The word Genesis means beginning; which is a very apt word for the title of this book. It is not only the first book- it is a book of firsts. The creation account is given by God Himself to Moses. It contains details and information that Moses could not have possibly known- for they were not known by science for centuries. There are many examples of this scientific knowledge in the Scriptures, i.e., in Job 26:7, (one of the oldest books in the Bible. A book estimated to be written approximately 2000-1800 BC. Yet in Job 26:7, centuries before science figured it out, this verse accurately describes earth: He (God) spreads out the northern skies over empty space; He suspends earth over nothing. If we had been told there the earth was flat-then the later scientific discoveries would have rendered the Bible as false and not the work of an all knowing God.
The Book of Genesis is a book of firsts we will want to note for first mentions of great truths that are taught all thru the Bible have their beginning here.. For example we will come to understand the law of faith. The Law of Faith says a Sovereign God has limited Himself in His relationship with us- despite His Omnipotence. He will never violate the sovereignty of your will nor deprive you of the right to choose. We see that clearly in the story of Adam and Eve.
1:1- In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In ten English words ( only 7 in Hebrew) we have the opening statement of the Bible. This statement has been called both the most profound statement ever made and the most debated.
There are four fundamental questions regarding creation that mankind has tried to answer. (1.) What is all this- meaning the universe- the purpose of it its reason for existence? (2.) How did it begin? (3.) When did it begin? (4.) Who or what is behind it?
First of all realize the Holy Spirit who inspires its human authors to record Gods Word simply deems certain truths to be self evident, the first and foremost being that God is. One of the fundamentals of science is to observe and classify nature. Here we see the first broad categories- heavens and earth. The Bible is not intended to be a book of science- it is a book of redemption. It does not explain the mysteries of the heavens- it tells us how to go to heaven.
However, the material, physical world is designed to produce parallels to the spiritual world so we can understand spiritual laws. Such as the law of sowing and reaping. (Creation is our teacher. Teaches us about: God and His ways, His creative genius- His desire for us to live with us, His rules-
We will also see from the creation account, that God is not man. He operates quite differently from man. But it is His intention that man should share in His life and live as He lives. Obviously we must learn a whole different way of living..for His thoughts are not our thoughts His ways are higher than our ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. ( Isaiah 55:8-9)
So one of the purposes and subject of the Bibles is to teach us how to live on a different plane- a higher plane. The level on which God planned for us to live. What does the universe mean-that is what is the purpose of the universe- why does it exist? I believe it is a testimony and an expression of Gods love. He created the world and people as an expression of His character, His omnipotence, His Sovereignty- but most of all- His love. He created all of this and us to be a means of showing His love for us- and He wants and desires more than anything for us to love Him back. In fact, we love Him because He first loved us. And here is Genesis He is showing us how He first loved us. It is the book of Firsts.
Second question- how did it begin? The mystery is settled for us who believe the Word of God. God created the heavens and the earth. How did Darwin explain the creation of life? Darwins theory of evolution is the most prevailing alternative explanation. A theory is defined as: plausible or acceptable scientific explanation; judgment, guess or opinion. His theory of evolution said everything evolved from a single cell existing in primordial ooze which, by a process of division and mutation ultimately resulted in many different groups and forms of life we find existing today.
Third question- When did all this happen? Answer: In the beginning. This is all the Bible says- it does not say it was 5000 years ago or 2 billion years ago. As we read further we see the Bible tells us the earth was without form and in darkness. Then God continued a creative process. But here is what Jesus says about time and this is our answer- in Acts 1: 7b- He said; It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority. (cant fix the time)
Fourth question: Who is behind all this? Bible has a one word answer: God. Mankind has always wanted to worship- it is inherent in his nature. And by observing nature and the heavens man knows, because God has revealed it to him there is a creator. But mankind today wants to still worship something but not the God of this Ancient Book, – so many worship science and mans intellect to use science to prove things. The more scientists discover- the more they realize how much they have not discovered. So they ignorantly worship science as the answer to mans questions. They are not unlike those great thinkers that Paul encountered on Mars Hill in Acts 17 where they had all these idols including one to the unknown god. Paul could have just as easily been addressing a group of unbelieving scientists who worship scientific knowledge and stated: Read Acts 17: 22-31.
You see because I believe- I know not only who created the heavens and the earth; when He did it and how- I know His Name. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. All things were created by Him and through Him. Without Him was not anything made that was made. All things were made by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Creator of All Things!
