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I’m going to invite you to Genesis. Chapter three is where we’re going to be today. Genesis Chapter three, This incredible section of the Bible. I told you we’re going to go through the Book of Genesis. We’re going to pick up speed from here. But these first three chapters, I want to go through a little bit slower because the first three chapters of Genesis lay out the foundational beliefs of all of Christianity. These first three chapters, the the foundational beliefs of Christianity that are explained further throughout Scripture are really found in these first three chapters, these first three chapters paramount for us, and especially when you understand the context in which it was written. This was written, I told you, by a man who was a fugitive, sent back to the land that he was running as a fugitive from Moses to to proclaim to Pharaoh to let God’s people free. And so he’s speaking to Pharaoh on behalf of a group of slaves that have spent generations in slavery. You can imagine all of the trauma and difficulty that would come along with that. And they’re leaving from this land into a promised land. And and God has shaping in them as they’re journeying from a place of slavery to a place of promise in the Lord as they built a nation, God is shaping within them the foundational beliefs of what is essential in order really to succeed in what God has called us to in life, to find our our worth and our value and our meaning to fulfill a purpose for which you were designed.
And so these first couple of chapters lay that out and communicates to us the significance of of humanity, both male and female, and what we mean to the Lord and how God has designed us as the crown of His creation and and the worth that you’ve been given by him. You know, the apart from God in this world, people tend to find their value based on what you do. It’s your performance, your, your, your, your worth is attributed to you based on what you contribute. And so as long as if you do that within life, the challenge that you have is as you walk through life, you find out there’s always some someone bigger, stronger, faster, better looking than you, right? So the question becomes, does that make me worth less? And apart from God, if you find your your worth based on what you do, the the challenge you discover is, well, you’re not worth as much as someone else simply because if your value is based on what you can accomplish and someone can accomplish more and do better, then they might be worth more. But in the eyes of God, that is not the case that we as human beings are given intrinsic worth made by our our Creator. That your worth is not based on what you do.
Your worth is based on who you are being made in God’s image, and God created you to connect to Him. God made you for relationship that you would first connect to your Creator God who is not just your creator, but also your Savior who came to give his life for you. No one has loved you the way that God has loved you, and so you were made for relationship in the Lord. And that through that relationship with God, you would bless relationships around you. God has made you as a relational creature and knowing God, we live for His glory and bless others. And the first couple of chapters of Genesis lays that out. But the in the first well, the century when this was written with Moses, the question they would ask then is if God has designed it like this and all of creation for his glory and wear the crown of his creation and were made to know God and and it was perfected by the Lord, what in the world happened? You look at life around you and you think, this is this is not obviously what God intended because there’s struggle to this life and there’s there’s hardship and and people don’t treat one another the way that God has designed us. And some people don’t even walk with God. What is going on? And and Genesis chapter three answers that for us. It talks about the fall of mankind and how were to respond in that fall.
What you discover in these first six verses is that that man, early in his creation, probably even within the first day, it could have happened. He he acts like an unsupervised toddler and does exactly what God says not to do. And the only thing God tells him not to do. And mankind partakes of the fruit, which is symbolic, right? You see, in the Garden of Eden, there’s the the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they pursue what God desires for them, which is life, they would embrace that tree and find life with God forever. But rather they oppose God. And they take the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which is a way of saying, rather, rather than allow God to be God of our lives, we usurp the position of God declaring ourselves God and determining right from wrong. The tree of knowledge, of good and evil is is man’s independence apart from God. And they buy into the lie of of of Satan that Adam and Eve were given in the first six verses. If you remember the story I told you last week, you may have grown up your whole life believing this was a snake. It is not a snake. Right? But. But the snake is symbolic of of what the serpent represents. And you’ll see a snake bite in a minute related to the gospel.
