The Fall of Humanity

3:1-24

 

 

A battle for the human race begins in Genesis 3. From that point on it could be said that all humanity were in a struggle not against mere flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of the dark spiritual age (Ephesians 6:12). From Genesis 3 onward the serpent Satan is seeking to corrupt and coral as many souls as he can to his side in his war against God. Genesis 3 and the fall of humanity was therefore a dark day in the history of the world. To get the full impact of the devastating nature of the fall of humanity in chapter three, you have to see it in light of the love shown by God in Genesis chapter two. God put Adam and Eve in a perfect environment to thrive and enjoy Him forever. Yet they succumbed to the temptation of the serpent. Why? That is what we will learn in our study of Genesis 3. This chapter sets the pattern and foundational strategy of Satan to tempt people into sin and away from God’s best. Satan wants to destroy God’s loving relationship with people. The war is for souls and it has eternal consequences for those in the battle.

 

Genesis 3 – A Major Key to Victory

 

Victory is often determined by how well you know your opponent. Sports teams invest vast amounts of time and money to study and prepare each week by learning about their opponents. They go so far as to examine every position of every player and even go so far as to look at intricate tendencies of the individual players such as which way their feet and hands are positioned in various game situations and for particular plays. That’s what we need to do with our adversary the serpent Satan. The reward of knowing out adversary is that we will minimize the likelihood of being taken by surprise and caught off guard by his inevitable attacks and therefore be able to ward him off successfully. The danger is that we focus so much on Satan that we forget we do not fight for victory but fight from a position of victory.

 

What do I mean by that last statement, “we do not fight for victory but fight from a position of victory”? In his book The Invisible War author Chip Ingram states the following:

 

The crucial fact that you need to know is . . . : As believers in Christ, we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. In Christ’s power, we are invincible. . . . There’s a huge difference between fighting for victory and fighting from victory. . . . there is an invisible war, and a formidable foe, and . . . we need to respect but not fear that foe. The reason we don’t need to fear him is because of the wonderful fact that Jesus has already won the battle. . . . we need to understand that the outcome is certain. There’s no suspense in the kingdom of God about how it will turn out. That means that when we fight, we’re not trying to win. We’re enforcing the victory that Jesus has already secured. In his power; we are invincible. [1]

 

Because of this we are “more than conquerors” in that we are not going into a battle whose outcome is uncertain and only hope for victory; no, we go into this battle certain and aware of the victorious outcome and confidently assert the terms and conditions of the victory (Romans 8:39). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and He did so (John 12:31; 1 John 3:8). It was on the cross that Jesus defeated Satan and made a public display of His victory (1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Colossians 2:15-16). Because of that all those who have accepted Jesus as Savior and enlisted in His army are victors and have spiritual resources at their disposal that are ‘greater” than those of our devilish enemies (1 John 4:4). We have a God of peace that is willing and eager to crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20). We have armor perfectly suited for this battle (Ephesians 6:10-18). When we submit to God and resist the devil, we can’t lose (James 4:7). Our enemy can be overcome by the saving blood of Jesus, our personal testimony of the salvation we have through faith in Jesus, and our understanding that even if we should die physically in the battle, we will live on in glory with Him (1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 12:11).  

When does This Take Place?

We cannot set a specific time in history for the events of Genesis 3. Because God ended his creation with the assessment that what He had made was “very good” (1:31) it is not likely that Satan’s fall preceded this assessment because Satan’s fall would not fall under the category of being “very good.” The fall of Satan therefore must have occurred some time after God’s assessment of the creation as “very good” and before Genesis 3:1 where he is introduced as the tempting serpent.

The Serpent Satan

Genesis 3:1a - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.

