Gracefully Truthful

Enemies,Glory,God,Gospel,Lord,Love

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Genesis 3:1-24

1 Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

4 “No! You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So, she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

11 Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

12 The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”

13 So the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and 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 strike your head, and you will strike his heel.

16 He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.

17 And he said to the man, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life.18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.19 You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”

20 The man named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made clothing from skins for the man and his wife, and he clothed them. 22 The Lord God said, “Since the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever.”

23 So the Lord God sent him away from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove the man out and stationed the cherubim and the flaming, whirling sword east of the garden of Eden to guard the way to the tree of life.

The Original Intent

1) What did the serpent ask the woman? (verses 1-6)

Could there be a more cunning question to ask someone than “did they really say that!?”. It begs for a skeptical answer and is meant to stir doubt in the mind of the hearer. The impact in Genesis 3:1 is that the question was referring to the command of God.

Though we don’t have clarity how it happened, we do know the serpent who was speaking was Satan himself. (Revelation 20:1-2) So brazen is he that he refers to God as “Elohim” rather than the personal covenant name “Yahweh.” Eve falls for his trickery and responds using Elohim instead of Yahweh Elohim in verse 3. (Bible.org)

Whether Satan possessed the serpent or deceived Adam and Eve into believing the serpent was talking to them, snakes do not have the ability to speak. And neither do donkeys. (Numbers 22:22-31) Yet in some circumstances, God allowed the words of animals to be used in His unveiling story of redemption.

Considering himself to be wiser than God, Satan devised a scheme to destroy the good which God had created. (Genesis 1:31)

The Hebrew word for “cunning” carries two meanings: negative implications are found here in verse 1, while more positive renderings of the word are found in the book of Proverbs referring to those who are “shrewd”. (Net Notes)

Sadly, Satan knew just enough about God to be dangerous! Though he underestimated the ultimate authority and character in the nature of God, it was in Satan’s nature to devise wickedness. By faking ignorance, Satan demonstrated the depth of his appetite for crushing us and consequently throwing creation into chaos. (1 Peter 5:8)

Four very sad words appear in verse 6, she saw, she took, she gave, and they ate.  Devastating! The world’s spiral into complete brokenness had begun. (Romans 5:12)

The Everyday Application

1) What did the serpent ask the woman? (verses 1-6)

Partial truths are the worst kind of lies. They are filled with subtleties that play tricks on our hearts and minds. A clock that reads 5:15 AM when it’s really 5:15 PM is so clearly off that we wouldn’t consider using it to tell time. But a clock that reads 5:15 AM when it’s 5:35 AM could make the difference in us being on time or late. It may seem later, but we convince ourselves the clock is right.

Subtle lies tell us enough of the truth to make us curious, but we can become too lazy to seek the whole truth.

Sin begins to take root in our hearts when curiosity turns to doubt followed by wrong choices. God has given us His word that is sufficient instruction for our lives. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) He has also provided for us everything we need to enjoy life to its fullest. (1 Timothy 6:17)

God has not left out anything. As Creator, He ultimately provides us life itself in every breath we breathe. (Acts 17:24-25) Yet, you and I still fall for the enemy’s greatest lie: you need more. As Mandie wrote, “In a way, aren’t we still falling for the lies that make us believe there must be more for us than everything God has already provided?”

Oh Sister, I’m right there with you crying out to our good Father. He has said we are valuable to Him. He wants to provide for us if we would just turn from sin and rely on His goodness! (Matthew 6:26 

Lord, help me believe YOU alone are good and truthful. Help me to trust YOU alone for everything I need.

The Original Intent

2) What did the man and woman hear that caused them to hide? (verses 7-13)

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze […].” (verse 8) The somber reality of their depravity arises within the senses of the humans.

They heard the sound of the Lord’s walking, but the debilitating volume of the guilt pounding in their hearts was what they feared most.

They had believed the lie of their enemy and now the loveliness of the evening breeze was ruined by the awareness of their nakedness. They had shared the forbidden tree’s fruit. And the aftertaste was bitter. It was true that they now knew the awfulness of sin. (verse 5)

Instead of being like God, they were terrified to be near Him. What Eve thought would bring delight brought dread. The wisdom she obtained was not glorious but horrifying! Her eyes were now opened to her humanity in light of God’s deity.

This revelation brought something they had never experienced, deep shame! 

God had commanded them to refrain from eating from one tree. (Genesis 2:16-17) But Satan put a different spin on God’s words and motives, and Adam and Eve choose to resort to hiding. It’s a dreadful scene.