But. But you see the serpent appear and the serpent doesn’t come with pitchfork and horns. I think there’s this image in our mind that when Satan appears, you’re going to know it’s Satan because he’s going to have this, he’s going to be very red. And who knows, fire may even come from his mouth. Right. It’s very deceptive. That’s not the way Scripture talks about. Satan at all. In fact, in second Corinthians 11, it describes him as an angel of light. He’s deceiving. He is a deceiver and a tempter. And this is how he comes to Adam and Eve. He doesn’t come out and say, Look, I want you to kill, steal and destroy. But rather what he does is he simply asks Eve a question. Did God really say? And then he just perverts the truth of God. He allows a tinge of God’s truth to be there, but he just changes it. And really, to find your life destroy. That’s all you need is just a half truth. And he and he delivers this half truth to Adam and Eve, and they believe it. And what they start to believe is that God is withholding his best from them and that the right choice for them, since they know better than God is to partake of what God told them not to. And what it leads to is destruction. But what Satan is proclaiming for them is freedom, or at least a concept of freedom that he is introducing.
That’s not biblical and it’s not free at all. I think some people see that relationship with God. They they when they hear about a relationship with God, they think it might be restricting to their lives. And and they decide rather than follow after God, they want to be independent and they want to be free. But can I tell you that that’s not the definition of freedom. That’s actually anarchy. You’re created for a purpose and anything designed for a purpose to to then determine to live for something outside of that purpose is to not truly be free. I mean, I could give you a simple example. If you were to make a train and all of a sudden decide, you know what, I don’t want to run this train on a track, you and I could easily tell that the purpose of that train will never be fulfilled because the train was made to ride on a track. Or if you decide you’re going to create a plane and all of a sudden just floating in the ocean, that’s not how that works. And the same is true for us, that the purpose that you were created was is to know God and and to understand who you are in light of who he is. And it’s not until you’re connected to God that you can fill the fulfill the purpose for which you were designed.
But Adam and Eve, rather, they buy into this lie. D.l. Moody once said it like this. He has said, I have never met a man who has given me as much trouble as myself, but give your life to God and he can do more with it than you can. And for Adam and Eve, it was really coming to this place of recognizing the goodness of who God is and what He can do for our lives. But now that they’ve partaken the fruit, the question is, what do you do when you mess up? And this is an important chapter for really all of us, not just Adam and Eve, because the question for us today should be in our relationship with God. What do I do when I mess up or I’ve been in rebellion against him? How is God going to look at me that way? And this story with Adam and Eve, I would say for them, if I’m giving them a little bit of grace, they don’t know necessarily what God might do because, well, to this point, no one has messed up. Right. And we’re going to look at how man chooses to respond three ways. Man chooses to respond in light of them messing up. And all three ways are not healthy. So do not partake of these three ways. But then we’re going to look at the way God chooses to respond in His grace.
And the way God responds is important for us to recognize, because this helps set the course of how our lives should respond when we mess up in this world. And so point number one in your notes humanity’s plan. What man does tending to respond in one of these three ways, none of which are good. Number one is they tried religion. Adam and Eve tried religion. And verse seven, it starts to lay that out for us. It says, Then the eyes of both of them were open and they knew that they were naked. Someone said this morning, this is the first episode of Naked and Afraid. This is this is not that you should watch that, but this is what happens. They they know they’re naked and they’re afraid. And at the end of chapter two, it described Adam and Eve as being naked at the end of chapter two. But but there’s a difference, actually, in the Hebrew word between the word naked at the end of Chapter two and the word naked here in chapter three, verse seven, and the word naked in chapter two, verse 25, you would think the word naked just means naked. But but in chapter two, verse 25, it’s just simply saying this is their state of being. This is who they were, this is what they were about. They had no reason to be afraid. They just had intimacy, enjoying of relationship, which they were created with one another and with the Lord.
But in chapter three, verse seven, it carries the idea of helplessness. So they’ve gone from this place of innocence in chapter two, and their nakedness to all of a sudden in chapter three, they realize in their nakedness they’re helpless. And then they start to panic. And the response, when they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. You know, one of the things I hope you’ve appreciated over these these last three chapters we’ve looked at together is the first three chapters of Genesis is written poetically and behind this Hebrew description of this poetry. There’s much bigger images than we get when we when we look at it from just simply an English translation. And the first way you can see this in chapter three is by this word loincloths. At the end of the chapter, this word loincloths literally means a soldier’s garment. This is putting on armor. In fact, that reference there in Second Kings chapter three, verse 21, there’s a there’s describing a battle and and putting on armor. It’s the same Hebrew word what Adam and Eve are doing in the Garden of Eden. They’ve realized they’ve messed up and they’re taking it upon themselves to fix the problem. And so they decide that rather than go to God with the problem, they decide they’re going to handle it on on their own and they prepare themselves to fight this battle.