The first verse in Genesis 3 gives us insight into the serpent Satan. The serpent is mentioned in the opening words which gives emphasis to his presence there. The word “serpent” is translated from the Hebrew term NACHISH (Strong’s #5175 - נָחָשׁ nâchâsh, naw-khawsh’). This word occurs 31 times in the Bible and every time refers to an actual snake or serpent. [2] Scripture identifies this serpent as Satan (Revelation 12:9; 20:2). The Bible tells us that demons can possess animals and even human beings unprotected by a saving relationship with God in Christ (Luke 8:33; 1 John 4:4). Evidently Satan entered the serpent on this occasion. When we look at God’s curse on the serpent as “on your belly you shall go,” (3:14) it implies that prior to the curse the serpent was able to walk upright. This means the serpent may have been able to go face to face, eye to eye with Eve and Adam.

Henry Morris adds insight to the description of the serpent with the following comment:

There is also the unsolved question as to whether some of the Edenic animals, especially the serpent, may have originally had the ability to converse with man in some way. There is now, of course, a great gulf between the barks and grunts of animals and the intelligent, abstract, symbolic speech of man. On one occasion, God did, as it were, ‘open’ the vocal organs of an animal, when He allowed Balaam’s ass to speak (Numbers 22:28). Some modern zoologists are now claiming the ability to teach chimpanzees a rudimentary form of speech.[3]

What else does this verse tell us about Satan the serpent?

First, Satan the serpent is attractive. Satan, the devil, or whatever other name you use to refer to him, is not a figure in a red suit with a pointy goatee and pointy tail in a red suit with pitch fork in hand. That is another media myth. Henry Morris comments that “the Hebrew word, nachish, some maintain, originally meant ‘shining, upright creature.’”[4]  This is supported by the Biblical description of Satan as not at all being ugly, but on the contrary he is beautiful, “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). Satan presents himself as an angle of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Second, Satan the serpent is cunning. The word “cunning” comes from the Hebrew term AWROOM (Strong’s #6175 - עָרוּם -`aruwm /aw·room/) which occurs eleven times in the Bible and is translated eight times as “prudent,” “crafty” twice, and “subtle” once. Other words that are representative of the meaning of this word are, “shrewd and sly.” [5] Satan the serpent is sneaky, he’s the father of lies and murderous in his deceptive purposes (John 8:44). One commentator points out the deceptive nature of this Satanic trait with the following insight:

Genesis 3:1 is connected with 2:25 by a Hebrew wordplay: Adam and Eve were “naked” (‘ărûmmîm); and the serpent was more crafty (‘ārûm, “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. That quality of shrewdness or subtleness is not evil in itself (indeed, one of the purposes of the Bible is to make believers so, according to Proverbs 1:4, where ‘ārmâh, shrewdness, is translated “prudence”). But it was used here for an evil purpose.[6]

Amnon raped his sister Tamar with the cunning help of Jonadab (2 Samuel 13:3).  A harlot or prostitute is described in scripture as being cunning in how she lures her victims (Proverbs 7:10). The human instruments of Satan take on his attributes. Satan is merciless in his devices to undermine and deceive people away from God. And those who are not fully surrendered to the Lord are Slaves of Satan and given to walk in the serpent’s nature (cf. John 8:34-36; Romans 6; 2 Peter 2:19).

Third, Satan the serpent attacks from unexpected sources. Satan used the serpent to disguise himself. This tells us that Satan comes to tempt us and attack us in ways that are not readily expected. Satan doesn’t come with a sign or tattoo that identifies who he is and that he has come to destroy you. He comes in a seemingly innocent benign form which makes him all the more dangerous.

Also, Satan coming as a serpent tells us that he will often attack through a subordinate. Humanity had been given authority over the animals by God (1:28; 2:15). This speaks in part to the rebellious nature of Satan. He rebelled against God and those he uses as his pawns are infused with a rebellious nature as well.