The Lord calls out for His created companions, the ones He made in His image to bring Him glory. (Genesis 1:27) The prophet Isaiah spoke of the Lord’s desire for people in Isaiah 43:6-7. They were created to delight in Him and worship Him. Satan’s desire was to destroy that relationship and bring glory to himself. (Luke 4:5-7) He was clever enough to use the curious nature of humans to convince them he had their best interest in mind. As they turn on each other, it appears Satan’s goal to ruin them might very well be accomplished.

The Everyday Application

2) What did the man and woman hear that caused them to hide? (verses 7-13)

We’ve all been there. That moment when our wrong choices catch up with us. Maybe it’s the sound of a siren and the sight of blue lights behind us. Maybe it’s the sight of the checking account balance that’s lower than it should be because of an ill-timed and unnecessary purchase. Maybe it’s the gut punch we feel after a juicy conversation we had that should have ended long before it did.

Shame can be so loud!

Especially brutal is the shame that comes when we’re guilty and we know it. Adam and Eve weren’t afraid of God’s footsteps. They had obviously heard them before as they basked in the wonderful evening breezes. But this time was different.

We get it, don’t we? I’ve been relieved to see the lights of the policeman’s car when there was an accident. I have been delighted to open my bank statement and see the ways in which the Lord has provided. I’ve been filled with hope as I’ve had conversations with friends that stir me to kind deeds and encouraged me to find the good. 

Why did they hide? It was their guilt and shameOh, how wonderful that God sought them, knowing what He knew. 

Our shame is not the end of our story, sweet friend. We have a Father who calls out for us to admit our failure and find forgiveness and restoration. It is so tempting to hide in fear and shame.

But it’s unnecessary.

We can be restored, and God wants nothing more than our sincere humility and repentance. He is faithful and kind. (1 John 1:5-9)

The Original Intent

3) What was the result of their choice? (verses 14-24)

Before Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, they were allowed to eat from any tree, including the tree of life. Choosing to disobey God caused them to be banished from the garden, including this tree. The New Testament Bible writer, James, wanted his readers to understand the consequences of being drawn into sin. 

James 1:14-15 gives us an understanding of how temptation works. It is exactly how it worked in the garden. Adam and Eve were “drawn away and enticed by [their] own evil desire” to know more than knew. (verse 6) When they became aware of their guilt (nakedness), they hid in shame. God questioned them about what happened, but they knew they had been deceived and had chosen to disobey God.

Because of their wicked choices, the God who had created them needed to punish their sin. As the consequences were being explained, I wonder if Adam and Eve remembered what God did say to Adam, “On the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Though Eve misquoted the Lord, it is evident Adam had told Eve what God said. (verses 2-3) They were both responsible for what was happening to them as they faced their day of reckoning. No matter how much they tried to place blame, Adam nor Eve had a defense. Yet the Lord showed compassion.

In His kind omniscience, denying access to the tree of life was for their good. God chose to cover their shame rather than leave them in the garden trying to cover themselves and struggle to live forever in their present sinful state. Living endlessly without the Hope of Redemption by the gracious God would mean only misery for humanity with no hope of relief, not even in death.

The Everyday Application

3) What was the result of their choice? (verses 14-24)

The enticement to sin comes not only from without (the devil), but from our own nature as well. James says we are drawn away by our evil desires. We think wrongly, leading to wrong beliefs, then we act wrongly.

The opposite is also true.

We are stirred to choose the right thing by believing it is best. Paul writes that all who have believed in Jesus must renew their minds. (Romans 12:1)

Adam and Eve hid because they had acted sinfully based on their belief that God might be wrong. Jon Bloom provides this example, “When my two oldest children were younger teens, they did what most younger teens do. They ransacked the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer for empty, sugar-based carbohydrates. If they didn’t find them, they would run to fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. My wife and I would urge them toward more balanced diets and cite the science-based negative effects of such foods on the body and mind, but with little success. Then, around ages 17 or 18, suddenly they began to eat healthy, nutritious food and eschew junk food. What happened? It wasn’t that they went from being ignorant to being informed. What they lacked was a belief that eating veggies would really make them happier in the long run.”

The most wonderful news is that our hearts can be changed and set on God’s purposes when we surrender to His work in us through His Spirit.

We can believe Him and trust His Word. By limiting the lifespan of humanity, God gave us time to come to know Him and His provision for eternal life through Christ.

We have been spared from the misery of an endless existence in a sinful condition. Praise be to the God of creation and redemption; our brokenness has a cure!

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