Here they are in a spiritual world sinning against the Lord, and they think they’re going to handle their problems physically. And so they prepare for this battle as if to say, God, we’ve got this, we’re going to take care of this. And they they prepare themselves to fight for for what they just caused in this Garden of Eden and what Adam and Eve done. They’ve created the first manmade religion. And if I were to describe maybe the way that most of us define religion today, there’s if you look up the word religion, there’s multiple definitions for the word religion. But we tend to think religion in terms of this. It’s a practice by which I participate in in order to avail God’s love. To me, it’s a performance in which. I live in order to make God love me. And so Adam and Eve in this garden, they realize they’ve messed up there. They’re concerned about how God might perceive them, the way God might respond. And so what do they decide to do? They take on the form of religion. But here’s what we learn about religion in this this very first few chapters of the Bible and the way religion plays itself out throughout all of history, it’s just a facade. It’s putting on this outward appearance as if everything is okay, which when on the inside it’s not. It’s trying to impress God with what we do, but never getting to the core of the heart of who we are.
And that’s the problem, because God created us to connect to us in our heart, to then transform our lives in the way that we live. But what Adam and Eve are doing, they’re doing it exactly backwards. They’re putting on this facade, this performance on the outside to try to impress God with who they are. And the important question then to ask is what in the world are you ever going to do to impress a God that can do everything for himself? There is nothing you can do for God in which he’s going to look at you and say, Oh wow, I could not have done this right. That is incredible, right? God is capable of everything within himself. He’s not dependent on anything. He is the uncaused cause that created all things. And so there’s nothing you’re going to do to impress God. In fact, to take it a step further, no matter how much good you do, it will never undo what you’ve done wrong. And let me ask this way. What is it that you’re going to do in life? That could possibly be any more than what Christ has accomplished for you on the cross. What could you even add to that? And Jesus hung on the cross and said, Paid in full, it is finished. He’s talking about the sacrifice for your life.
He covered it all. What are you going to do in religion to add anything to what Christ has already done? Might I just suggest that trying to add anything to what Christ has already done for you is actually an insult to what Jesus has accomplished for you? The point being and looking at what Adam and Eve is trying to accomplish is it doesn’t work. And in fact, in Matthew 23, verse 37, that was Jesus’s warning to the Pharisees. He referred to them the great warning. And in Matthew 23, to the religious leaders, he described them this way on the outside whitewashed tombs. It may look beautiful, but on the inside it’s full of dead men’s bones. It’s not what transforms the heart. It’s just a facade of trying to impress, but it’s not what fixes what we need from from the Lord. One of the most deadly forms of pride. Exists in religion. Because rather than come to this place of humility before the Lord, it’s thinking that you’re the solution, when in fact, what we discover in this passage is that it’s Christ alone. Any performance you do to make God love you or to try to cause God to love you screams You don’t understand the gospel. You don’t understand what Christ has done for you. The God’s desire is to connect to your heart, and God has laid His life down in order that you could have the opportunity to to do that.
We don’t need more effort from ourselves, but rather what we need is humility in us and confidence in his grace. So point number one, Adam and Eve, what they tried was religion. And then verse eight, he goes on further that they tried hiding. It says verse eight, and they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden of the cool of the day. And the man and his wife hid themselves the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. This word cool is actually the word ruah, which which also translates wind and spirit. It’s similar to like in John chapter three. The Jesus describes the spirit of God coming and going like the wind. You don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going, but the spirit of God is represented like a wind. And and so when Adam and Eve are in the cool of the day and they hear the sound of the Lord, they know the Spirit of God is moving in the garden, This is the reason they hide themselves. But they, they try to run away from their guilt and shame. And. But by the way, can I just tell you, in this entire chapter, this is what Adam even they’re dealing with is what do I do with my guilt and shame? I know I’ve messed up. Is religion going to fix me? No. Can I just keep it away from God? Can I hide from God? Which is even more foolish thought to consider, as if God doesn’t know what’s going on or where you are, or the things that you’ve done in your life.