It’s interesting that pagan religions often worship the serpent or snake in their practices. One commentary made the following observation:

Also there may well be a polemical element here, for the serpent was worshiped by pagans. Their symbol of life was in fact the cause of death. Divinity is not achieved (the promise of Satan here; 3:5) by following pagan beliefs and symbols. That is the way of death, not of life.[7]

Fourth, Satan the serpent, like the animal he possessed, is a created being. Satan is not equal with God. As a created being he is far inferior to God. In his maniacal dementia he tries to elevate himself to the height of God and usurp His thrown, but no created creature can ever do that. God created Satan and blessed him in many ways (Ezekiel 28:13, 15). Satan chose to pride and self-promotion rather than praise to God for all His benefits, and the consequence was eviction from heaven.

In Isaiah 14:12-15 a prophetic warning is given against the “king of Babylon,” however Isaiah goes beyond denouncing this king to refer to the spirit which possessed him, Lucifer or Satan. In Ezekiel 28:11-19 a similar denunciation of the “king of Tyre” addresses the being who possessed that king. Both these passages give us added insight into the nature of Satan the serpent of old. By examining these passages we discover additionally that Satan was created (Ezekiel 28:13, 15) and enabled by God to be perfect in all his ways (Ezekiel 28:15). But his heart was lifted up in pride (Ezekiel 28:17), he began to doubt God’s word at some point and become deluded into the fantasy that “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). It’s possible that Satan’s self delusion involved evolution in some way perhaps thinking that God was merely a product of evolution from a preexistent chaos. As the Deceiver of the whole world, and a third of the heavenly host (Revelation 12:4, 9) he was self deceived (Revelation 12:9). He was deceived enough to think he could exalt his own “throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13). The consequence of Satan’s sin was that God “cast him to the ground” (Ezekiel 28:17) and ultimately Satan will be “brought down to hell” (Isaiah 14:15; Matthew 24:41). A lack of fire is in the future for Satan (Revelation 20:10). But until that time Satan is loose to tempt and try people on the earth. He is the fallen and defeated, yet cunningly deceptive and powerful god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). God has made a way to resist the devil in His strength. If we rely on our own understanding and weakness, we will lose. But in God’s provided power, we are guaranteed victory (Romans 8:39).

Temptation – The Strategy of Satan

Genesis 3:1-5- Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 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.”

One commentator rightly observed:

 

The word of the Lord brought life and order; the word of the serpent brought chaos and death. Truth is older than falsehood; God’s word came before Satan’s lies.[8]

 

There are few things in this world that bring more chaos than wars. The outcome of wars is often determined by which opponent knows the other best. When you know your opponent you can calculate their next move and be prepared to counter that move successfully. When you know your opponent and know where he is likely to hit you, you can strengthen the point where their attack is coming and hold them off. That’s why in war if battle plans and maps of troop placements are captured it is such a valuable thing. On D-Day in World War II in the early hours of the battle the complete plans of troop and armor placements of the Germans was captured and given to the commanders of the Allied forces. This was an incredible stroke of good fortune because it allowed the Allies to know where the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy were and proceed accordingly. That was true in an earthly battle, and it is even more true in the eternally more important spiritual battle we are in.

 

In Genesis 3 we have a map, we have the plans of Satan’s strategy. Genesis 3 shows us how the enemy will attack us and with that information we can prepare and equip ourselves in the Lord to resist his onslaught and deceptive strategies. Therefore, what is Satan’s strategy?

 

First, Satan tempts by first challenging God’s word (3:1b). Genesis 3:1b reads, “And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Satan begins his temptation by challenging God’s word. It’s interesting that much of liberal scholarship asks the same question, “Has God really said that?” The Jesus Seminar, a group of liberal scholars, holds court over the word of God and grades portions of scripture as to their authenticity and whether or not they actually came from God. By so doing they put themselves sin judgment over God.  Such behavior is indeed, Satanic. To challenge God’s word is to bring into question the trustworthiness and integrity of God Himself. Beware anyone who seeks to make their point by discounting God’s word or twisting it in any way. That is a trick and practice of old and it only leads to the downfall of those who heed it’s temptation.

 

Why Study the Bible?

