Week 1- Gen. 3:1-15 Christ in the Garden?

Do you know your history?  Do you know where you came from?  What makes you, you?  Why do you do or don’t do the things that you do? 

We’re told by those who study such things that much of it can be traced back to the environment that you grew up in but certainly not all.  Scientists use the word genetics a lot these days to explain some of the interesting differences between us humans.  But do you know your history?  What’s your story?

Long before computers with digital imagery, HD Video, even before the printed word, telling the story of mankind is how the Bible spread.  It was HIS way from the very beginning.  “God, in the beginning, spoke, and the heavens and the earth were created” (BW: Gen. 1:3).   This is a simple paraphrase of Genesis 1:1-3. 

I’ve told the story of the beginning in just a few words.  The reality was that God only used two words according to the Hebrew tradition.  “Haya Ore”.  The best we seem do with that one act of God is four words, “Let there be light” (New International Version:Gen. 1:3).  But the moment we speak those four words our minds immediately imagine what just happened.  

It was the darkest of darkness.  Those times when you wonder if your eyes can see or not.  And it was eerily quiet too, not a sound could be heard.  Then suddenly, “haya orb”.    The darkness dispelled and we can see!    …cockroaches fleeing in all directions!  We’re standing in a pit of snakes slithering around our feet! Oh that the light had never turned on we think to ourselves.  I was doing fine in my ignorance. Even happy not knowing what that gushy feeling was under my feet. 

What we don’t know can’t hurt us right?

Like just Who it was that turned on the light? Who said, “haya orb”?

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Of course since our imagination is no longer pure we may begin uttering weird and odd things into those two words and can come up with a horror flick and or even a space thriller.  This is actually because of the faulty rewiring of our imaginations.  It wasn’t that way in the beginning.  But something that happened long, long ago, well before we were born caused the perfect circuits to short out.  It is a part of our history, some would go so far as to say our genetics. short3This faulty wiring, this mutant gene began to warp HIS Story to the point that we make up fantastical stories to explain it away.  The purity of light dispelling the darkness.  The wonder and beauty of His creation is lost and becomes less attractive the more we listen to those warped stories and give into their perversion of history.

Now I’m not pointing a finger at them, who they may be.  I’ve read HIS Story and I think I know what happened to pervert our story throughout the ages.  It is found in the book of beginnings, Genesis. 

Genesis 3:1-15 if you have your Bible open it up and let’s read this part of HIS Story.

 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”  “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  

But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  Genesis 3:1-15 (NIV)
Skip to questions on today’s passage or Read on for hints to answer the questions and learn more about this passage.
And so began man’s spiral into the abyss of sin and slavery and strangely wild imaginations! This passage of Scripture needs to be the first story for us to know and understand even before the wonderful story of creation.  For what preceded this story in Genesis 1 & 2 was perfect and frankly now unknowable to the unsanctified human mind.  Unknowable because everything in those first two chapters was affected by what happened in the third chapter.  Everything had changed!  The perfect world, perfect place to live, perfect food, perfect temperature both day and night even perfect sex and procreation was altered until the promise of 3:15 was fulfilled.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.  So let’s back up one step into perfection to Genesis 2:25 as there is a play on words that one does not pick up without the help of a Hebrew Scholar…or in my case a Hebrew to English concordance and commentaries. 

gen3-Slide8 “The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25 (NIV).

The Believers Bible commentary puts it this way: “Genesis 3:1 is connected with (the previous verse) Gen.2:25 by a Hebrew wordplay: Adam and Eve were “naked” (??rûmmm); and the serpent was more crafty (??rûm, “shrewd”) than all.”

“Their nakedness represented the fact that they were oblivious to evil, not knowing where the traps lay, whereas Satan did and would use his craftiness to take advantage of their integrity” (BBC:Genesis 3:1). 

Like little children who often are naive and unaware of the dangers that exist this first couple were naked not only physically but environmentally and perhaps even spiritually.  Their knowledge base had no effects of evil only good all the time.  They were naked on that glorious sunny day and they didn’t even know what sunburn was!

You and I on the other hand are not born with this level of nakedness.  Sure we come out physically devoid of clothes and without the ability to survive without help from other beings.  But unlike Adam and Eve who “were naked and knew no shame”, deep with us the seeds of sin, sown in the garden, are like dormant weeds that await optimum growing conditions to spring forth uninvited. These sins are planted deep within our hearts and everywhere in our environment as well. Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually sin has corrupted everything to some degree. 