He’s omniscient, but. But Adam and Eve decide in these moments in trying to deal with it, that maybe they’ll just hide from God. Maybe they think it’ll bide some time for them so they can figure it out. And in running from God immediately in their sin, it’s like they instantly forget who they are and they begin to forget who God is and they forget who they are and they’re forgetting who God is made in the image of God and and that relationship with God for which they were created and who God is in his grace. He made this world not because He needed it. God doesn’t need anything. He’s not dependent. He’s the uncaused cause, not relying on anything to exist. He didn’t make this because he needed it. He made this for his glory. And he made you the crown of his creation that you could see his glory reflected in the world. It’s not for him. It’s for you. And so they think in seeing this gracious God who’s created everything, they begin to forget who they are, made in the image of God for relationship and and who God is. And, you know, our tendency and our guilt and shame as as people, we start to we do that when we mess up, we we start to look within ourselves thinking, oh, no, I just messed up and I’ve got to perform and I got to fix this and I got to run away.
And once I get my life right, then I can come back to God and we start to think the answer is us and we start to diminish who God is and we start to elevate ourselves in that because we feel like it should rest on our shoulders to find the solution. But the answer for us. The answer for us is not found in us. Sometimes our tendency will be like passages in Romans 1013 that says whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. And we’ll read passages like that. And then our guilt and our sin and our shame, we’ll say to ourselves. And that’s great for everyone else. But but that’s for everyone else. That’s not me, you know, because do you even know what I’ve done? We’ll start to isolate ourselves like we’re the exception. Like God’s going to say, whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Except for Tim. I hate Tim. Right? Like, like we tend to see ourselves like that. We think, Oh, this is true for everybody but me. And in so doing, we, we think, you know, if I could just look more at myself and, and love myself more, then I’m going to be so much better.
But the problem is, you’re looking at yourself too much. You’re thinking too much about you and too much about yourself and not enough about the Lord. And do you understand who he is and what he’s done for you? Rather than running and hiding from God, they should be running to God to receive his grace and to find mercy and to confess where they’re at and find God restoring them in Him. But Adam and Eve, rather, they they’re elevating themselves in this position, which is what got him to this this problem to begin with. And once again, pride is destroying their walk with God. Can. Can I just encourage you, If you ever sin, if you ever mess up, you ever walk with guilt and shame and you feel that way. Can I lovingly warn you? And encourage you and tell you the problem. It’s still low lying pride. It’s still us. To think that we could be the solution, or to think that God’s love can reach everywhere but me. It’s thinking too much of self. And not enough of him. In fact, the very next verse it tells us, but the Lord God called to man and said to him, Where are you? I love this verse ten or verse nine. Excuse me. Some people may read this and think, Well, God’s lost Adam and Eve again. Oh, my goodness.
Right. That’s that’s the kind of question. God’s coming to the garden. Where are you, Adam and Eve? Like, he doesn’t know where Adam and Eve is, and God knows exactly where they are. God’s not asking this question because God’s, like, lost in the garden somewhere trying to figure it out. He made the garden. He made Adam and Eve. He knows all things. He knows exactly where they are. The reason God’s asking this question is not so he can figure out where Adam and Eve is. He’s asking this question. So Adam and Eve will come to the place to realize where they are. Well, God is doing. He’s prodding them to to ask a question of the heart. Adam and Eve do. Do you know where you are? And Adam and Eve from this point. Then he they start to respond to God as he asks the question, Adam, where are you? And then and notice when he comes in the garden, the first person he goes looking for who ate of the fruit first. You can say it. Who ate it? Eve. But who does God go looking for first? Adam. Guys, can I just encourage you? We looked at the first six verses. Remember? In the Garden of Eden, we said last week that it was. It was actually Adam. Given the law that God said, Don’t eat of the tree. And it was Adam’s responsibility then to tell that to Eve.
