The word “God” always means and includes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Many people are confused and use the word incorrectly. I have heard people pray in church, “Thank you God for dying on the cross.” Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross and was resurrected by God the Father through the presence of Holy Spirit in the tomb. God, described as “Us” in Genesis 1 and 3, has never died.
In Genesis 3 many people see an angry, harshly punitive God in action, but is that really the case?
The apostle, Paul, saw something that caused him to not allow women to teach, but was that accurate?
Many churches and some denominations believe that women are subservient to men, but is that what God intended?
Some churches teach that woman was made for man, but is that shown in Scripture?
Gen 3:1 The Hebrew word usually translated “serpent," nachash, literally means "bright one" and can also mean “enchanter,” someone who is attractive and skilfully tricks or deceives someone.
Serpents do not have vocal cords.
Serpents are not particularly crafty; they are often hard to spot and often catch you unawares.
Note subtle method of attack: “Can it really be…?”
Gen 3:3 - Eve adds to what God has said, to make it more dramatic. “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it…”
Let's examine the points that the enchanter presented to Eve - some were true, and some were false.
Gen 3:4 But the ‘enchanter’ said to the woman, You shall not surely die - Lie
This claim raises the possibility that God is keeping some desirable mystery from them.
Gen 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened - True
and you will be as God - Lie
They already were as God, since they had been formed in Their image and likeness. When we split up the temptation like this the absurdity of the idea that they could become more like God by doing something God said not to do, is even more apparent.
...knowing the difference between good and evil, blessing and calamity - True for them, Lie for God
God has nothing to do with evil or calamity. He has no personal knowledge or connection with either.
“God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all.” 1 John 1:5
The word for “knowing” used in Genesis 3:5 is the same word used in Genesis 4:1 where “Adam knew Eve, his wife and she gave birth to a son.” There is no connection, especially not an intimate one, between God and evil.
Gen 3:6 Eve considered what she had been told and it seemed reasonable. Faith looks for or requires an action (not looking and not taking what is not meant for us) and trust (things will work out better when I follow what God has said).
The longer we look or think about it, the more attractive the “bad” option becomes. The key is to not look or think about it in the first place, and then if we accidentally see what we should not see, to immediately look somewhere else or place our thoughts somewhere else.
Eve took and ate, and nothing happened. At this stage Adam could have either stopped her or refused to take part. Then she gave to Adam, he took and ate, and...
Gen 3:7 both their eyes were opened. They realised they were without protection, defenseless because of what they had done. They had two options: they could either admit their mistake and call on God for help, or they could try to cover it all up. They worked to cover themselves but their best efforts, fig leaves, were not really adequate and would not last.
Where was God all this time, was He in heaven shielding His eyes because He cannot look on sin? Was He saying to Michael the Archangel, “Tell me when it’s all over, so I can go down and punish them in my great anger?”
God is like the sun, He does not change. When it shines from the heavens it is not affected by what happens on earth. In winter, if it is cold, does the sun shine harder? In summer, if it is too hot, does the sun shine less? If clouds cover the land, what happens with the sun, is it still there?
God is NOT affected when we do the wrong thing.
God is NOT displeased when we do the wrong thing
God is NOT offended when we do the wrong thing
God is NOT angry when we do the wrong thing
God is NOT upset when we do the wrong thing
God is NOT surprised when we do the wrong thing
By allocating or applying human reactions to God people are reducing God to their level.
How did God handle this situation with Adam and Eve? Gen 2:8ff
i) Why did God come down, why didn’t He sort this out from Heaven?
ii) Why did God come in the cool of the day, had the air-conditioning failed in Heaven?
iii) Why did He to call them when He knew where they were?
iv) Why did He ask if they had done what He commanded them not to do?
v) Why did Adam and Eve hide from God?
i) He came down into their personal space to help them sort things out, to talk with them face to face as a man talks with his friend
ii) He came at a time to suit them, when the conditions were optimal for them
iii) He called to them to give them a chance to talk through their fear, to confess
iv) He asked them if they had done what they should not have done to give them another chance to confess
v) Adam and Eve hid because of fear and shame
In verse 12 Adam blamed God and Eve. We need to take responsibility for our actions and never blame others.
In verse 13 Eve blamed the devil. She needed to take responsibility for what she had done.>
People today do the same, especially when they blame the devil, other people or witchcraft for their problems.
We MUST accept responsibility for our mistakes - Proverbs 26:2b “The causeless curse shall not alight.” In other words, a curse or problem, without a cause or reason behind it due to something we have done wrong, cannot land or settle on us.
Adam and Eve needed to be Contrite (say sorry)
They needed to Confess (say what they had done wrong)
They needed to Repent (change their minds so that they would take notice of God in future)
These three things are not for God, but for our sake. They produce healing in us. Adam and Eve were forgiven and covered by God, but they did not let Him heal them of their shame and guilt. Because they would not admit their guilt, say sorry, and agree to follow Him in future, they suffered rejection and passed this down to their children. Cain in particular felt this and killed his brother out of extreme jealousy.
