Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What was the Fall?

Brief: The tree of life will still be available for those who believe in Christ.
 Needed: nothing
 Scripture: Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-24; Matthew 4:4; 1 Peter 3:9; Revelation 20:1-2; 22:1-2

Genesis 3:1-3: 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.’”

In these verses, a snake starts up a conversation with Eve. Is Eve surprised that a snake is talking to her? (No, she simply replies to the snake’s question without any surprise.)

If Eve wasn’t surprised to hear a snake talk, do you think that means animals used to talk?

Most animals make noises, and some birds can even replicate human speech. It is possible that animals could talk to humans before the fall.

Who is this snake? Is it just a regular snake or is it someone else?

Revelation 20:1-2: And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

The snake was Satan disguising himself as a snake.

How did Satan start tempting Eve?

He said, “Did God really say…?” What is he doing here? He’s trying to make Eve doubt what God had said. He was trying to make her doubt God’s word. That’s the same thing Satan does to us, isn’t it? He tries to make us doubt.

How does Eve reply?

She says, “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.’” Is that what God said? Did He tell Adam and Eve not to touch it or did He just tell them not to eat it?

Genesis 2:16-17: And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

God just told them not to eat it. The reason that Eve was so easily tempted is that she did not know what God had actually said. She forgot. The only way that we can resist temptation is to know what God has said. We have to know God’s Word, study it.

Matthew 4:4: Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

That’s how important God’s Word is. We need it to survive.

Genesis 3:4-6:  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from 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.

Now, what is Satan doing?

He started out making Eve doubt what God had said. Now he outright contradicts God.

What made Eve eat it?

She “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” It looked good, right? The fruit seemed like it had some benefits to it. But not everything that looks good is good, right? You have to stop and think about the consequences of things.

Genesis 3:7-10: 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?”

10 He answered, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Do you think God knew where Adam and Eve were? (Yes.)

Do you think He knew what they had done? (Yes.)

Then, why does He ask where they are? Why doesn’t He just start pronouncing guilt on them and giving them their punishment?

God was giving Adam and Eve a chance to come out and confess their sin.

Genesis 3:11-13: And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

But instead of simply confessing their sin, what are Adam and Eve doing in these verses?

They’re refusing to take responsibility for what they’ve done. They’re making excuses. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the snake.

Does God accept their excuses? (No. They’re still punished for what they’ve done.)

Genesis 3:14: So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

What is the punishment for the snake here?

Didn’t snakes always crawl on their bellies?

This verse implies that snakes once walked.

Genesis 3:15: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

What is the punishment here?

Before, all was peaceful in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve took care of the animals. Now, humans and snakes will be enemies. Snakes will bite humans and humans will kill snakes.

Genesis 3:16: To the woman He said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

What are the consequences for the woman?

Childbearing will hurt. And she will no longer be the equal of her husband. When God created the man and the woman, they were equals. But now it says that the man will lord it over the woman. The man will be the ruler of the woman. This is not how things originally were. This is not a good thing. This is a negative consequence of sin entering the world.

Genesis 3:17-19: To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

What are the negative consequences for the man? (His work will be hard.)

Originally, God made the man to like to work (Genesis 2:15) when He told him to take care of the Garden, but now, work will be hard and not fun.
Genesis 3:20-24: Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After He drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

What is the consequence of taking the tree of life away?

This means that Adam and Eve cannot live forever now.

God said that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die (Genesis 2:15). This didn’t necessarily mean that they would die immediately. It simply says that they would die. Having the tree of life taken away means that Adam and Eve and all humans after them would eventually die. This is where Adam and Eve and all humans become mortal.

But they don’t die immediately, do they? Why is this?

I think it’s because God is being gracious to them. He’s giving them time to repent for what they’ve done and learn to live in the holiest manner that they can now. In speaking on why Jesus had not yet come back, Peter says…

1 Peter 3:9: Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

God did not kill Adam and Eve right away because He wanted to give them time to repent. Jesus has not come back yet because He’s giving us time to repent before the Judgment Day.

Now, we’ve talked about how Adam and Eve were cut off from access to the tree of life. But where is the tree of life now? Did it just die? Can the tree of life die? If not, where is it?

Revelation 22:1-2: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

The tree of life is still alive, waiting for us in Heaven. Eternal life is still available for those who have faith in the God who will give it to us.

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