 

Why study the Bible? The Bible gives us many reasons for studying it, but here are a just three:

First, new believers need a steady diet of God’s word to grow in their faith. The apostle Peter was inspired to write:

  • 1 Peter 2:2 – “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”

God’s word is filled with all of the spiritual nutrients necessary for spiritual nurture and growth. The new believer needs to study God’s word so that they know what and why they believe and have been born again. Feeding on God’s word equips the believer to move in to a life of discipleship where they share God’s word with others. Therefore, God’s word is essential to spiritual growth from the onset of life in Christ to the sunset of life on earth.

Second, studying God’s word gives the disciple skill and discernment in ministry. As the disciple studies God’s word he or she becomes equipped to minister and be used by God to further His kingdom plan. The Bible instructs us that the disciple should not only familiarize themselves with the entry-level truths of repentance, faith, salvation, etc., but that the disciple should broaden their understanding of God’s will by feeding on the full counsel of God’s word.

When Paul was saying farewell to the Ephesians church he reminded them of how he had taught them the “whole counsel of God”:

  • Acts 20:26-28 -  “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.27 “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” 

Paul, in his letter to pastor Timothy expressed the importance of being an ongoing student of God’s word when he was inspired to state:

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 

The Bible is a manual for life. God made humankind and gave us an instruction manual so that we would know how to get the most out of life on earth as well as be prepared to live life eternally. God’s word equips us for life. God’s word tells us what is really important in life, what the purpose of life is. In Hebrews the full study of God’s word is likened to moving from milk to the meat of God’s word and is the means by which the disciple is prepared and equipped to guard against falsehoods:

  • Hebrews 5:12-14 – “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” 

The implication here is that if the recipients, to which the letter of Hebrews was written, had studied and taken to heart God’s word, they would be better prepared and skilled, “exercised,” for ministry. This leads us to the final statement about why we should study God’s word.

Third, studying the Word of God prepares the disciple against falsehoods, fallacies, and fakeries. In Paul’s inspired letter to the Colossians he warns them against heretical teachings that diminish the deity of Jesus Christ and that rely on human tradition and worldly philosophy as their foundation. In this letter Paul exhorts believers to grow in their relationship with Jesus and one of the primary means this is accomplished is by the application of God’s word by the Spirit to their lives. Paul states:

  • Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” 

If we are to grow in our relationship with Jesus and be protected against the evil influence of aberrant teachings, we need to be students of God’s word. There is no substitute for the study of God’s word if we are to grow spiritually and be equipped to ward off the attacks of the serpent Satan in the form of false teaching and manipulations (2 Peter 1:16 – 2:22).

Let’s proceed to the next part of Satan’s strategy of temptation.

Second, Satan tempts by drawing people into a conversation with him (3:2-3). Eve’s first mistake was entering into a conversation with the serpent. She entertained the questioning of God’s clearly expressed command. By entering in to a conversation with the serpent she gave Satan a foothold. Beware entering into and dwelling on conversations that question God. They may just have a Satanic origin. There are times when we should not even enter into conversations with those teach who teach false doctrines (2 John 10-11). We need to have Jesus as our Lord and we need to be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15-16) as well as be willing to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3-4). But there are times when we must simply put the person in the hands of the Lord who is caught up in false teaching (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

 

Third, Satan tempts by aiming at those who either do not know God’s word or have a loose superficial understanding of it (3:2-3). Eve either did not know what God had commanded or did not care enough to remember what He had said. This is shown in her recounting what she thought God had said. Her response to the serpent left out a portion of what God has said; she left out that God has “freely” (2:16) given them to eat of the trees of the Garden. And she added to God’s word with the words, “nor shall you touch it.” Eve was either not properly or thoroughly taught by Adam what God had said, (which would be an indictment of Adam’s lack of caring for his bride), or Eve did not value and see God’s word as something to be accurately known and passed on. She did not appear to have a proper respect for God’s word. That is always a dangerous attitude to have.

