Understanding Genesis 3 is so important for our understanding of life as we experience it today. Genesis 1 and 2 explain that God has made this world good and He has blessed us with everything we need to enjoy in life. Consequently we may ask why do so many things go wrong & why is there is so much suffering in the world today? To answer this question we need to understand Genesis 3 and how the sin of people has brought pain and death and suffering into the world. Many years ago The Times London newspaper posed the question – What’s wrong with the world today? GK Chesterton an influential Christian responded :- Dear Sir, I am. Chesterton’s response has encapsulated the teaching of the Bible that the mess of the world is caused by our sinfulness and disobedience to God’s Word. The New Testament assumes the historicity of story of the temptation by Satan and the deception of Adam and Eve.
by Satan and the deception of Adam and Eve. We see that in Luke 3:23ff Adam is a direct descendent of the Lord Jesus and Romans 5:18-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-21 speak of Adam (& his sin) as a real historical figure. However there is room to see that the facts and history of this account may have been transcribed or translated into a parabolic story. We notice also that the serpent is inhabited by Satan who we know is an angel who because of pride was thrown out of heaven – see Isaiah 14:12-15. Satan’s strategy is to sow doubt in God’s goodness and word. In 3:1 by suggesting that God’s command and word is open to interpretation he smuggles in the assumption that God’s Word is subject to our judgement. This gives the idea of people sitting in judgement over God’s Word rather than sitting under God’s Word. Satan also exaggerates what God said by talking about not eating from any tree in the garden. This distorts God’s generosity. God provides all the trees for people except one – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To restrict this tree was to say that only God has the right to decide what is right and wrong. Eve’s next response is to add to what God said and say that God said we mustn’t touch it. This is adding to the word of God and also suggesting that God is more restrictive than is warranted. We notice that when Adam is confronted by his sin he blames Eve. He fails to accept responsibility for his sin and this is rampant in our society and is expressed in victimhood:- the problem is not me but the environment, my parents, my genes. When God confronts Adam and Eve His Word is one of grace asking “Where are you?”. The purpose is to draw them out and help them face their sin but Adam and Eve hide from God. Eventually Adam and Eve face judgement and are cast out of the garden. But within this judgement there is hope because God curses the snake and says that the seed meaning offspring of the woman will crush your head. This is a reference to Jesus who will defeat Satan and death and sin – see Galatians 3:16, Revelation 12:9, 20:2, Romans 16:20. Friends this is the hope of the Gospel. God judges us so that He will eventually restore us. Jesus comes as the second Adam who succeeds where the first Adam fails because He obeys God and doesn’t hide. Rather He faces the full force of God’s judgement so we could be forgiven and restored. Revelation 22:1-5 speaks of the tree of life which brings healing and deals with God’s curse. God will be with His people and we will enjoy fellowship with Him face to face and all the frustrations of this sinful life will fall away and we will see and know that faith in Jesus was worth it and is the best decision we ever made in our life! Glory to God who lovingly takes our judgement and restores us by taking judgement on Himself at the Cross! God’s Blessing.
Rev David O’Mara