Adam and Eve, our genetic parents, had no idea what that crafty snake was up to.  They had no street smarts.  They only knew the perfection of walking with their Father in the Garden.  They only knew His love and protection, and that He had created them for perfect fellowship both with one another and a Master who only wanted what’s best for them.  Even nature itself that was created to be subservient to them!  Including that snake in the grass!

They were, quite frankly, easy marks as con men would say today.  Given to deception.  Like the people who respond to spam thinking they will get something for nothing only to find out they got taken.Slide9

Or like people that think that their phone is their castle and private domain until they get to the border and the customs officer demands their password and looks at all their content.  Or some hacker breaks in and shares their private thoughts all over the internet.  Deception is one of Satan’s favorite weapons.     

That crafty snake, who by the way is not named in this passage, is only personified by this slithering shrewdness.   Biblically, we can’t actually prove that it was Satan until well after the fact when John the Revelator tells us in Revelation 12:9,  “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”   

But that’s getting way ahead!  And this interesting word play of Genesis 2:25 to Gen. 3:1.  (??rûmmm); and (??rûm), nakedness and shrewdness. Which you know is much the same today.  You and I are somewhat naked and unaware of Satan’s shrewdness because of the good genes that we inherited from Adam.  Yes we inherited some of Adam’s naivety but also the ability to trust others, even strangers.  We inherited enough to often have spiritual blinders over our eyes but not enough to claim genetic innocence as a defense of giving into sin because of the snake’s shrewdness. 

 Again the BBC states, “That quality of shrewdness or subtleness is not evil in itself (I might add) (indeed, one of the purposes of the Bible is to make believers (shrewd), according to Prov. 1:4, where … shrewdness, is trans. “prudence”).…” (BBC:Genesis 3).   

Jesus sent His disciples out with this encouragement and authority, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Mat 10:13) Behold, I have given you authority to trample on snakes…” (Luke 10:19).

So this shrewdness is also in our genes and is not wrong of itself.  But the snake in the Garden didn’t use it to instill prudence in Adam.  Though I suspect after God intervened the outcome of Satan’s deception produced some of the fruit of prudence on Adam’s part. 

Hindsight always seems better than foresight doesn’t it?  But then again Adam was the prototype so he had no hindsight to draw on.  All he had was History with the master of Garden.  The same one who told Adam, and him alone I might add, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV). gen3-Slide11

I say Adam alone because Eve wasn’t created until Gen. 2:22 five verses after the prohibition.  So Adam had HIS Story that made him entirely responsible for what follows in Gen. 3.    The Apostle Paul confirms this in Romans 5:12 (NLT), “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

Yet even knowing the prohibition and the consequences of sinning against God didn’t prevent the outcome we read in our story today.  It only solidified Adams guilt and total responsibility for his actions, and of course his need for a Redeemer or Savior.  Someone to rescue him from the consequences of his sin.  And not just his sin but for both Eve and all of their offspring who are effected by that sin.  

That’s you and I genetically speaking.  This also makes us like Adam entirely responsible for our sin that separates us from the fellowship that can be ours in God’s Garden.

Just like Adam couldn’t claim hereditary factors.  After all if you are the prototype, the first one built, there is no other human history.  And yet in the midst of this all there is HIS Story!

Adam actually walked in the garden with a Christophany! He walked and talked with God according to what we see in Genesis 2:16-17 and again in chapter 3:8 and what follows.  A Christophany is the technical term for a sighting of the Messiah prior to His embodiment in Bethlehem as the son of Mary. 

Adam knew better!  Not should have known better.  He had HIStory with God prior to the fall!  And yet he went along with the deception that was played on Eve by the snake.  Why do you suppose that is?  

