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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

March 25, 2015

Genesis Chapter 2:24-Chapter 3:5

  1. Verses 24-25. These are some of the verses often quoted at weddings. Verse 24 starts by stating that “for this reason…” We must go back to the previous verses to see what this reason is. The previous verses point to the idea that Adam had found the mate that God had prepared for him. This mate was like him and unlike the other creatures he had encountered. And because she was like him, because she was suitable to help him or compliment him, the man has a reason to unite with her. The man and the woman complement each other physically, and spiritually. Man and woman were created for the other. God didn’t make any of the animals like man and woman. He didn’t breathe his “life” into any of the animals like he breathed into man. He didn’t take out of the side of an animal like he did man to create another. Man and woman are unique in how God created them, and they were designed to unite as one. This verse gives us four essential elements of the marital bond. First, and fundamental to the relationship, is its being between one man and one woman. This should go without saying, but recent attempts in the West to expand the definition of marriage make it necessary never to forget this essential truth about marriage. Second, verse 24 asserts that a man will “leave” his parents. The idea here is not that the man will abandon his parents or that he must live a great distance from his family. This term instead indicates that his primary obligations change in marriage. Prior to the wedding, he is to be most concerned with his parents. Once married, meeting his wife’s needs becomes his first responsibility. Third, the man is to “hold fast/unite/cleave” to his wife, alluding to the permanent, exclusive nature of marriage. The image, rendered as “cleave to” in other translations, also suggests passion between spouses. Finally, husband and wife are to become “one flesh.” Marriage is a God-ordained bond, a gift of His grace for which we give thanks by obeying His will for it. Becoming one flesh suggests God-honoring intimacy in all areas of the relationship — emotionally, sexually, spiritually, and the like. To achieve this intimacy, husband and wife must be honest and respectful toward each other and do all they can to help, and not hinder, the other’s sanctification (Ex. 20:14,16; Judg. 16:1–22; Prov. 5; 31:10–31; 1 Cor. 7:1–16; Eph. 5:22–33). The next verse says they were naked and not ashamed. This is a very interesting verse, but what does it mean. Naked means to not have any coverings and to be exposed. No shame means to have no guilt. When Adam and Eve were in the garden they had no need to worry about danger so there was no need to cover themselves nor any reason to hide. Because they had not sinned at this point they had no guilt that they felt they need to cover up. So the idea of being naked and unashamed is like a baby running around naked who feels completely secure and innocent. The first man and the first woman were innocent and felt no need to hide or be covered. Nakedness appears everywhere throughout our story. It appears at the beginning, just before the snake tempts Adam and Eve: and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed. It appears at the end, where God makes clothes for Adam and Eve so that they are no longer naked. And it appears right in the middle of the story, at its turning point, when man and his wife eat the forbidden fruit. We will come back to this point.

  2. As we begin to look as the story of the fall of Adam and Eve. The question that many would have is “Did God make man not knowing he would fall?” My answer to that is God always knew and that was part of His plan. Let’s try to discover God’s purpose for creating humanity. In order to do so we have to begin with Genesis 1:26 where God said, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." In order to accomplish this, humanity in his image, God had to make a spiritual man - one who would be connected with creation, yet have the same nature that God has. He had to know evil, yet not desire it; he had to know the depth of God’s love and be filled with love and light even as God is. Yet how could man know the vastness of love without knowing evil? God is never in a dilemma. He had a perfect plan. He would first form a man from dust, and that would unite him to the creation that God had already created. Then He would unite this man with Himself by blowing His breath into him. However, this man could not yet be the finished product, for he was still a combination of dust and spirit – and there is no dust in God. To bring him into a completely spiritual realm, as well as to reveal Himself to humanity, He would send His Son (the Word made flesh), born of a woman, into this world. So let’s take a closer look at what transpired and learn to understand the process God used to create and form this man. In Genesis 1 we see God create man from nothing. This is not the case in chapter 2. Here God began the process by forming (not creating) Adam out of the dust of the ground - out of preexisting material. Then He blew His breath into his nostrils, and Adam became a living soul. This man was a mixture of dust and spirit. He was ruled by his soul (his mind, emotions, will and circumstances), not by the Spirit of God. Although Adam was sinless at the beginning, a creature full of light and wisdom, enjoying his relationship with God, yet he was not fully in God's image. How do we know that he was not yet a spiritual image of God? If Adam had been the finished product, he would not have sinned, for Christ, the perfect image of God, never sinned. Adam was ignorant of evil and death, ignorant of the meaning of love and forgiveness, and ignorant of the true essence of God. The word naked even means to lack truth. Adam was only an earthy image of God, but he was not yet a spiritual image of God. He was the beginning of the process to make man in God's complete and perfect image. Adam began our death in the flesh, but Jesus began our life in the Spirit. God’s plan from the beginning was that we become a spiritual image of God formed and perfected in a vessel of clay/dust. God's plan consists of taking humanity out of the flesh in Adam and creating a new man in His image in Christ! Christ is the way, the truth and the life! God began the process of making a spiritual image of Himself by forming Adam in an earthy image of Himself. The spiritual image of Himself would come later in the Man Christ Jesus! Man's failure did not come as a surprise to God. God had the plan for man's redemption before He formed Adam from the dust of the ground. His plan was greater than just a restoration of man to his former state; His plan was to take humanity out of its former state and bring it into a higher state - a spiritual state of life in which there is no decay, deterioration or death. Inherent in this life would be the nature of God - the very essence of His being of love!

  3. Chapter 3:1-5. To acquaint Adam with evil, God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden (2:9). The serpent belonged in the field, but he had access to the vicinity of this tree. Adam had received instruction from God, and was told that if he ate of this tree he would die (2:17). What we must realize is that there was another tree, the tree of life, but the text of chapter 3 never says that the man or the woman ever ate of that tree. This will become important later. The serpent is described as being cunning. This word actually means naked as well in Hebrew. Interesting that the serpent, the man and the woman are all naked. But the Hebrew way that the snake is described is actually the opposite of naked. The serpent’s nakedness is that he is naked in a bad way. His nakedness is exposing who he really is. The man and the woman were naked in an innocent way, while the snake was naked in exposing the true evil motives of his heart. The snake was a trickster and a deceiver and so he just does what a trickster and a deceiver does and that is trick and deceive, He has no shame with his deceit. He is out in the open with it. So his first encounter with the woman is not an encounter where he hides his deceitfulness, he is a deceiver from the start. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” His first lie was that he tried to make it seem like God didn’t want them to eat from any of the trees. God actually said they could eat from any tree except one. The serpent, the devil of old, the father of lies, the one in whom there is no truth and who therefore cannot speak truth, waited for an opportune moment to speak to Eve. The serpent then continued its denouncement of God by actually contradicting what God had said! It said that the fruit was good for making them wise, knowing good and evil and they would not die. God said they would die. So instead of believing God, Eve was persuaded to believe a voice other than God's voice! If we don't believe God's voice, we too like Eve, will intentionally or inadvertently accuse God of being a liar. Eve fell into the trap of believing the serpent's lies! She believed that the serpent was more interested in her welfare than God was. Can you see how the serpent is still up to its old tricks of discrediting God? If God really loves you, why are you having all these problems? Your problems then become bigger than your God. If God is taking care of you, why did He not stop the accident? Why did He not heal your mother? Why, why, why? This opens the door to unbelief in God's love and ability, and introduces disobedience as being desirable! If we cannot trust God, self-reliance becomes an attractive alternative. It lures us into trying to satisfy the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life!

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