Genesis Chapter Three
Read Genesis 3:1-5 – Eve’s Temptation
v. 1 “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Mankind faces his first temptation. In this account we also see the beginning of the workings of our arch-enemy, Satan, who would claim our souls. He is subtle, he woos, he romances, he makes sin look so pleasant, so much fun, so enticing to our wants and desires. If these tactics don’t produce the desired result, then he turns and appeals to our ego, our freedom to chose, perhaps a tendency to resist authority. All men and women seem to have a little bit of that rebellious spirit in us that we must control. Paul was concerned about the Corinthian brethren being lead away from Christ by the same kind of subtlety:
II Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Satan appears to Eve in the form of a serpent. We do not know what a serpent looked like at this point in time as God’s curse placed on that particular animal placed him on his belly in the dust has not happened yet. That was not his normal position at this point in his appearance to Eve.
There was only one opportunity for sin in the garden, that single, simple command given by God for them not to eat of this certain tree. Satan had only one way that he could corrupt and claim the souls of mankind, cause them to disobey that one law that God had given. So he asks the question of Eve. Has God really said that you should not eat of the fruit of this tree? How had Eve heard about God’s command? If the sequence of verses in Genesis -18 are a true chronology, and nothing says that they aren’t, God gave the commandment to Adam before Eve was formed. Eve, therefore, probably would not have heard this commandment directly from God and would have had to depend on her husband for her spiritual guidance. This is still one of the responsibilities of husbands today. Unfortunately, all too frequently, the opposite is true; the only spiritual guidance given to the family is by the wife.
v.2-3 “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”
As an obedient child of God and faithful wife, Eve repeats the commandment recorded in Genesis that Adam had been given. She knew what God had said. She knew the source of her blessings, just as we do today. We also know the source of that ultimate blessing that all men who know God strive toward:
Revelation “14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
But Eve had already made the biggest mistake that we can make. What might that mistake be? She had allowed Satan to engage her in conversation; she had placed herself in danger. She was apparently separated from Adam by some distance and without their mutual support and strength that could have helped her. We can be sure today that temptation will find us when we are weakest and most vulnerable. What did Jesus tell Satan when he was tempted?
Luke 4:8 “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written…”
v.4 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:”
Satan changes tactics, his first attempt at Eve has failed, she knows the commandment and at this point isn’t willing to rebel against it. So Satan attacks the idea that there is any real danger if the commandment is disobeyed. This is much like what we hear today when someone says that God is so loving that he couldn’t possibly condemn man to hell. Satan sees that this is Eve’s weakest point; she is wavering in her belief that eating of the tree would bring punishment so drastic.
So he tells her a deliberate lie. Satan knows better. He knows that God will punish those who disobey Him. He knows by experience that disobedience and rebellion against God will have its consequences. Yet he works to draw mankind into the same misery that he endures because of his sin against God.
v.5 “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Satan appeals to Eve’s ego and her perception of her position in God’s order of authority. By commanding you not to eat of this tree, God has restricted your knowledge, restricted your freedom; He is keeping you from being more like he is. He tells Eve that God is not treating her right.
By eating of the tree he tells Eve that she will immediately change for the better. She will gain knowledge that God does not want her to have; she will be as a mighty god, no longer subject to God’s authority, no longer dependent upon God for her knowledge. Satan tells her that God has kept you in intellectual darkness, not allowed you to enjoy a full complement of knowledge and eating of this tree will remove those restrictions.
Read Genesis 3:6-13 – The Fall of Man
v.6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Satan appeals to Eve through the three senses that the Apostle John tells us are in the world and therefore the foundation of sin.
I John 2:15-16 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Satan appealed to each of these three. The lust of the flesh, the fruit of the tree was good for food; the lust of the eye, it was a beautiful, appealing fruit, just as much of sin appears good and appealing today; the pride of life, Eve’s ego, she would gain wisdom, knowledge that she did not have, become as wise as God. Isn’t this the same way that sin works on us today?