Have a look at these and other questions at the end of this post and discover for your self why you do the things you do or don’t do the things you do.
One thing is for sure Adam sinned and he had an accomplice in Eve.  They were both to blame for what has become our genetic propensity to sin.  You can’t blame one over the other though if the buck has to stop somewhere then it was entirely Adam’s fault for not protecting his wife from the serpent’s deception and actually going along with her delusion that it would be ok.  But as important as knowing about this genetic sin is, there is: 

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HIStory tells us that God, not man, made the first move towards reconciliation after the fall.  We read in verse 8, “…the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  Genesis 3:8-10 (NIV)

My slightly sanctified imagination sees God saying something like,  “Hide from ME?  Right!  “So, “who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  Genesis 3:11 (NIV).  

The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12 (NIV)

“Oh you little devil!  Blaming ME and your wife are you?   I know it will be thousands of years before you understand what I mean but “be a man!”  Own up to your mistakes!  Confession and repentance finds forgiveness but this blame shifting stuff doesn’t cut it with ME!  Did you think I wouldn’t notice?  Did you think you would get away with it?  Just who do think I AM?   Besides, Adam, I didn’t tell her not to eat from that tree, I told you!   But let’s see what she says.

“Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13 (NIV).

Again, my somewhat sanctified imagination sees God answering her:  “That’s the way you want to play it eh?  Clearly your husband told you what I said about eating from that tree!  Got to give Adam that much credit.   Confession and repentance would have saved a lot of suffering, especially when you go to give birth.  But clearly sin has already found its way into your heart and that will have to be dealt with.” 

You see, according to the BBC, “The effects of sin are punishment and provision. Whereas the man and the woman had life, they now had death; whereas pleasure, now pain; whereas abundance, now a meager subsistence by toil; whereas perfect fellowship, now alienation and conflict.” (Believers Bible Commentary: Gen. 3:8). 

Sin carried and always carries an awful price to be paid.  

But God knew where the motivation to sin came from too.  Just look at how He spoke to the snake.  He didn’t ask Satan if what the woman said was true nor did He need to ask what Satan had been up to or why he did such a thing.

God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 (NIV).

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Basically verse 15 says, “I, myself, AM coming for you! You snake in the grass.   And just when you think you have won, MY CHILD will usurp your authority even as you have usurped MINE today with Adam and Eve”.   For through the offspring of Adam one who is as “shrewd as a snake yet as innocent as a dove” (Mt. 10:16) will write the final chapter in HIStory

Of course God was already showing He was shrewder than the snake.  Because He didn’t tell Satan where or when or how He intended to right this terrible wrong.  He just stated a fact that this wasn’t the end of the matter only the beginning.  Jesus Christ would reign victorious in the position the snake so coveted.  Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end of HIS story.

This Story is seldom understood in our society because people don’t tell HIStory, they are inundated with ongoing deception that keeps them in darkness.  But as we tell HIS Story and renew our minds with it something beautiful, even wonderful happens.  We begin to understand that He wants us to be with Him eating of the tree of life and living for eternity in the city of our God. 

Jesus said, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.  “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.  Revelation 22:12-14 (NIV)

Let’s look at HIStory again:

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  1. What was it that God commanded Adam?  (Gen. 2:16-17)
  2. What 2 trees play a role in this story?  (Gen. 2:9, 17, 3:1-2,6,9,22)
  3. What was the original sin? Are you sure?
  4. Why did Satan ask Eve the questions he did?  (Gen. 3:1-3) 
  5. Was it the remarkable shrewdness of that serpent or the gullibility of Eve that caused the sin?  Or just curiosity? (Gen. 3:1-3)
  6. Where did Eve get her response from? (Gen 3:2 compare with Gen. 2:16-17)
  7. What was the purpose of the snake’s response in verses Gen. 3:4-5? Whom did he undermine?
  8. Who was standing right next to Eve the whole time?  (Gen. 3:6)
  9. What immediately happened when the two ate? Emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? (Gen.  3:6-7 compare with Gen. 2:16-17)
  10. How had sin effected their relationship with God? (Gen. 3:8-9)
  11. Who immediately took action to minimize sin’s consequences?  What actions were taken?  (Gen. 3:9-15, 22-24)
  12. Why was it necessary for Adam and Eve to leave the Garden of Eden? (Gen. 3:22)
  13. Who or what is effected by Adam’s sin?  How?(HIStory – Gen. to Revelation)
  14. Who would restore Adam’s kind to the Garden of Eden?  How? (Gen. 3:15; Rom. 5:8,15).   
  15. Who is the offspring spoken of in verse 15?  (Romans 5:12-19)
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