Verse 2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (KJV) Now the earth was formless and empty and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (NIV) From this verse and the verses that follow, we have a description of earth in the beginning, which guess what?, scientists agree with the Bible. The earth was at one time a planet, covered by water and in darkness. It is after this they disagree that there was a God moving. It tells us the earth was without form- shapeless- not yet a clearly intended purpose, but the Great Potter was just beginning His shaping work- it was void- empty of any life and in darkness. But we are told the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
We often forget this fact, dont we? The fact is: God is moving and has been moving all across human history from the beginning- He has been at work since the beginning, Jesus told us His Father is always at work; all events in the past, the present and the future occur as a direct result of God moving in the history of mankind. Gods ways with men are such it seems as though deliverance will never come- you plod along and come to a place where disappointments have brought you to discover it is what God has appointed. Mans disappoinments=Gods appointments.
Genesis is a book of beginnings of origins. Science knows nothing of origins. Science is concerned with how things work, how they go on- laws and principles that govern how the material universe operates- but it cannot explain how the whole process started. Science can come along and measure laws like gravity. But like a man who comes upon a swinging pendulum and accurately measures the swing of a pendulum- he cannot state who started the pendulum swinging in the first place.
When it comes to understanding how the universe was created, man and science cannot discover or obtain this information by reason- it is only understood by revelation. (I Cor. 2)
In verse 3: God said let there be light and there was light. God saw the light was good, and He separated light from darkness . God called the light day and the darkness night. And there was evening and there was morning the first day. So here in verse 3 another great mystery of the universe and creation- light. Night and day also means the earth begin to rotate and revolve around the sun. These verses, by the way, tell the story of my life and yours. In the beginning- God created us- gave us life. But I was born in darkness- ( spiritual) and was without form- void- empty- did not understand the purpose for my existence. As a result my life was in chaos. But the Spirit of God hovered over me and wanted me to come out of darkness into light. Paul explains this creative work in a believers life this way: God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness has shined in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.( 2 Cor. 4:6) And as a result of this creative work, my life began to rotate and revolve around the Son of God.
But you say- then why is not everyone walking in the light? Jesus answers the question in John 3: This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what has been done has been done through God. Remember- God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that thru Him the world might be saved.
We note here how Gods process works as we observe three stages. In the first chapter of Genesis, the statement and God said occurs ten times. These statements are Gods commandments His first set of commandments to nature and creation , have never been broken- unlike this second set of commandments ( the Ten Commandments) of which none have been kept.
Lets observe in the next few verses how God deals with: darkness, disorder and death- the absence of life.
In verses 3-5: God deals with darkness. He commanded there to be light and there was- He speaks and it is done. Light is one of the greatest mysteries in the universe. We know what it does- but not what it is. Einstein gave us his formula: E=mc2. ( Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared.) This formula ushered in the atomic age. Einstein came to a point in his career later and said I will study and contemplate nothing but light and its mystery for the rest of my life. Many claim Einstein was an atheist. This irritated him and he is quoted and wrote: in the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I , with my limited human mind, am unable to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views. (Quotes of Einstein, Princeton Press.) Light travels at 186, 272 miles per second, which means in the snap of your fingers it has circled the earth 7.5 times. Light is necessary for life. God spoke it into existence. His Words are not only law- He also speaks and they are executed. The Lord Jesus as God in flesh exhibited this same quality. He could speak to the wind or the seas and tell them to be still and they obeyed. Light dispels darkness and it was the light of the knowledge of God that dispelled the darkness in my heart and the heart of every believer.
In verses 6-9, God deals with disorder: He raised the clouds. In terms of mechanical engineering- this raising of the clouds is one of the astounding events of creation and reveals the power of Gods spoken Word. The amount of vapor contained in the clouds above us is estimated to be 54 trillion, 460 billion tons of water- which is 773 times heavier than air. Can you imagine the power needed to not only lift that but to keep it suspended above us. Annual rain fall on the world is approximately three feet. But the supply of water is kept suspended above us by evaporation- the constant lifting of water from the earth into the atmosphere by the power of the sun. Amazing! Yet the fool has said in his heart there is no God! When I think of the disorder in my life before the Lord I realize I was literally walking in a dense fog.
Next God raised the continents up from the seas, creating dry ground which He called Land. Let me repeat- when God speaks it is done. He also set the boundaries of the seas. Twice every day, since the third day of creation, the tides of the earth have obeyed the sovereignty of God. Certainly He lifted me out and set me on solid ground.
Then God goes on in verse 11 to let the land produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it according to its various kinds. And it was so. In verse 12- the land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit in it according to its own kind. And God saw that it was good and there was evening and morning and it was the third day. The earth which had been void and in darkness was now in light and alive with vegetation and plant life and trees. We also see a first commandment and basic commandment that God created all living things with the ability to reproduce after their own kind. God has decreed there be no change within a given kind. There may be mutation and change within any given kind- but no change from one kind to another kind. Herein lies the principles of genetics that states the fact that inherited life characteristics are implanted in the genes. A person may move to Florida and their skin become more tan and their hair bleached- but those are changes caused by the environment and they will not be passed on to children. It is not in the genes. Sometimes a gene will be latent and show up- but it was there . I am not left handed, neither is my wife- but our daughter Carrie is very left handed. But I had a recessive trait for left handed because my father was left handed.