There’s no record in the first two chapters where God shows up and says the same thing to Eve, but rather he said it to Adam and it was Adam’s responsibility to share it. And then from there, Adam and Eve could both share it. But it was Adam’s responsibility to share it. And what we find in Genesis chapter three, verse five and six, when Eve partakes of the fruit, Adam is not off doing something in the garden. Adam is standing right beside of her, letting her take the fall. I told you one of the greatest sins I think men struggle with is the sin of passivity. Not taking responsibility for what God has called you to in this world. And here we find in the Garden of Eden, God is holding Adam accountable. I think man could represent both of them in this sense and mankind. But God goes in the garden looking, and He’s asking this question so that we can pause in our own lives and. And really ask the same thing. Where where are you in your relationship with God? What do you depend on to find God’s love in your life? Is it. Is it religion? Are you hiding yourself, trying to run from him? Where is your heart? Is it making too much of you? Is it really seeing him in the greatness of who he is in his grace towards you, that God desires to connect to you through your heart? Where are you? And then it goes on in verse ten, and he said, I heard the sound of you in the garden.
This is Adam talking. I heard the sound of you in the garden. And I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. That’s a good time to hide yourself. You should always lock the bathroom door when you go in. Verse 11, he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten? Of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? This, this this passage. I feel like my wife is the master of these. These two verses here. When when when my kids do something wrong, I just come at them and I say, you did this. This was wrong. You know, whatever. Fix it. When my wife knows my children have done something wrong and I don’t know if my kids are in here. Are they in here? Okay. Okay. Never mind. I should not reveal these secrets. She is just she’s. She is great at asking the questions. Right. And it’s true for all of us. You just ask the question. God comes in this garden. He knows everything. He knows what’s happened. But he asks. He asked these questions, these probing questions. Not not not because he’s ignorant to to the reality of the circumstances. But he wants Adam and Eve to to search their own heart in the way that they’ve responded.
To help them get to the place where they need to be in relationship with him. I mean, it’s not until you’re willing to confess, right? It’s not until you’re willing to take that step that you’re able to heal what’s broken. They said the first step to healing in life is confession. And so God’s asking this question in the garden. And then Adam and Eve, they try the third thing here, which is they tried blaming. They tried blaming. Here’s here’s here’s Adams approach. The man said the woman the woman who you gave to be with me. She gave me the fruit of the tree of life and I ate. And then then the Lord God said to the woman, What is it that you’ve done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me and I ate. This is just maybe something you could maybe try. I don’t know. This probably won’t work out well for you. But here’s what Adam is doing. He’s saying, Look, God, it’s not my fault you made her right. So it’s either her fault or your fault because you created her. She ate of the fruit I just gave her. She. She cooked. I just gave what she. She cooked for me to eat. I was being a good husband, right? I was just doing what I was told. And she. She makes the food and I ate the food. I mean, how can I be responsible for this? I’m just a victim, right? This is.
This is what Adam is saying, and it’s her fault or it’s your fault. It can’t be my fault. God victim here. And then I love what Eve does. She’s like, Oh, man, he’s. He’s gone after me. So what am I going to do? She claims like spiritual attack. It’s demonic, right? I had a I had a little cousin one time, a little terroriser. And every time my cousin did something wrong, they always blame the devil. They would say, the devil made me do it. So you could try that guess. But this gets a little scary for some people. Sometimes if you start blaming spiritual things. It wasn’t my fault the devil made me do it. But this is exactly what Eve says. She. She. She blames. I’m the victim. Satan made me do it. It’s. It’s our tendency as human beings, Right? This is this is kind of the default when we don’t know what else to do. Right? We can’t make an excuse. We can’t create religion. We can’t hide. All of a sudden we start blaming and hold other people accountable for our actions. We justify our behavior based on what other people do, as if we’re not responsible for ourselves. I’m okay to act like a rear end because, well, you started it, right? Or we could say my parents were bad to me, so that gives me an entire life pass.
And like, I don’t want to be insensitive to what people have gone through in life, but at some point you’ve got to take responsibility. Even hot topic in our culture today, right? I went and got a degree in underwater basket weaving and well, I can’t find a job now, so you should pay for my education. That’s. Or you can just blame the government for everything. We just we just want to be the victim of all things. It’s not our fault. It’s everyone else’s fault. I mean, every once in a while, as a as a pastor, I have. And no one in this room. Everyone in this room is great. Okay? But every once in a while, I’ll have someone come to me and they’ll tell me where their why they’re in a situation in life, and then they’ll tell me how they got there. And in their story they will blame like 20 other people. It’s their fault for this and it’s their fault for this and it’s their fault for this. And I just sit there and think, man, the only equation of which aligns everything in this is you. I can’t believe we got to. We lost 20 people of like, it’s all their fault. And you’ve never looked back and thought maybe it’s me. Like, maybe I’ve not made some healthy choices in my life. But it’s not until you’re willing to take responsibility. That you’re able to move forward.