 

It’s so important to be a student of God’s word. To neglect God’s word is to risk being duped by the devil through false teachings and sinful feelings. Jesus gives spiritual gifts to equip the church against false doctrine and the trickery of sinful people (Ephesians 4:11-16). The primary instrument God uses to equip His people is His word ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

God in His word says we should stand in awe of His word (Psalm 119:61). God looks for those who have a healthy reverence for His word (Isaiah 62:2, 5). God expects us to speak His word faithfully (Jeremiah 23:28) and handle it accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). We should glorify God’s word (Acts 13:48). Indeed God Himself magnifies His word above His own name! (Psalm 138:2).

 

God’s word is our source of spiritual nourishment (1Timothy 4:6).  It is our guide (Psalm 119:133). God’s word is our instruction manual for this life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 2:5). God’s word shows us the way of joy in life and to disobey it is to miss His joy (Psalm 119:47, 97, 162). God’s word is how we know God, it’s how we come to experience the new life He provides for those once enslaved in sin (Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Peter 1:23; 2:2). God’s word is living and powerful and helps us to know who we are (Hebrews 4:12-13). God’s word is something that you neglect or misuse to your own peril (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19). We need to be like the Bereans and search the scriptures (Acts 17:11). God’s truth is in His word (John 17:17) and we ought to scrutinize all things through the lens of scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It is only by studying and applying God’s word that we can discern what is evil, what is from the enemy and avoid it (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

 

Fourth, Satan tempts by contradicting God’s word (3:4). Satan called God a liar! He contradicted what God had said and denied its truth. With his foot firmly in the door of Eve’s heart the next logical step was to contradict God’s word. Stan was calling Eve to make a decision. Once he got her to doubt the authority and truthfulness of God’s word, he could impose or substitute his own rules. Today this form of lying contradiction of God’s word is often packaged with the words, “The Bible is outdated; it doesn’t apply to our day.” Or one might say or think, “I know what God’s word says, but I’m the exception to His rule.” Whenever you start to contradict God’s word and or do things that contradict God’s word, you are giving into the oldest lie and ready for a great fall.

 

Fifth, Satan tempts by implying God’s motives are less than loving (3:5). Satan explained to Eve that the reason God did not want her or Adam to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was that, “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.” Notice the subtle appeal to the intellect. Notice the subtle appeal to Eve’s rights. According to the serpent God was keeping Eve from something that was rightfully hers. And what was it that the serpent said Eve deserved? He said, “you will be like God.” Satan was luring Eve with the same proud lust for power and position that he had succumbed to. And at the root of this was an attack on the loving motives of God. God had expressed His love for Adam and Eve so generously (see Genesis 2 comments). Now Satan was bringing God’s love into question. God had demonstrated that His love sought the best for Adam and Eve, but Satan twisted God’s protective prohibition to look like a deprivation of Eve. That is the cunning twist Satan is a master of. Satan got Eve to focus on what she did not have and to look away from what she did have. That is a major strategy of Satan. When Satan that serpent of old is at work you see dissatisfaction and covetousness present. Remember that. And remember that God is for you (Romans 8:31-32) and God is full of His holy love (1 John 4:7-12) and you can always trust Him to have your best interests at heart.

 

The Three Apparent Eye Opening Enemies of the Believer

Genesis 3:6 - 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

In Genesis 3:6 it says, “when the woman saw,” and in verse 5 it states her, “eyes were opened.” Satan appeals to what we see and the way we understand what we see. There are three things Satan’s temptation appeals to. We get clarification as to what these three things are by going to the New Testament. The New Testament is the best commentary on the Old Testament. In 1 John 2:16 it states:

·         1 John 2:16 - 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

The three things mentioned in 1 John 2:16 that are paralleled in Genesis three are “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” When Eve say that the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was “good for food” she was being tempted with the lust of the flesh. The lust of the flesh is a temptation to feed our bodies in some way. Jesus was also tempted by Satan in this way in the wilderness. Satan tempted Jesus to turn rocks into bread. This was no easy thing for Jesus who had been fasting for forty days. The Lord’s response was to apply the word of God saying, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:3-4). The word of God is our reliable weapon to ward off the temptations of the enemy.

