,‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden” – 3:1

Now… anyone who’s been paying attention will know that the answer to the question is “no”. The LORD gave instructions not to eat from one particular tree, not all the trees. Whether it was intended or not the text doesn’t say…but here the serpent introduces some confusion and falsehood about what the LORD said…what He commanded.  Then after Eve gives her response to the question, the serpent makes a statement that is a flat out contradiction to what the LORD said. Remember…Adam was told that he would die if he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent in effect says, “ no you won’t” (Genesis 3:4) He presents a contradictory truth claim as if to say…”don’t believe what God says….believe this….this is true”

Then the serpent tries to convince Eve that God is holding out on her and Adam…that he is trying to keep something from them. He says,

”For God knows that when you eat of it [the fruit from the tree of knowledge] your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”                                                                                                                                                                          Genesis 3:5

Hear the serpents voice….”God is holding out on you! He’s trying to keep you down so he can be in control. You should be in control!”  At this point the couple (Adam and Eve) have a choice: Do they believe God? Will they believe that he is good and that he can be trusted and that he knows what’s best for them? Or will they listen to this sneaky snake with his bad intentions and half-truths?

Instead of remembering what God says, and obeying him….Adam and Eve disobey and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They bought into the lie and bit into the fruit. And you say, “yeah…so they ate a piece of fruit from a tree…big deal”. Well…this IS big. This is more than a case of swiping fruit, this is an outright act of rebellion.  It’s the created saying to the Creator, “who cares that you’ve provided for us and been good to us and who cares what you say…we wanna call the shots!” It’s as if they spit in God’s face or give him the finger and decide to do things their own way…apart from him. This is the ultimate betrayal and disloyalty.

This teaches us something important about the nature of sin. Sin often looks harmless on the surface (like no big deal), but it is rebellion of the worst sort. Rebellion against a loving Creator God. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, we also learn that sin brings with it horrible consequences…..the worst of which is spiritual death and separation from God.

Immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed God…they knew they were naked and so they tried to cover themselves. There’s a bunch that could be said about this…but at the very least this is a picture of shame. The innocence that Adam and Eve once knew was now replaced with guilt and shame and fear. For the first time, they knew these horrible feelings that all of us know so well. Now instead of enjoying the LORD’s presence, they hid from him. Genesis 3:8-10-

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked and I hid myself.”

And then the blame shifting begins. When Adam is confronted with his disobedience he blames Eve, who turns and blames the serpent. The LORD issues curses to them all…consequences for the rebellion that has occurred. For his part in the rebellion, the serpent is told that he will ultimately be crushed by a descendant of the woman (Genesis 3:15). The woman is told that she will have pain in childbirth and that her relationship with her husband will involve a struggle for control and leadership. The man is told that the ground is cursed because of him. The ground will no longer be as productive…and now, work (which God made good) is going to be hard. Man is going to work hard all his life and then die.

On top of all these curses….the first couple (Adam and Eve) get kicked out of Eden. Banned from paradise. Alienated from God (Genesis 3:24) Sin has terrible consequences. It seems great and enjoyable and thrilling and it may be for a time, but it always ends badly. Always.

But all is not lost. Against the backdrop of all the bad that comes with sin, Genesis 3 mentions 3 things that provide hope in an otherwise bleak situation:  The promise in verse 15, The naming of the woman in verse 20, and the coverings that God makes for Adam in Eve in verse 21. I’ll tell you about those next time.

Grace and peace…

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