These first thirteen verses in Genesis 1 are referred to as the forming days- the first three days of creation. In days 4-6, we will see the filling days.
Verses 14-19: Next God said Let there be lights, in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. And let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on earth. And it was so. And God made two great lights- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning- the fourth day. Question : how could Moses know the moon was smaller than the sun? Ordinary observation in the time of Moses led many to believe the moon was larger than the sun from physical appearance alone. But also note the use of the word – greater- rather than greatest. Moses had no idea the size of the stars in the sky. However today, we know today there are many stars larger by far than our sun. The star Antares for example is so large if it were a hollow ball it could contain 64 million suns the size of our sun. If the Bible had said the sun was the Greatest light- meaning the largest star in the universe- the later discoveries by scientists and astronomers would have proved the Bible did not know what is was talking about if it called the sun of our solar system the greatest light- the largest star.
Further more, when God described the creation of stars He uses only five word He made the stars also. Yet God uses some fifty chapters to discuss the construction of a temporary sanctuary- the Tabernacle. Why? Because the Tabernacle is a picture of redemption- and that is the purpose of the Word of God. You see to create stars, God had only to speak them into existence. But in order to save my soul, it required the life of His Only Begotten Son. Redemption required great suffering on Gods part. That is why to Him one soul is worth more than all the stars and in fact all of creation for what does it profit a man to gain the world if he loses his soul. God is infinitely more interested in souls than He is in stars and space and planets. God is a people person.
In verses 20-24, on the fifth day: God creates the fish and creatures of the seas and birds of the air. God blesses them and commands them to be fruitful and increase in number after their own kind and fill the seas and the airs and increase in numbers. God also said let the land produce living creatures according to their own kinds; livestock, creatures that move along the ground and wild animals.
How much we learn from Gods creative process Lets summarize the process so far:
- He brings light into darkness.
- He then in the light can bring order out of disorder.
- Next He can now bring new life, fruitfulness & fellowship as we walk in the light as He is in the light and experience the abundant life. With the Lord Jesus as our vine and the Father as our Constant Gardener.
But also what seems ( remember things are not what they seem) to be our disappointments brought us to Gods appointments. The Lord Jesus our High Priest understands our frustration, sorrow and confusion with these disappointments- for He Himself was a man of sorrows. In the Garden on the night of His arrest, we are told Jesus was sorrowful and troubled- overwhelmed to the point of death. Asking His Father was there another way to go
but wanting only to go the way of the Fathers will.
So we see- our disappointments lead to Gods appointments. For He is Able to work ALL THINGS together for good for those who love the Lord and have been called according to His purpose.
Now this will bring us to the sixth day- the creation of man which we will look at next week.
The Anatomy of Sin- Genesis 3.
Before we look at the anatomy of sin in chapter 3 of Genesis, lets take note of some information in chapter 2.
2:4- These are the generations this phrase will be used 14 times in Genesis as it describes the family history of early mankind. In Matthew, we see the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ. As believers our names are recorded in the Lambs Book of Life, which is our family history.
2:5-6- describe the unique way in which God watered the earth in the beginning. There was no rain and the earth was watered by a mist. It reminds one of an underground sprinkler system that comes on automatically to water a yard and flowers. This information leads us to believe there were fountains of water underneath the surface, later confirmed in the flood in Genesis 7 when we are told the fountains of the great deep were opened up. Some believe there was no rain until the flood.
In verse 7 Adams creation is given more detail that we previously covered. However, note what Adams body was formed from- the dust of the ground. Later after the fall- Adam is told in death, his body will return to dust. So as a farmer, a gardener, every day he worked in the soil Adam was reminded of the fate that awaited him- death and return to dust. A constant reminder of the wages of sin.
In verses 8-14, we are given some specifics regarding the garden in Eden. We read of two special trees among all the variety of trees the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We also read of the rivers that run thru the garden and Eden- including two of the oldest rivers in the world- Tigris and Euphrates. These rivers lead one to place the location of this once lush paradise in the Mid-East, probably in Iraq. Today the only reminder of this once dense vegetation, lush gardens, fruit bearing trees and animals is the large pools of oil buried underneath the surface. These large pools of oil were formed from the remains of this once lush paradise filled with vegetation and animal life.
