Genesis | Chapter 3

Genesis 3:1-24

“Lost in the Wilderness of Sin”

I. Intro.

II. Vs. 1-6 Has God indeed said

III. Vs. 7-13 Where are you

IV. Vs. 14-24 The way to the tree of life

I. Intro.

Adam and Eve are about to go from “perfect in paradise” to “lost in the wilderness of sin” without ever changing physical locations. This chapter is the only explanation that is supported by human experience and history as to what has happen to God’s creation.

  • Evolutionists: Mankind is suffering because it is diseased. Thus they seek to cure man’s suffering through treatment.
  • Humanist: Mankind is suffering because it is dysfunctional. Thus they seek to cure man’s suffering through education.
  • Bible: Mankind is suffering because it has disobeyed. Thus we seek to point people to the cure Jesus Christ!

II. Vs. 1-6 Has God indeed said

Vs. 1 There are three main personalities in this chapter two of which we are already familiar with, Mankind (Adam and Eve) and the Lord God. The third is this mysterious person called the serpent.

  1. The word “serpent” is a word that means “to shine or the shining one” which suggests that this temptation came through a creature that caused attention by way of his appearance, he is far more than a talking snake. Most likely he possessed a snake’s body for the purpose of deception. Here is what we know about him:
  2. 2 Cor. 11:14 “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
  3. Rev. 12:9 “The great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan.” 
  4. Ezek. 28:14-15 Highest of all God’s created angels known as Lucifer (light-bearer) his beauty and wisdom was unsurpassed in the angelic creation. This caused his heart to be lifted up as his pride causing him to think that he was equal with the Godhead and attempting to overthrow the One who created him (Isa. 14:12-15). 
  5. Rev. 12:4, 9 In this state of self-deceived wisdom he convinced a third of the angelic creation to follow him in rebellion against the Godhead (most likely by convincing them that God was created as they were).
  6. Ezek, 28:17 He and the third that followed him were cast down to earth where he became Satan (The adversary). Instead of ministering spirits as the rest of the angelic world they became deceiving spirits spreading doctrines of demons deceiving the very ones they were called to serve.   
  7. The word cunning means to be “subtle or crafty” his character is explained as being clever. We can forget all those Halloween pictures of a guy in a red suit with horns as he would much rather appear as someone that would catch your attention in a positive way to draw you into his deception.
  8. He spoke using the serpent’s throat to create sounds to deceive Eve in her innocence.

We are given four ways Satan attacked God in his deception of Eve: (verses 1, 4-5)

  1. Vs. 1a “Has God indeed said,”: Attack upon the Word of God. The root of all sin is to be found in doubting God’s Word. Life hangs upon obedience to His word, His word is to be the standards of life. The lie is that by disobedience to God’s Word we will become more like Him. The way satan gets you to doubt it is always the same, by attacking God’s character and nature. 
  2. Vs. 1b “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”: Attack upon the grace of God.  He gets Eve and us to doubt God’s “goodness” towards us. God had said that Adam and Eve could “of every tree… eat freely!” God is not restrictive in nature, God is not some sort of cosmic spoilsport waiting to take away all that is fun and enjoyable in life. So what’s under attack? It is God’s nature of grace towards us.
  3. Vs. 4 “You will not surely die.”: Attack upon God’s righteousness. “Those consequences will never happen!” says Satan. We see this lie a lot don’t we? It is the lie that says that there are no adverse effects to our actions. We are so easily deceived into thinking that there are no consequences to our disobedience, “No one will ever find out!” 
  4. Vs. 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Attack upon the holiness of God. Satan is declaring that God’s motives are impure, “He is jealous of your “human potential!” “He is trying to keep you from being like Him. God’s just holding you back man!”
  5. Like God”: The truth is when we question or change God’s Word we are making ourselves out to be God, but that is a far cry from being God. Just because someone dresses up as a pirate does not make him a pirate. 
  6. Knowing good and evil.”: Adam and Eve would know good and evil but by personal experience instead of comparing everything to God’s character and nature. Their knowledge would not be because they were gods but exactly the opposite. They were already in the image of God (Creativity, Communication, and Conscious choice) as well as His likeness which means that they had been given everything necessary for them to function properly according to God’s character and nature. They were as close as they could get and disobedience would take them away from this ideal.   

 Satan’s temptation caused Eve to do two things: (verses 2-3)

  1. Vs. 2 Leave out God’s Word: Comparing Eve’s words to that of God’s in 2:16 you will discover that she left out the word “freely”. This is the word that expressed God’s love and grace towards them. Instead of seeing God’s glorious provision by His grace towards them she choose to see a restriction in which she leaves out His grace altogether.
  2. Vs. 3 Add to God’s Word: God had said that they could “freely” eat of “every” tree and that only “one” tree was off limits because in would rip them off from fellowship with Him. Here she adds to the Word of God by adding two phrases:
  3. in the midst of the garden”: The tree that was in the midst of the garden according 2:9 was the tree of life and there was no prohibition against eating it. Eve is confused as she ignores God’s grace and instead sees God dangling a carrot and then slapping of her hand as she desires it. She concludes that this tree was too accessible and God is just teasing them.
  4. nor shall you touch it”: Not only that, God is way too restrictive and punitive. “Why, God’s so strict that we are not even allowed to touch the thing and if we do that’s it fried!” She is making God the author of sin and temptation. “It’s His fault!” “If He did not want me to eat the fruit then he should have not placed it so near me that I could not help myself!” 