Making excuses for the past victim rather than taking responsibility for the future. Our greatest enemy to our walk with God is not someone else. It is us. It’s pride. Yes, all of us face different temptations, and some of us walk a harder road than others. But we’re responsible for what we do. And learning how God responds to us in our guilt and shame helps us find a better way forward. You may have had difficult things happen to you. But could I encourage you? Don’t let those things define you. Rather let it refine you and the beauty of who you are in the Lord. Let God declare who you are. Not what other people say, but who God made you to be. This is what the first three chapters of Genesis is about these individuals that were treated as slaves. Who knows what kind of trafficking they endured. And now they’re finding their true worth and value. And who God is not defined by what happened to them. But refined by their creator who made them for a purpose, to know him and to walk with him. So not as God, only as God helping them understand who they are in creation. But He’s also helping them understand who they are when they fail, when they sin, when they have guilt and shame. And so you find in this verse really becomes the hinge point of understanding the story that Adam and Eve in verse 12 and verse 13, while they’re making excuses, when they get to the end of their sentence, they finally start to take responsibility.
Yes, God, it was the woman. But truth be told, I ate it. And the woman? Yeah, the serpent. But truth be told, I ate it. And at this point, the story then starts to turn. It starts to make this transition. And. And what God pointing to, to what he does on our behalf, even in our sin. D.l. Moody said this There will be no peace in any soul until it’s willing to obey the voice of God. And here’s what God says in verse 14. Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this cursed. Are you above all livestock and above all the beasts of the field on your belly? You shall go and dust. You shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. And he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel. This is the idea of where we take the thought of serpent and turn them into a snake. Right. This. This heel wound. This is the serpent striking a heel. And it’s. It’s thought that the serpent would have poison in his strike, which a snake does. Right? Or. Yeah, pretty much all snakes. Let’s say all snakes are poisonous snakes, right? They strike the strikes, the.
The heel of the serpent. At least we treat them all like they’re poisonous. Strikes the hill, the serpent or the serpent strikes the heel of of the savior and the savior dies. But. But the savior also crushes the head of the serpent. And what you have in Genesis 315 is the first proclamation of the gospel in your sin. While God created you beautifully in His image, not only is he your creator, he’s also described in Genesis 315 as your savior and not just as your savior. But I love. He talks about the seed of the woman here, which I think is starting to point to the virgin birth of Christ, that he will come from a woman and he will crush the head of the serpent, and the head represents his authority, his domain, his ruling. The serpent is described in the New Testament as the ruler of this world. All that he represents and sin Satan and death. It’s destroyed by Jesus. And Jesus, in turn, will suffer a mortal wound, which we we know Christ does. He’s nailed to the cross, his heels nailed to the cross. He suffers that mortal wound, and he dies for us and he’s resurrected for us. This is the first proclamation of the Gospel in Scripture. But it’s showing us point number one in your notes that God saves. In fact, this this idea, this theme of what God’s willing to do is reiterated throughout the scriptures in Romans 1620.
Listen to this. It says, The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. So it’s this theme that we’re reminded of through the Bible of what Jesus desires to accomplish for us. We’ve messed up Creator. God has designed all this for His glory, that we would reflect His glory, that we would bless and take care of it and multiply, as it says in the first couple of chapters. And then we messed up. And what does God do? He doesn’t throw us away. He doesn’t cast us out. He doesn’t condemn us. It says in the story that that he curses the serpent and the earth is cursed. But he doesn’t curse you and me. Rather he pursues us. I love in Scripture it plays out this picture of Jesus as a lion and a lamb in Revelation. It describes him as both of those as a lion and a lamb. It’s showing this authority that he’s carrying as a as a warrior, as a lion, to destroy what destroys us. And he’s this gentle lamb caring for our needs, laying down his own life, sacrificing himself, that we could be set free. And so we find in the story is that while we sin, God doesn’t give up on us and he he pursues us in this garden and he promises to give his life for us.
