Thank you once again for joining me through our study of the book of Genesis. I am your host, Randy Duncan, and today we are continuing in chapter 3
In the last episode we started chapter 3, and discussed the serpent, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Satan’s method of attack, one that he still employs today. I should have mentioned in the last episode, but failed to do so, is what I believe to be one of Satan’s most successful tactics yet, and that is to convince people that he doesn’t really exist. That he is not real. That is a brilliant strategy, and it has worked on countless people. I pray it doesn’t work on you!
So last time we completed verse 6, where Adam and Eve have both just eaten from the forbidden tree, which brings us now to V7
V7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
Again, this verse is so familiar that we just read over it without pausing to consider exactly what is going on here. So let’s pause and take a fresh look at this.
‘Their eyes were opened” – Their eyes were opened alright! But rather than bringing them the promise of being like God, and knowing good and evil, it brought them shame. God desired that humanity would choose to follow His morality, but now, Adam and Eve are destined to to live in a state where they will now live by their own morality and code of ethics
“Naked” – “arum” (sounds like drum roll before the r) – usually describes someone stripped of protected clothing and “naked” in the sense of being defenseless, weak, or humiliated
They were stripped, deprived of all the honors of their previous state
They now have an awareness of guilt and shame, and their spiritual death is evidenced by their alienation from from both each other and from God
Their separation from each other is evidenced by their need to use fig leaves as barriers from one another. Their evidence of separation from God is seen in how they will hide from God amongst the trees
The fig leaves concealed, but they did not really cover up, meaning, Adam and Eve did not confess their sin, they simply attempted to cover up and hide their sin
Some say this was the very first act of religion, and that religion is man’s attempt to cover himself. And is this so much different from what we do today? We go to church, we join a church, we participate in the rituals and church liturgy and the traditions, and we can appear to be very religious. But it is important for all of us to remember that religion is not what saves us.
Jesus told the professional religionists of the day in Matt 23:27-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
And this is exactly the situation Adam and Eve find themselves here. Trying to cover their sin with external trappings and their own efforts, but not addressing the problem and consequences of their sin
We may not be using fig leaves today, but that’s not because we aren’t still trying to cover our sin, it’s that in our modern world we have so many more options to choose from in an effort to cover our sin. We can use our church attendance to attempt to cover our sin, we give and volunteer, and count for ourselves righteousness based on our deeds and works and acts of kindness.
And all of those things are good in and of themselves, but none of them will cover your sin and separation from God. If you are counting on any of those things to save you, you are in the wrong religion. Christianity is different from every other religion in that it is not a works-based religion. That’s one of the things that separates it from every other religion on the planet.
Almost every other religion is works-based, meaning at the end of your life, you can just hope that your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, so that you have a sort of net-good deeds balance. The problem is that you still have not been held accountable by a perfect and holy and just God for your bad deeds, your sin. So you still have a huge problem.
Later in chapter 3, we will see what God thinks of our attempt to cover ourselves, just like Adam and Eve tried to do, and we will also learn right here in chapter 3 that there is only one way to truly cover our sins
BTW, speaking of fig leaves, isn’t it interesting that Jesus cursed a fig tree? I will just let that one lay right there…
8 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. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
“Hid himself” – Hiding themselves is an admission of their guilt. But how foolish, how ignorant to think you can hide yourself from the presence of God. Psalm 139:7-8 says “ Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
IOW, there is nowhere you can hide from God. God is everywhere. That’s what it means when we say that God is omnipresent. You can suppress God’s calling, you can ignore it, you can pretend he is not there, but don’t fool yourself by thinking you can hide from him!
I think it is interesting that in the book of Revelation, Ch 6. V16-17, we read that “Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”. Wow! That is what it is like when you see and hear God coming
Can you imagine how Adam and Eve felt? Just like in Revelation, nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide from the accountability and justice enacted by God.
And here is a public service announcement…”We all have it coming! My suggestion is to admit your guilt, repent, and turn to the one source who can offer you a pardon based on a price He has already paid for your sin, and that is Christ Jesus.