Vs. 6a In light of 1 John 2:16 Satan employs a threefold temptation to her:

  1. BODY: (physical) “saw that the tree was good for food,” = “the lust of the flesh,” Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone”
  2. SOUL: (emotional) “that it was pleasant to the eyes,” = “the lust of the eyes,” Jesus said, “You shall not live by sight, but by faith.”
  3. SPIRIT: (intellectual) “and a tree desirable to make one wise,” = “and the pride of life;” Jesus said, “You shall worship the Lord God, & Him only shall you serve.”

Vs. 6b According to Romans 5:12 that “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” The fossils in the earth are not a record of evolution that leads up to the development of mankind, they are the record of death after his fall. Every corpse and graveyard owes its existence to this section of scripture before us. 

III. Vs. 7-13 Where are you

Four results of the fall upon mankind: (verses 7-8, 10, 12-13)

  1. Vs. 7a AWARENESS OF GUILT “the eyes of both of them were opened,”: They saw themselves in a new way as it related to God, prior to this all they ever knew was according to how God had intended things to function. Now they were self-conscious of the material flesh. They knew evil experientially but it was at the price of exclusively knowing the goodness of God. Now this is far from a bad thing as conviction would open the heart up for redemption.
  2. Vs. 7b LOSS OF HOLINESS: “they knew that they were naked;”: Instead of God-centered they became self-centered, they had never looked at themselves apart from first looking through what God saw. They had always saw themselves and each other how God saw them (true self-image) but now they saw themselves apart from Him. This self-consciousness came about because they lost their identity in God. Think of this, “When mankind lost its identity with God they no longer knew who they were!” People are out trying to “find themselves” but in doing so apart from God they just become more lost!
  3. Vs. 7c LOSS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: This loss of being right effected both primary areas in which they had relationships, fellow man and God.
  4. Vs. 7 Fellow man: “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”: They were not right before each other. It was a rough (pardon the pun) attempt at concealing where they were truly at. They were told to be fruitful and multiply but now they sought to cover up the very organs they were to be used to create new life because they saw them as contaminated by sin and were embarrassed by their own reproductive parts.
  5. Vs. 8b God: “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” Sin not only seeks to conceal it’s self before our fellow man it seeks to hide its self from God. That is why most crime is done at night. They sought to hide amongst the trees which were “Pleasant to the sight” that is they were selected for their beauty and “Good for food” thus usefulness to Adam. Adam and Eve hid among that which God created specifically for them a home that was both beautiful as well as useful. They like us were running from His grace yet were unaware that they were hiding in it!

d. Vs. 10-13 LOSS OF TRUTH:

1. Vs. 10 In Adam’s partial confession we see only that he sated the consequences of his action but not the reason for it (disobedience to His Word). He was honest to the point that he admitted that he was afraid of being found out and that there had been a change in their relationship but dishonest that he did not admit that his disobedience was the cause for this fear and change. Confession in Adams looks a lot like confession today where we simply say that, “We are helpless victims of bad circumstances!” Instead of accepting responsibility for our choices and actions!   

2. Vs. 12-13 If it’s not our fault whose is it? Adam blamed God through the women, Eve blamed God through the serpent, so it’s God’s fault! Adam like us, may have not had the choice of circumstances he found himself in but he did have a clear and easy choice as too how he would respond to them. Eve blamed temptation for her wrong choice but temptation does not excuse the way in which she responded. Adam likewise blamed Eve for his choice but she was only a channel to his willing disobedience.     

Vs. 8-9, 11 While they hid in their sin, God:

  1. Vs. 8 Did not changed His relationship towards them! God never stopped loving them, never stopped desiring to have fellowship with them. Isa. 59:2 tells us that, “your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you.” It is mankind that has separated fellowship and hidden its face. 
  2. Vs. 8 His love seeks us out. I believe that this is a theophany or if you will a visit from the “Word of God” Jesus Christ. Apparently this was a regular occurrence during which time the angelic rebellion had taken place and before Eve conceived, so perhaps several weeks each day Jesus (the second Adam) walked with the first Adam. But this day marked the first day that Jesus began to seek and save that which was lost. Adam did not understand that the One that walked in the garden of God’s grace seeking him out would one day shed blood in the garden of grace to redeem him back
  3. Vs. 9 “LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”: God is all knowing so clearly He knew right where they were hiding. Even though they had so quickly lost the knowledge of His love and desire for fellowship God was calling after them! Mankind was saying, “I’ve lost God and I don’t know where He is!” The truth is it is not God who was lost, but Adam! When we became a Christian we “didn’t find God we finally allowed Him to find us!
  4. Vs. 11 First God tells man of His desire to restore fellowship then He shares the reason why it is broken to begin with, so that man will make the first step towards restoration “repentance”. Adam needed to do more than just come up with excuses and shifting the blame to admitting responsibility.