In the midst of that promise, though, we’re reminded that sin still has consequence. Right? God goes on in verse 16, the woman, he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing. In pain you shall bring forth your children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you. Let me move a little faster. And to Adam. I’ll talk about both of these here in a minute. And to Adam, he said, because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, you shall not eat of it. Cursed is the ground because of you in pain, you shall eat it all the days of your life, thorns and thistles. It shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. And by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground. For out of out of it. You were taken. For you are dust and to dust you shall return. I told you this a couple of weeks ago that when we we sinned we really find the uniqueness of our genders in this in this communication that God gives of the consequence of sin. We talked about there’s a difference. There’s a unique difference to men and women. And it’s honoring to honor that God has made us equal and He’s made us unique. And you see, part of our uniqueness in the way that this curse is is communicated the consequences of our sin in terms of the the female she, she, God talks to her in terms of relationship tension and relationship.
And we we discuss last week or a couple of weeks ago how females tend to develop better socially, especially when you watch young kids grow up. I know we would take our young boys around sometimes. They’d be around little girls their age and the little girls would just talk circles around them. And, you know, we look at our boys and we’re like, What’s going on here? There’s something, something not happening, right? These girls can talk so much. What’s wrong with our kids? Like they can make great Tyrannosaurus rex noises. Want to hear it? You know, and the girls just better socially. And then and then you see here in terms of men, there’s talking about this this idea of physical strength, the tilling of the ground. Right. And it’s not to say everyone is exactly the same. There is some uniqueness, even in our individuality. But when he talks in terms of the curse, he’s helping us recognize the struggle that we’re going to experience. Now, when we think about the idea of of discipline, the consequence in this passage, this is not punishment. Punishment is what the serpent received. The serpent received a cursing. You’re punished. You’re going to be destroyed. But we received a discipline consequence.
And I don’t I can’t get into why bad things happen to us in any depth. But let me just say one thing. When it comes to the struggle of life, if it weren’t for adversity, I doubt I would ever have been a Christian. If it weren’t for the challenges of life, my soul would have not awakened to the need of Jesus. It’s because of the struggles that I’ve gone through that God has used that to bring me to this place of humility in order to search for him, to know him, right, to to to walk with him. It’s the constant reminder of a sin cursed world in which we live that God uses as a tool to bring me closer to him in relationship. And I think what God is showing Adam and Eve is these things are going to happen. The the thorn and the sweat as a reminder to you, a consistent reminder of how much you need me. Because when mankind had the opportunity in their innocence in the Garden of Eden, before the the curse, Adam and Eve chose contrary to the Lord. So we’re saying this is being sent as a form of refinement and it’s going to it’s going to use it as discipline to help our hearts pursue him in the midst of struggle. So so, God, he saves us and we’re reminded of our need for salvation through this because things are broken and our soul cries out.
This is not what we were made for. We were made for more. We were made for life. We were made for relationship. And so that tension in our soul helps our lives yearn for for something better, something different, something that only God can restore and offer. Which Point number two, then in your notes. God restores. We see in verse 20, the man called his wife named Eve because she was the mother of all living and the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife, garments of skin and clothed them. This this idea of of clothing them. It’s the same or excuse me, the garments of skin is the same Hebrew word for priestly garments in the Old Testament. So the picture that God is drawing for us here is in the beginning, Adam and Eve, they they created these fig leaves. They put on these this armored soldier battle garment of which they thought they were going to try to fix what they had done wrong. But what God does, he shows up in the garden. He promises salvation. He pursues them and he reminds them of his goodness. And when he finds them, when he sees them, he rips off the soldiers garments. God makes the first sacrifice in the garden. He sacrifices an animal and he clothes them in skin. The first death that we have recorded in Scripture is by the hand of God.
God sacrifices an animal to clothe them in these priestly garments. And it’s God. He’s he’s restoring what’s been lost. He’s saying that relationship that that was destroyed because of sin will be redeemed because of me. So they can connect to the Lord again. It’s the Lord who heals. It’s the Lord who forgives. It doesn’t matter how much good you do from this day forward, it can never undo the things you’ve done wrong. What you need is forgiveness. And the only way to find it is to lay your life out before the Lord. And as Adam and Eve confessed and I ate God, I lived in rebellion. But, God, you’re good. And God you forgive and God you pursued. And now you’re promising your life for me by the seed of the woman. And it’s you that takes off the garments of warfare in my life and in my soul. And you clothe me in these priestly garments that I can connect to you for relationship for which you have created me to know you. And then, God, we find the story. God sends. God sends. Not sin, but sends. God sends. It says. And the Lord God said, Behold. The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also the tree of life and eat and live forever. Therefore, the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which He was taken.