Ephesians 5:6 “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
Satan’s efforts were even more successful. Eve gave the fruit to Adam and he joined her in her sin. Was Adam deceived or was his actions deliberate, knowing better, knowing the consequences of his sin? The Holy Spirit through the pen of Paul tells us that Adam sinned with his eyes wide open, knowing that he was in rebellion to God, he was not deceived.
I Timothy “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
v.7 “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
Up until this point in time man was completely innocent. They were naked and didn’t even know it because it had no significance; there was no shame in nakedness, no embarrassment.
Genesis “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
But now Adam and Eve understand evil, they know that their nakedness, their physical appearance was not morally acceptable. So they sew or plat themselves garments that are translated as aprons to cover their bodies. And as we all know from the experience of life, some day, some way, if not now, then in eternity:
Numbers 32:23 “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
v.8 “And they heard the voice 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 the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
What is the result of the sin of Adam and Eve? They not only now understand evil and sin but also understood that there would be consequences. They had the presence of mind to be fearful, just as the Holy Spirit reminds us:
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26-27
So mankind now also understands the meaning of fear.
God walked in the garden with man on a regular basis, in the cool of the day, in the evening God came and walked and communed with man. In the early history of man this was not unusual, God spoke to Job from a whirlwind:
Job 38:1 “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said.”
God spoke to Moses from a bush that appeared to be burning (Exodus 3:2-4), and to the prophets in various ways.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,” Hebrews 1:1
v.9-10 “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
God already knows what happened. He knows where and why Adam is hiding. For God knows all things:
“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” I John 3:20
But just like a mother or father looking for a lost child, God calls to Adam, asking him “Where are you?” And Adam is just like Moses, he knows that he is not worthy to be in the presence of God:
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:6
Moreover, Adam now knew that he was naked and that being naked had some significance, something that he did not know before. And God asks him:
v.11 “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
God, just like my mother many times, knows exactly what his wayward child has done but wants him to understand and confess his wrong. Adam has transgressed God’s law, Adam has sinned. Sin has entered God’s perfect creation:
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Adam, just as I did as a child; and men the world over try to do today, Adam tries to pass the responsibility for his sin on to someone else. In this case God himself.
v.12 “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”
God, this woman that you gave to be with me, she made me do it. Job said that “IF I COVERED MY TRANSGRESSIONS AS ADAM, BY HIDING MINE INIQUITY IN MY BOSOM. (Job 31:33), then he would have had reason to fear. We are responsible for our own sins, so we need to be especially careful that we don’t let others entice or cause us to transgress God’s law.
Proverbs “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
When we do sin we need to confess those sins and clear our conscience and our souls, not hide them:
Proverbs 28:13 “HE THAT COVERETH HIS SINS SHALL NOT PROSPER: BUT WHOSO CONFESSETH AND FORSAKETH them SHALL HAVE MERCY.”
We probably don’t think of this kind of situation is this manner but Jesus puts those who give excuses for not accepting God’s invitation to be his child in the same category:
Luke 14:16-18 “…A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused…”
v.13 “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
Mother Eve tells the truth. The serpent beguiled or fooled, enticed and
trapped her. Are we any different
today? In the mass media we are
bombarded constantly with the enticements of sin. To escape the temptations of this world we
would have to be hermits living in a cave, never seeing the light of day, other
people or any of the things that delight the people of this world. Even in the church, clinging closely to God’s
word, helping and supporting one another in our daily walk of life we have to
be vigilant to keep from being lead astray.
Paul wrote about his concern to the church at
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” I Corinthians 11:3
v.14 “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:”
What did a serpent look like before God cursed him? We don’t know but the Holy Spirit tells us that he didn’t crawl on his belly in the dirt as serpents do today. God continues his curse of Satan to tell him that the day will come when his power over mankind will be totally destroyed.
v.15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
We have the very first seed promise, the very first prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ as a prophecy from God directly. He will bruise Satan’s head, symbolizing limiting his authority, limiting and eventually destroying his power over men. We find one of the earliest accounts of the fulfillment of this prophecy in:
Matthew “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
v.16 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
The introduction of sin into the world caused God to change the roles and positions of both men and women in the world. Woman’s role in the lives of mankind conducted in the time we’re here on earth was established originally in the giving of Adam a help meet. Now, because of sin entering into the world that role is modified. Every woman, though most don’t understand the reason, who bears a child will remember and be plagued with the consequence of Eve’s sin. The prophets and Jesus himself use it as an example to describe the fear of the Lord, an example:
Isaiah 13:8 “And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.”
