Saturday, June 8, 2024

The Price Of A Sinful Choice

Genesis 3:1-21

We sometimes hear someone question out loud why this or that awful thing happened, why so many young people get murdered in the big cities, why dreadful diseases strike down so many, and why terrible wars bring countries to their knees.  Though there are often specific answers for each instance, overall the answer can be traced back to the very beginning, which is sin.  It is at this beginning, when sin entered the world and cast its evil shadow over all, that our Old Testament Scripture for this week is found.   Let’s take a quick look at this chapter in Genesis.

After God had created all, He placed man in the Garden of Eden, giving him one command, and that was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17).  It was here in the garden that Satan lost no time in working his plan to tempt mankind and bring down God’s creation.  Satan is a fallen archangel, and thus a supernatural being.  He possessed the body of a serpent in its pre-fallen state, and in that form he struck up a conversation with Eve (vs. 1).  Immediately he put his plan into action by getting Eve to question God’s goodness and kindness, to make her doubt His Word and His care for her and Adam.  He did this by implying that God forbade them from enjoying good things (vs. 1).  Satan still deceives people into thinking that following God will end all enjoyment in life.

When Eve corrected the serpent by telling him the one command God had given, Satan then told her a direct lie (vs. 4-5).  Satan is called a liar and a murderer from the beginning, and here is the evidence (John 8:44).  His lies always promise great benefits, but they fail to deliver good.  He tempted Eve by telling her she’d be like God, and selfishness has reigned in the human heart ever since.

Satan tempted Eve with the fruit.  He still uses the same tactics as he did then.  He often uses this same plan, to make people crave some sort of physical gratification to the point that they become preoccupied with it (vs. 6).  He makes them want to acquire things to the point they bow down to the god of materialism and lust for more and more.  Satan showed Eve that the fruit was pleasing to the eye.  He tempted her by promising an increased awareness which would make her become more like God.  Eve saw that it was good for food - lust of the flesh, pleasant to the eyes - lust of the eyes, and would make one wise - pride of life (I John 2:16).  We need to be careful with what we are looking at.  Temptation often begins by simply seeing something we want.  The battle is often lost at the first look.

After both Adam and Eve ate the fruit, sin came upon all of creation.  They heard God coming to meet with them and they hid, as sin brought guilt and shame (vs. 8-10).  God was not ignorant of their location.  He wanted them to come out, talk with Him, and explain.  There is never a place we can hide from God (Psalm 139:1-12).  He always seeks out mankind. He doesn’t just sit and wait for people to come to Him.  He actively seeks us.

As we continue, we see that Adam refused to take full responsibility for his actions.  He tried to put the responsibility on God for giving him Eve (vs. 12).  Eve’s effort to put the blame on the serpent, which was partially true, did not absolve her of the responsibility for her distrust and disobedience to God (vs. 13).

Satan used a woman to bring down the human race.  God used a woman as an instrument to bring the Redeemer into the world who would save the human race (vs. 15).  This verse is prophetic of the struggle between “your seed” - Satan and unbelievers (called the devil’s children by Jesus in John 8:44), and “her Seed” - Jesus and those in Him.  The woman’s offspring is Jesus, who will one day defeat the Serpent.  Satan can only bruise Jesus’ heel, cause Him to suffer.  Jesus will bruise Satan’s head, destroy him with a fatal blow.

People today bemoan the terrible things that happen in the world, murder, sickness, wars, and question why God allows it.  He didn’t bring that into the world, mankind did when they followed Satan and turned away from God.  That is why there is a curse on the ground and human death (vs. 17-19).  Humans turned their back to the Voice of God.  The thorns (vs. 18) represent all of the consequences of our sinful choices.  Jesus took those thorns upon Himself, and wore them as a crown (Matthew 27:29).

God took an innocent animal (vs. 21), and killed it to cover man’s sin and shame.  That is a shadow of the reality that God would someday allow His innocent and sinless Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die as a substitute to redeem sinners.  Have you accepted Him as your Savior?  If not, come to Him today.

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