He drove out the man. And at the east of the Garden of Eden, he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. The garden, if you remember, is like the temple in the Old Testament. It’s where God’s presence was made known. And to stand in that garden without forgiveness of sins would lead to death. And so what God is doing is he’s sending Adam and Eve on mission, really, until Christ comes to be the ultimate sacrifice, that all of us become the temple of God in the New Testament. That’s the promise to believers is why we don’t build temples today as Christians is because we become the temple of God, but God also in reconciling us and saving us and restoring us. He then still sends us on mission in this world. And can I tell you the encouragement of this of a passage like this is that all of us, all of us in life deal with guilt and shame and how we’re going to handle it and how we’re going to respond and how does God seed me and where is my worth and what do I do with this? Am I is my worth based on what I’ve done? Is it is it my sin? Is that who I am? I just gotta have something more. Can I encourage you and I know I’ve reminded you of this through these chapters.
God’s love for you is not based on what you do. God’s love for you is based on who he is. His love is not contingent upon us. He is a loving God because that is his very nature. And this is the reason we can come to God confidently in our sin. Because of what he has done for us. Created in his image, pursued us by giving his life for us that we can find freedom in him. Our sin and shame is not about proving to God anything in religion. It’s not about trying to run and hide from God until we fix ourselves so we can come back to him. We can’t fix us. It’s only God that restores and redeems and forgives our heart and a brokenness in relationship to him because of our sin. It’s only God that can do that. You know, in any relationship in this world that if you’ve ever seen in a relationship, in order to see that relationship reconciled, the other person has to forgive you. In order to be restored. And the same thing is true with God. You can do all the good you want from that point on, but it doesn’t matter until forgiveness is given. And this is what we we find in our walk with the Lord that when we come to God, He’s a loving God. He’s a gracious God.
He’s a forgiving God. He’s a God that does not give up on us, even when we might give up on him. And so no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve come from, there’s always hope. Because God is for you, giving his life to you that you can find freedom. Which is why in Scripture, in First Corinthians 1545, there’s this concept of the first Adam and the last Adam. First Adam was a representative of humanity. The last Adam became a representative of humanity. And it was Jesus. Jesus in the New Testament is referred to as the last Adam. And so when you see the story of Genesis chapter 1 to 3, you’ll find, as you read throughout Scripture, this theme, this story is played out throughout all of the Bible into the New Testament, and it reminds us how Jesus restores us in what we lost in the garden. Let me give you a few examples. In the garden, the first Adam ran from the father, but the last Adam ran to the father in the garden. The first Adam began naked and unashamed. The last Adam was stripped naked and bore our shame. The first Adam brought up thorns from the ground. The last Adam bore our thorns on his head. The first Adam tried to take the place of God. The last Adam was God taking our place instead. The first Adam ate from a tree and died The last Adam died on a tree that we may live.
The first Adam came to life and brought us death. The last Adam came from death to bring us life. The first Adam was tricked by a serpent. And the last Adam defeated the serpent. It’s not about you. It’s about him. That our soul would be enriched and the goodness of who he is. And rather than run from, we run toward knowing the kind of God that will embrace us there. It’s when that heart is received in His grace that lives are transformed for his glory and the world around us. Jim Eliot was that famous missionary that went to South America to reach a tribal group that had not been reached. And he and his friends, they were speared to death when they had their first encounter with this group, he lost his life along with Nate Saint and a few others. Have you ever seen the movie The End of the Spear? You know what I’m talking about. But it’s Jim Eliot that gave us this famous quote. And this quote is what Adam and Eve with struggled, struggled with in the garden, holding on to what they thought would rescue them rather than embrace what God offered. Jim Eliot said this. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. And that’s the beauty of Christ. Nothing in him is lost. When you’re in Jesus, you are sealed to him forever. Not because of what you’ve done or what you’re going to do, but everything he has done on your behalf.