 

When Eve saw that the tree was “pleasant to the eyes” she was being tempted by the lust of the eyes. The eyes are the windows to the heart and our hearts are often filled with lust. Jesus was similarly tempted by the devil in the wilderness when the devil told him to throw himself down off the pinnacle of the temple. The pinnacle of the temple was the highest point of the temple and if Jesus went up to that point every eye would be drawn to him. Jesus responded with the word of God saying it was sinful to test God in such a way (Matthew 5-7). It’s interesting that in the temptation of Jesus Satan used God’s word. Satan will not hesitate to stoop to the misuse of God’s word. That is why believers need to know God’s word thoroughly so that they won’t fall for Satan’s manipulation and twisting of it.

 

Lastly, when Satan told Eve that the reason God did not want her to eat from the tree was that if she did she would become “like God” he was tempting her with the pride of life. Satan tempted Jesus by offering Him the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would bow to him. Satan used pride to try and get Jesus to deviate from the path to the cross. Again Jesus answered with God’s word and turned Satan away saying only God deserved worship (Matthew 4:8-11).

 

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are the target of Satan to tempt you. Be aware of them and turn his temptations back with the word of God just like Jesus did.

 

Where Was Adam During the Temptation?

Genesis 3:6b - She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Did you ever wonder why Adam gets such a bad rap when it appears to have been Eve that is the primary culprit in the fall of humanity? The Bible clearly places the blame primarily on Adam (Romans 5). Is that fair? Well, in the second part of verse six we see the role of Adam and the reason why he is primarily to blame for the fall of humanity.

 

In Genesis 2:15-17 it is clearly stated that God has instructed “the man” who is Adam about the prohibition concerning eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God instructed Adam and Adam was responsible to instruct Eve, (who had not yet been created). In the second part of verse six it refers to the “her husband with her. . .” Here is the convicting evidence against Adam, HE WAS THERE NEXT TO EVE ALL THE TIME; HE WAS THERE WHEN SATAN THE SERPENT WAS TEMPTING EVE; AND HE DID NOTHING! The indictment of Adam is that he did not instruct his bride effectively, thoroughly enough so that she would be well equipped to ward off the temptations of Satan the serpent. And I am sorry to say that the inactivity and neglect of responsibility seen in Adam at the beginning is too often seen in husbands throughout history since and on up to today. Husbands, you are entrusted with the responsibility of equipping your bride and family in spiritual things. You are the one God will come looking for if your bride falls. Have you taken this responsibility seriously? Have you delegated the responsibility of spiritual nurture of your family to your wife? Have you left the responsibility to spiritually nurture your wife to someone else? You may delegate that responsibility but it does not change the fact that YOU are ultimately responsible and will be held accountable for that precious and important task. If you think you are untrained and unlearned in God’s word so that you are not qualified to minister to your wife, then do the best you can until you can grow into an effective discipler of your family. Pray to God for help and wisdom and he will help you and give you wisdom (James 1:5). But don’t relinquish such a holy task and opportunity to be used by the Lord. If you love the Lord and love your wife do you love them enough to step up to the plate and assume God’s ordained position of spiritual overseer of your wife and family? Trust the Lord; He will help you (John 14:26; 15;26). Get into God’s word and grow in His grace (2 Peter 3:18). The risk of neglecting this call is too great! God has promised you can do all things when you rely on Him (Philippians 4:13, 19). Trust him and get to work. Don’t be like Adam, step up and take a stand on God’s word.

 

What’s at Risk in this War? The Consequences of Sin.

