Reader Thoughts and Questions
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This chapter puts before us a sad and simultaneously hopeful scene. While it details the fall of man, most of it is given over to God’s revelation of the covenant of grace.
We have the introduction of Satan, his deception of Eve, the disobedience of Adam, the judgment of God upon Satan and humanity, and the first gospel promise.
Amidst the paradise of Eden, comes a serpent. He will be the accuser and tormentor of men until he is finally dealt with by God. John in Revelation 20, multiplies his titles when he sees an angel lay hold on “the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan.”
Sometimes people stumble over the fact that Satan came as a serpent. But we also learn that he entered Judas, as well as lesser demons entering swine at the command of Christ.
Nor is this the only time an animal speaks. By God’s command, Balaam’s donkey speaks. Thus, Satan immediately exhibits power that surprises. That is a warning to us all.
Also, note his strategy. First, he attacks when she is isolated. Second, he attacks when close to the tree, when sin is within proximity to her. Third, his purpose is to get her to question God’s Word. To place doubt in the mind is to travel 90% of the journey towards disobedience. It is to lay a foundation of discontentment.
This leads to the progression of sin. v. 6 - she sees, takes, tastes, and shares. In the language of John Bunyan, the temptation enters through eye gate and wrecks havoc on the soul. Adam then succumbs to the fear of man. Instead of rescuing or rebuking his wife, he unites with her in rebellion. Let us be reminded that sin is subtle in its progression and usually influences others, especially family.
v. 12 - when God comes and questions Adam, he seems to blame both God and his wife. Children and adults still like to blame someone else for their sin.
v. 22 - man becomes like God when he decides for himself what is good and evil. This is a right reserved to God alone.
Since Satan’s attack is to get us to doubt in order to deny, let us ask for an increase of faith.
Adam takes on a tailoring job, sewing leaves together to cover his sense of shame. As tragic as the scene is, v8 shows us Christ as “the voice of the Lord God” coming in search of sinners. This is the grace of God on display. But man’s natural response to grace is to run away. Make sure you are not running from God’s grace today. When God inquires after us, convicts us, or uses someone to rebuke our sin, it is a mercy not to be resisted. Note that God does not seek after the serpent or inquire after him.
v. 15 - deliverance will come by the seed of the woman. This is the Son of God taking humanity in order to bring salvation. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14).
v. 16 - the sorrow of birth is a reminder that humanity is the reason for suffering in this world. The instruction of a wife’s responsibility to her husband is a reminder that a woman tears down her home when she rebels against her husband.
v. 17–19 - man was always meant to work. But now the ground is cursed, signifying that man will face degrees of difficulty in providing. When things are tight, be thankful that Christ, on your behalf, sweated in the garden of Gethsemane to provide for you.
Many words are used in this passage that typify Christ in His redemptive work. He will live as a man of sorrows. He will travail to give life to His Church. He will be made a curse for us. He will be crowned with thorns, sweat drops of blood, and taste death for every man.
v. 20 - we know that Adam and his wife respond in faith to God’s promise to send a human deliverer. God had said eating the fruit would bring death, but faced with death and the promise of God, Adam believed the promise and called his wife Eve meaning “life.” His naming of her also indicates that he is not passive, but in authority. This is important, because it is in the woman’s nature to usurp authority (v16).
God then shows that their life would depend upon another’s death. He kills an animal and clothes them with the skins. This shows the transfer of their guilt to a substitute, and their need for garments of salvation which Jesus will provide by His life and death.
Since Jesus is now the only way to life and the presence of God, Adam out of the garden of Eden. There is only one way of salvation, friend. Make sure you come through Jesus only.