What was the result of their mistake, their failure to follow what God said?
Verse 2:17 They became subject to death. Where does death come from? See 1 Corinthians 15:26 "The last enemy to be overcome is death" and 2 Samuel 14:14b "and God does not take away life." Death comes from the enemy. Because they followed the prince of darkness they came under his control. Death does not and did not come from God.
Verse 3:17 Because they were out of control everything in their care was also out of control, just like school classrooms in the West with a poor teacher in charge. God did not curse the ground: it became cursed (functioning badly and out of balance) because it, like them, was now subject to the influence of the enemy.
“In sorrow and toil” does not mean that everything we do will be hard, or that our life will be one of sadness or pain. We get to choose how we pass through life - God always gives us a choice for joy or sorrow, sickness or health, trial or triumph. Deuteronomy 30, especially verses 11-14, and verses 15-20b. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live;” :19
The “nacash” (enemy, the enchanter, the trickster), was consigned to crawl upon the ground. (Snakes or serpents have always slithered along the ground, they never had legs.) This is a figure of speech to show that the enemy is always under our feet. The best they can do is nip at our heels as we trample their heads - verse 14
The “nachash” (the enchanter, the trickster, the devil) is consigned to eating dust; once again, a figure of speech, since serpents don’t eat dust, although it could seem that way as their fangs flick out as they slither along. “Eat dust” suggests that the enemy will get nothing of substance, nothing worthwhile, nothing good through tempting and testing people.
Verse 15 says that mankind will be at war with the enemy, the fallen angels, the demonic spirits, but that One Man in particular (Jesus) will crush the head of the enemy (the devil himself, as well as the most important things he represents) while the enemy can, at best, bruise the heel (or slightly affect) Jesus and His disciples or followers.
For the woman, increased pain in child-bearing, her act of “creation,” because she had rejected God’s act of well-ordered creation, where everything worked well. She would try to control her husband but he would rule over her - verse 16
Remember: this is NOT the way God created things, this is as a result of The Fall, as we call it. Adam and Eve were created, not to compete with each other, not for one to rule over the other, but to reign together as king and queen over all of creation. See Romans 5:17
Question: Where was Eve when God told Adam not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil?
How was Eve created? Was she beneath or beside Adam? How did God see Eve? See Genesis 3:20 and 5:2
Verse 18 - Where did the thorns and thistles come from, was there another day of Creation?
In spite of God’s best efforts - verses 8, 9, 11 and 13 - Adam and Eve were not Contrite (sorry), nor did they Confess (admit or say what they did wrong) nor did they Repent (change their minds about what they had done), yet God still forgave them.
Verse 21 “God made for them long coats of skins.” Where did He get the skins?
He provided the sacrifice (two of the magnificent creatures He had just made), He made the sacrifice (He slew the animals for Adam and Eve) and He clothed (covered) them with the animal skins = Forgiveness
“In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17
Note that “in the day” is a figure of speech. It does not mean “on the day” or “the same day;” but that physical death would come at some stage to them. Mankind was meant to live forever, hence the Tree of Life in the middle of the Garden, which was freely available to them.
“The soul that sins it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:20
With the shedding of blood there is forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22
We have been made holy (set apart to God) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:10
But there is definitely something we must do about it. We seem to have two choices.
“Abraham believed God and it was credited to his account as righteousness...for the promise to Abraham came through the righteousness of faith... Therefore inheriting the promise is the outcome of faith, in order that it might be given as a gift.” Romans 4:3,13,16a. In other words, we can respond to God and believe what He says.
Alternatively, we can do this: “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
Watch out for verse 22!
God seems to quote the enemy as if what he said is true. What is going on here??
“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of Us...” (The enchanter’s lie repeated to show in contrast what was lost over what they, Adam and Eve, originally had. They were “as” God already, created in His image. It simply is not possible to become more like God by doing the opposite of what He says.)
“...to know good and evil, blessing and calamity…” (Evil and calamity are not “known” to God. He has no personal knowledge or experience of either. He has nothing to do with sin, sickness, death or disasters. The word “know” is the same one used in Genesis 4, “And Adam knew Eve and she became pregnant…”)
This sentence is a “figure of speech,” a literary tool to draw attention to something important. There are thousands of “figures of speech” used in Scripture to emphasise a point God wants to make, and many different types of figures of speech used.
Why does Scripture use so many “figures of speech?”
This one is called Irony. Irony describes when the opposite to what is expected actually occurs. God could have said, “Isn’t it ironic! The very thing Adam and Eve wanted, to be “like” Us, they already had. In fact, through doing what they were never meant to do (disobey God) they lost “being like Us, they lost what they already had.”
Was this a punishment for Adam and Eve?
The next part, verse 23, implies that they were removed as part of a punishment, but if we go back to verse 22 we see the real reason.
“...and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life…” >
The verse finishes in mid sentence; the thought is too terrible to speak out. Now, having sinned, if they were to eat of the tree of life they would live forever in that sin condition, and could never be redeemed. They would automatically suffer eternal punishment.
They were sent out of the Garden for their own protection.