The Garden of Eden was a place of beauty, abundance, and completely unmarred by sin. Adam and Eve’s world was a paradise. God made everything good, and the first parents enjoyed unparalleled welfare. The story has been amazing as the loving, creative God creates and establishes a happy home for fellowship and enjoyment. The apex of his creation assumes the roles and responsibilities in a happy existence. The story is about to take a ruinous turn in Genesis three.
A new character appears in the story without warning and catches the reader off guard. God created angels, and some of these angels rebelled. These creatures not only exist, but they also have access to the garden of Eden. Adam is not dealing with just an animal that he had previously named; he is dealing with greater intelligence and an adversarial relationship. The serpent uses his abilities in sinister ways. This inventor of lies begins a conversation that will bring about an unimaginable disaster. This enemy comes to confuse the first parents and questions what God said. He is skilled, and he is insidious. His forked tongue is not satisfied to only try and confuse, he must attack God's words. The serpent seeks to take one restriction and divert their attention from the myriads of blessings lavished on his image bearers. The patriarch of lies then tells Adam and Eve that they will not die and paints their circumstances as untenable. Something cataclysmic happens... Our first parents believe the lies: God is not good and cannot be trusted, there is satisfaction outside of God's design, and sin will bring liberation.
In a singular moment, with a single sin, everything changed, sin entered the world, and the cosmos was fractured. Our capacity to rightly enjoy God's good gifts was diminished. Comfort was replaced with pain. Adam and Eve's marriage changed. Cultivation became a laborious struggle as the garden became a briar patch. Bodies began to die, and Eden was lost. The despair of this moment cannot be overstated. Sin changed everything. Instead of real intimacy and fellowship, humanity was subjugated to the tyranny of shame and fear. Adam and Eve hid from each other, and they hid from God. Sin had altered every relationship including humankind and creation. Everything was shattered. This transgression should have been the end. God's justice demanded death, and he would have been right and just to end everything at that moment. But, instead of our rebellion being the immediate death knell, the moment we became the children of wrath; we also became the object of God's passionate pursuit. God came looking for the rebels because salvation and preservation are God's work.
Not The End
Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin, but they could only cover their bodies. Instead of accepting responsibility for their actions, they begin to pass blame on others. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent. The consequences are just and harmful, but instead of this being the end of the story, this became a place where God would begin to reveal part of the story. God's story is a story of redemption. This story brings to light the truth that God loved his children so much that he would pursue these rebellious creatures no matter what the cost. God would intervene in order to reconcile and restore things to what they were intended to be. God would rescue his children and restore them through the offspring of a woman. Genesis three is a traumatic part of a wonderful story. One is left to marvel at God's grace and rejoice in hope.
Things To Consider:
- What are some ways that Satan tries to confuse us?
- Why would God give humans the opportunity to sin?
- What does knowing good and evil mean?
- What are ways that we try to cover our sin?
- What are ways that we struggle with fear and shame?
- Why is it important to remember that God came looking for us?
- Why couldn't God overlook Adam and Eve's sin?
- How does the passage show that salvation is God's plan?
- What happened when God made garments for Adam and Eve?
- What are some similarities in the way our enemy tempts you to sin?