One thing to note here is that God did not just abandon Adam & Eve because of their sin and because they will now be separated from God. He came to them. This demonstrates his love for them
God calls out to Adam, “Where are you?” This is not because God couldn’t find Adam, like he lost him in the garden somewhere, or didn’t know where he was. God is asking Adam in order to get a response from him. Some believe the question wasn’t about his physical location, but about his spiritual condition…IOW, ”Where are you Adam, spiritually” “Where are you Adam, in your relationship with God?
Either way, one thing to remember is that it is always God who does the seeking. It is God seeking and calling out to man, not man calling out or seeking God. Here, God calls out to Adam, just like he called out to Abraham. God called Abraham, Abraham didn’t call out to God. Before God called him, Abraham was an idol-worshipping pagan in the Ur of the Chaldees, which is modern day Iraq. God called out to Jacob, Jacob was fleeing. God called out to Moses. Moses was a fugitive wanted for murder. In John 15:16 Jesus tells his disciples that “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”. You see, it is always God who does the seeking.
Adam tells God that he was “afraid” and so he hid himself – Bruce Waltke, professor of OT Theology and Hebrew, mentions that actions motivated by fear are not motivated by faith and so cannot please God. 2 Tim 1:7 tells us that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
So Adam being afraid here, his sense of fear, demonstrates that it is not from God, but is a result of his sin and born out of not trusting God. But honestly, I can relate to Adam, as much as I know that fear cannot please God, I have had that same feeling many times, just as all of you have. Whether I fear the future, for my children’s health and safety, fear of the unknown, it doesn’t matter.
There are people who try to explain fear as an evolutionary bi-product based on fight or flight responses. But the reality is that fear, in the context we are discussing here, is brought on by a lack of faith in God, and is the result of being separated from God
11 He (God) said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
I love the way verse 11 here has God asking Adam who told you you were naked? Uh-oh! It just has that ring to it of parent/child situation where the child reveals one detail too much, and now they know they are busted!
Notice first here, that right here, and as we continue to read, you will not see a confession by Adam. No apology. No repentance.
What we do see here though is the worst, the lamest, most pitiful excuse. Adam actually blames Eve! It was her fault, God. The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit! You can almost hear it in Adam’s voice “I didn’t ask you to send her to me”
And what’s even more, Adam, by extension, is actually insinuating that some of the blame is on God! It was her fault! Who’s fault? The woman that YOU gave me! IOW, if God wouldn’t have brought Eve to him, he would be fine. So it is also God’s fault. Adam is trying to make God an accessory to his own sin!
So it is Eve’s fault. And it’s God’s fault. But Adam never takes responsibility for his own actions. And people are still using this excuse today! It’s always somebody else’s fault. It was my parents’ fault, it was my teacher’s fault, my coach, I was framed, my boss, the system, my environment, always somebody else’s fault.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is mans’ ability to rationalize!
Then God asked Eve, “what is this you have done?” What does she do? The EXACT same thing Adam did! She passes the buck and shirks her responsibility! The serpent deceived me! It was the serpents fault! Here we go again! The devil made me do it! Not taking responsibility for her actions
Some say that here Adam & Eve demonstrate the impact of Satan’s influence already, because here they are already distorting the truth, accusing someone else, and ultimately God
But James 1:13 says “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
Sure, Satan tempts us, but as James tells us, we are dragged away by our own evil lusts and desires. And the scary thing is that James continues to tell us that “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death
Psychiatrist Dr. Abraham Twerski says that “ Human beings need 4 things: air, food, drink, and someone to blame”
But I want to leave you with this final thought. When Adam sinned, his first reaction, his natural response, was to flee, to run and hide from God. This was his response because he was aware of the justice of God, and he knew what God had promised would be the penalty for sin. But along with everything else we discussed, it also tells us one other thing. It tells us that Adam had no idea that forgiveness was even an option.
So that I don’t make this episode longer than I want to, and also so that I don’t stop in an awkward place, I am going to stop right here. In the next episode we will finish chapter 3. We will discuss the punishments implemented by God, and be introduced to the first hint of the Messiah.
For some of you, I can almost guarantee you will hear something in the next episode you may have never heard before. I hope you will join me. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen, as I know you have many other options. Until next week, pray and ask God to help you see and have the same perspective of sin that He does.