Genesis 3:7-24 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:     “Because you have done this,     You are cursed more than all cattle,     And more than every beast of the field;     On your belly you shall go,     And you shall eat dust     All the days of your life.15     And I will put enmity     Between you and the woman,     And between your seed and her Seed;     He shall bruise your head,     And you shall bruise His heel.”16 To the woman He said:     “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;     In pain you shall bring forth children;     Your desire shall be for your husband,     And he shall rule over you.”17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:     “Cursed is the ground for your sake;     In toil you shall eat of it     All the days of your life.18     Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,     And you shall eat the herb of the field.19     In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread     Till you return to the ground,     For out of it you were taken;     For dust you are,     And to dust you shall return.”20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

These verse tell us what is at risk in this spiritual war. What do we risk losing if we ignore this war or personally lose it?

 

First, we risk losing innocence (3:7, 11). When Adam and Eve sinned they no longer looked at each other through pure sinless eyes. When Adam and Eve sinned purity turned to lust and innocence was forever lost. God emphasized this change for the worse by asking them a confrontational question. God wanted them to know what they had done and that they had chosen to listen to someone other than Himself.

 

Second, we risk losing fellowship with God (3:8-10). Adam and Eve hid from God. They no longer had the trusting relationship of love with Him they once had. They couldn’t even look God in the face. What a tragedy; what a cost for their sin! They now experienced the weight and burden of guilt for the first time and they were driven to hide from God.

 

Third, we risk losing the proper concept of God (3:10). Adam and Eve feared the One who loved them most. God was now One they feared as a Punisher, no longer a loving Provider. And this was in their minds now. God still loved them, but they lost sight and sense of that awesome love.

 

Fourth, we risk losing unity and peace (3:12-13, 16). Adam and Eve blamed each other for their sin. They lost their sense of responsibility (3:12-13). The curse of sin involved a divisive marriage trait where the woman would seek to take over man’s God given position of authority (3:16). Life would be tumultuous from hereon out.

 

Fifth, we risk losing work as a pleasurable task (3:7, 17-19). Adam and Eve discovered the meaning of “labor.” In Genesis 1 and 2 God did all the laboring. Now all the heavy labor would be done by Adam and Eve. Their works would not earn them right standing before God. Now the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit would begin (Romans 7 and 8; Galatians 5; Zechariah 4:6).

 

Sixth, we risk losing paradise (3:22-24). They were evicted from Eden no longer to enjoy its bliss and blessings. And even this was for their own protection so that they would not eat from the tree of life and put themselves in a permanent state of sin.

 

The First Mention of the Gospel

Genesis 3:15 - And I will put enmity Between you and the woman,  And between your seed and her Seed;  He shall bruise your head,  And you shall bruise His heel.”

This verse is the first mention by way of allusion to the gospel. It states, “And I will put enmity.” One of the basic consequences of sin is enmity. The word "enmity" (Strong’s # 342 - אֵיבָה ˒êybâh, ay-baw’) means hatred or enemy; a war was started. Sin starts wars. This is the problem of sin that makes a gospel necessary.

 

Keep in mind these are words from God to the serpent (3:14). The verse goes on to identify the major parties by saying, “Between you and the woman.”  Part of the consequence of the Fall was that a war was started between Satan and humanity (i.e. humanity is represented by "the woman"). It continues, “And between your seed and her Seed.” The "your seed" refers in general to the offspring of Satan. Those who are unsaved belong to Satan (John 8:44; Acts 13:10; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 3:8, 10).

 

There is something interesting in the phrase, "and her Seed." A woman does not physically have a "Seed," she has an egg and the distinction is important here. What’s going on here? Is this a mistake, an error of scripture? No not at all. This is a reference to the Messiah and in fact is the first messianic prophecy (!) and mention of the gospel. It is particularly a reference to the Virgin Birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25). Jesus was birthed by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous way that bypassed the sinful nature of the human woman Mary. This testifies to the sinlessness of Jesus.