Jesus uses the same example but at the same time to teach his disciples that their troubles will not need to be endured very long and that their travail would be worth the result that it would bring. Their problems would be as:
“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” John 16:21
In addition a woman would be under the authority of her husband and her desire, purpose and work would be to support him. This is similar to the role given woman as man’s help but places more emphasis on her subordinate role. A God given role that the feminists of this world not only deny but stand ready to flog anyone who teaches God’s will in these matters.
I Timothy 2:11-15 “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”
The consequence of Adam’s sin is a greater burden, probably because while Eve was deceived, Adam was not.
v.17 “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;”
Adam did something that
he knew he had been commanded not to do.
He was much like King Saul of
I Samuel “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
Consequently mankind would eat of the fruit of the earth, the production of the herbs, trees and various plants that God had provided:
Psalms 104:14 “HE CAUSETH THE
GRASS TO GROW FOR THE CATTLE, AND HERB FOR THE SERVICE OF MAN: THAT HE MAY
BRING FORTH FOOD OUT OF THE EARTH.”
But it wouldn’t be easy.
v.18 “18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;”
This is a curse that I understand completely. Sometimes, when my excess energy as a boy got me in trouble, I was given a mattock and the job of removing the Canadian thistles from the barn lot and surrounding areas. Did thorns and thistles exist prior to the curse that God places on mankind here? The scripture implies that they did not and in Genesis God’s creation was pronounced “VERY GOOD.” The logical conclusion is that they did not exist until now.
v.19 “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
So the earth would not only bring forth thorns and thistles to plague man in his endeavor to gain his living from its soil but his bread would need to be gained by the sweat of his brow. Previously man had enjoyed the abundance of the garden that was provided by God. But now, man would have to work at getting what God would provide to sustain him.
In addition physical death has been brought into the world. Genesis 2:7 tells us that God made man from the dust of the earth. Now God tells man that he will return to dust again, he will endure physical death. The Holy Spirit tells us the disposition of man through the Soloman and the writer of the Hebrew letter:
Ecclesiastes 12:7 “THEN SHALL THE DUST RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS: AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UNTO GOD WHO GAVE IT.”
Hebrews -28 “AND AS IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT: SO CHRIST WAS ONCE OFFERED TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY…”
v.20-21 “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
We’re told that the meaning of the name Adam in the original language is “red earth” signifying the source of man’s body. The name Eve or Evah means “life”. Each tells us that God places significance in the names of certain people even before he changes the names of Abraham, Sari and Jacob and gives us the names for John the Baptizer and Jesus the Christ.
In addition God, even though he is totally displeased with Adam and Eve; even though he is punishing them he provides for them. They will gain their sustenance from the earth, now he provides clothing for them as well. Do you think these were fancy fur coats that some pay thousands of dollars for today? No, these clothes were not made of silk and satin or rich fabric, but the through implication of scripture, plain skins, not trimmed, nor embroidered, they carried none of the ornaments that man and women have learned to add to their clothing. Consequently, if we have sufficient food to live and common clothing to wear we are blessed as well as God blessed Adam and Eve. Anything beyond that would make us rich, greatly blessed, would it not?
Read Genesis 3:22-24 – Man’s Removal from
v.22 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”
Man’s knowledge and position in this world has changed. Now, God says, that man now has the knowledge of good and evil. Since man now knows evil as well as good what is God implying would be the result? That man would follow evil. One of the curses placed against him was that he should die and return to the dust of the earth. So he must also be prevented from eating of the tree of life and living forever. God had placed this tree in the garden:
Genesis 2:9 “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Eating of it was not part of the prohibition or commandment that God had given in Genesis 2:16-17. So now something must be done to keep man from this source of life.
v.23-24 “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
God banned Adam, Eve and all of their future generations from the garden and made provisions for man to be kept from that source of eternal life here on earth.