IV. Vs. 14-24 The way to the tree of life

In each of these statements we see God’s plain for restoration of mankind. Also to each of the participants in rebellion God has two consequences to their action. But first notice back in verses 12-13 in the words “I ate” as God gets Adam and Eve to admit their sin. His questions have followed a familiar twofold pattern:

  1. Vs. 10 Confession: Get them to realize that where they are is not where they ought to be.
  2. Vs. 12-13 Repentance: Get them to accept full responsibility for their own actions.

Vs. 14-15 The serpent: The “Shinning one” this is obvious figurative language as snakes don’t eat dust.

  1. Vs. 14 He will be the most despised: There is in this description of physical consequences a practical curse for Satan. He reached for personal worship for himself but he will now always be the most despised of all of God’s creation. Satan will always be humiliated, he will always fail.
  2. Vs. 15 He will be the most defeated: This is the first time we see the gospel preached and it is right after the fall. Several things to note here:  
  3. The word “Seed” is singular and is said to be of the women. Biologically women do not produce a seed and Biblically the seed is always a reference to man. This is the only case where we find the “Seed” being that of a woman and the descendent being spoken from, coming from a women not a man. The implication is that of a virgin birth by which the redeemer would be born to crush the serpent’s head after being fatally wounded. This is further brought in the use of the male pronoun “He”.  
  4. Notice a division is humanity in the words “your seed” and “her seed”. The enmity between Eve and Satan will be passed on from generation to generation. There are two groups of people who are at war: Those who obey and follow God and Those who obey and follow the father of lies. 

    Satan will be defeated two ways:

  1. One, ultimately He was defeated at the cross by Jesus and will one day soon be cast in the lake of fire forever and ever. 
  2. Two, he will be defeated continually by the work of Christ in His saints (you and I) as we live obedient lives reach out in God’s power by His grace to those who have not yet know of God’s love.

Vs. 16 The women: Notice that God speaks differently to Eve then He did to Satan. To Satan He said, “because you have done this” to Eve God does not lay the charge of original responsibility yet there are two consequences to her choice to temptation:

  1. Sorrow and pain in child birth: I do not think that this verse refer to the pain and danger of child birth but the emotional heart ache for her children which starts at conception and continues until she dies. The word “Sorrow” here is the same word used to describe Adams working conditions “toil” in this case it could be used as describing heartbreaking labor. Any mother will tell you that the labor pains don’t stop at birth but instead continue on the rest of their lives as their hearts are always bound up in their children.  
  2. Desire for her husband: The word here is “run after” which speaks not of passion but rather of approval. After the fall she would be conflicted in that she would seek her husband’s approval and yet struggle for control in the relationship. So she would be at war with herself over this. 

The question is why does God do this?

  • Women would experience the heartbreak of identity seeing their self-worth in their children who would struggle.
  • Women will struggle in their security in their relationships with their husband’s wanting approval and control.

But in both cases the only place women will find identity and security would be in the arms of Jesus

Vs. 17-18 The man:  Adam is charged with the wrong because he listened to his wife instead of God. We see two things here as well:

  1. Vs. 17-18 The ground was cursed: Nature became out of balance, the provision and fertility of the soil changed. Man’s work was now to be a struggle and a heartache instead of resting in what the Lord had provided. Work was to be a blessing but now it was to be a curse. His identity was now going to be in his work instead of in God. This hard work was to be a constant reminded of the seriousness of trusting anyone other than God. Thorns and thistles mutated from God’s original creation reminding him of the pain of disobedience.
  2.  Vs. 19 Life was to be a battle: Man would continue to struggle with security as well as all he would produce at times was perspiration. Man would never be able to find security and happiness in what he does.

The grace of God is that man could ultimately only find his identity and security in God and not what he does. 

Vs. 20 I find it interesting that Adam now call his wife “life”. At first he called her “taken out of man” (2:23). It seems to point to the fact that he understood the gospel proclaimed by the Lord and trusted that it would be through a woman that God’s promised redeemer would come forth.

Vs. 21 This is further understood by the fact that God clothes them which is a symbol of being accepted. This clothing was done through the death of an innocent animal as its blood was shed to cover mankind’s sin, (a proto-type of what Jesus would later do). Not only did God kill the innocent animal, He made the tunics of its skin and dressed them. God has done this for us in Jesus in as much as He has clothed us in the righteousness of His Son Jesus.

Vs. 22-24 Blocking the way back to the garden was a way of keeping mankind from coming to God a wrong way. God did not want man to try to come to him any other way then the way in which Adam and Eve had just come the way of completely trusting in His provision.