 

The gospel is alluded to in the words, “He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." This is the first mention of the gospel and is known as the protoevangelium. Satan "He" will be dealt a death blow to the head; in the process a blow ("you shall bruise His heel") will be landed to "the Seed" Jesus which points us to the cross which ultimately proved to be a place of victory over Satan (Colossians 2:15-16). God always gives us hope and even in the fall of humanity, He points us to the hope found in Jesus.

 

First Blood - The Cost of Redemption

Genesis 3:21 - 21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

The first sin led to the first spilling of blood. To make the tunics for Adam and Eve, God had to kill an animal. This is the first sign that sin leads to death (Romans 6:23). This is the first indication that God will make a way for these sinners to be clothed redemptively (Isaiah 61:10; Romans 13:14). It is also the first indication that the shedding of blood is necessary for that redemption (Hebrews 9:22; Isaiah 53:4-6, 10-12; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:12-13).It’s only through the shed blood of Jesus that fellowship with God can be restored (1 John 1:2-9).

The Devil’s Beatitudes

 

A number of years ago a friend of mine sent me an anecdote entitled The Devils’ Beatitudes. It expresses well the cunning way in which the enemy uses people in the church. Read and take this to heart:

 

THE Devil's BEATITUDES

 

If the Devil were to write his own beatitudes, they would possibly go

something like this:

 

Blessed are those Christians who are TOO TIRED, TOO BUSY, too distracted

to spend time with their fellow Christians in Church  - they are my best candidates to backslide

 

Blessed are those Christians who WAIT TO BE ASKED and EXPECT TO BETHANKED         - I can use them to slow things down.

 

Blessed are those Christians who are TOUCHY, with a bit of luck they may STOP GOING TO CHURCH and get others to quit-they are my missionaries.

 

Blessed are those Christians who are VERY RELIGIOUS but GET ON EVERYONE'S

nerves  - they are my most effective stumbling blocks.

 

Blessed are those Christians who are TROUBLEMAKERS - they are my best wrecking crew.

 

Blessed are those Christians who have NO TIME TO PRAY - hey are easy prey for me.

 

Blessed are those Christians who are COMPLAINERS - they are my best discouragers.

 

Blessed are YOU when you read this and THINK IT IS ABOUT OTHER people and not yourself   -  I've got you.

 

- Author Unknown

 

If I Were the Devil

 

Another piece that was sent ot me by a friend years ago was written by Paul Harvey and is entitled If I Were the Devil.

 

IF I WERE THE DEVIL by Paul Harvey

 

If I were the devil I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world; I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings; I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people. I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue; I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership; I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies; I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient; I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more that human beings; I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His Name was grounds for a law suit; I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them; I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda; I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation. I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation; I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art; I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled at; I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct; I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive; I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional; I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are."

 

That piece expresses the sad state of our world today. It down’s have to be that way. It’s time to step up and take a stand on God’s word. It’s time to oppose the temptations of Satan the serpent, while there is still time to do so.

 

I’ll conclude with another illustration I received that shows us we can’t give the enemy even an inch. In the gospel of John it states: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). A pastor from Haiti illustrated this verse to his congregation with the following story.

A certain man wanted to sell his house for two thousand dollars. Another man wanted very badly to buy it but couldn't afford the full price the owner was asking. After much bargaining however, he agreed to sell the house to the poor man for half the original price -- along with just one stipulation: He would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.

After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.

The Haitian pastor concluded that "If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ's habitation."

 The devil has only come to steal, kill and destroy. He can be very crafty and he would love nothing more than to steal from us our blessing in the Lord. Let's ask the Lord to reveal any pegs we may be leaving for the devil today and take back all that belongs to us in Jesus!

 

 

 



[1] Chip Ingram, The Invisible War (Baker Books: Grand Rapids Michigan, 2006) page 61

[2]Strong, J. (1997, c1996). The new Strong's dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words (electronic ed.) (H5175). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record ,( Baker Book House: Grand Rapids MI, 1976) page 109

[4] Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record, (Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, MI 1976) page 108

[5]Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the test of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (H6175). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

 

[6]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[8]Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.