In verse 15, Adam is given a specific task to be both gardener and guardian of the garden in Eden.
God also gives Adam, who is still alone, very specific instructions regarding his diet: he may eat of every tree in the garden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If he eats from that tree he will surely die. God made it clear to Adam what he wanted him to do and not do.
In verse 18- God said it is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a help meet. We were created for relationships. Adam needs someone to love and someone to love him- to share his life with and be a companion. Relationships are of great importance to God that is why the two greatest commandments are all about relationships- to love the Lord thy God and to love they neighbor as yourself.
In verses 19& 20: God brings all the animals He has created before Adam to be named. This was not only an intellectual exercise and a confirmation of Adams dominion over the earth- it was also to allow Adam to see there was a mate for every animal- but none suitable for Adam. It also creates a desire in Adam for an acceptable mate.
In this we see a principle of Gods actions: He never awakes a desire in us, that He will not fulfill in His own way in His own time.
What takes place next as we end chapter two of Genesis is the first surgery, the first use of anesthesia, the first transplant and the first marriage.
We see in this first marriage, exactly what God wants marriage, an institution He created to be: one man and one woman. The bride of Adam was taken from his side- showing she was co-equal; she was taken from near his heart for she was his beloved and from under his arm for he was to protect her.
The Lord Jesus, who is also known as the last Adam- had his bride taken from His side at Calvary. From His side torn open by a Roman spear, came blood and water we are told. It is that very blood whereby my sins are covered. When a person accepts by faith the promise of God that the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world- he/she is saved by grace thru faith. He died as an innocent substitute for my sins. He died to save me from the power and penalty of sin. He is our Protector, He is our Propiation. As the angel proclaimed His name is Jesus and He shall save his people from their sins. I came from under His arm the place of protection and from near His heart for I am loved deeply by Him.
Now we will look at the anatomy of sin- the fall of man and see how the enemy operates.
Here it is- the question that changed the course of world history.
Genesis 3: 1- Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Many will claim this account is a myth, an allegory at best, to explain sin and evil in the world. At the surface, it seems strange to us, if not impossible for a snake to speak. The word that is translated serpent comes from a Hebrew word- Nachash which means to whisper a magic spell. Remember the devil can appear as an angel of light. However as a believer, we know there is a spiritual world and a physical world- the seen and the unseen. Satan is of the spiritual world. He has no visible body, as a created spirit being, we are told Lucifer before the fall was created as the most beautiful, the most brilliant of all the angels and was full of wisdom. But in only what can be described as the mystery of iniquity, sin, in the form of pride entered into his heart and he attempted to overthrow God and declare himself god. He failed and was banished from his place and position in heaven. He took 1/3rd of the angels with him in this rebellion.
We are also told, that hell is a place prepared for the devil, satan, and his fallen angels. Furthermore, we know that these invisible spiritual creatures can posses an unsaved person. By the use of the word possess we mean control. Think about it- we believe the Holy Spirit can control us if we yield to Him- indwelling and sealing us- able to communicate to us. In fact we told we are not our own, we have been bought with a price- so we are possessed. In the account in Gospels of the Gadarene demoniac, we see the Lord Jesus approach a man who was possessed by many demons. They were cast out by the Lord and at their insistence, not wanting to be cast into the Abyss, they were cast into the swine by Jesus.
So to not believe Satan could enter into the body of a serpent is not to believe this eyewitness account recorded in the Gospels. He first appeared as a shining one in the garden of Eden- but we will see he left crawling on his belly like the snake that he is the ancient serpent. ( As a side note- certain animals after the fall have been used to describe certain behavior. A wolf is considered ravenous- a lion seeks to devour- a lamb represents innocence and a snake- evil.)
We also observe an important principle: our enemy is able to make evil and sin appear innocent. He is a master at deception. He can appear as an angel of light.
Before we further explore this question that changed the course of world history- let us think why he approached Eve rather than Adam with this question. As we read in Genesis 2- Adam was alone when God gave him the instructions forbidding him to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. To approach Adam with the suggestion that God did not say this- would have quickly met with a resound YES- God did say it because Adam heard it himself personally from God. Eve, as far as we know did not receive this commandment directly from God. In addition, the enemy would use Eve to recruit Adam.
Now lets look at this question- for in one sentence, this evil genius, this spiritual being with great wisdom has launched a three fold attack on the Word of God:
- Authorship- did God really say this- continues to be one of the enemys main attacks; is this Gods word or mans word. Is it true or is it myth and fable?
- Accuracy- if it is Gods word- but you did not personally hear it how can you be sure you have an accurate translation.
- Acceptability- Gods word and its demands for obedience often conflict with the desires of our flesh. You can be secure and sound in faith on the question of authorship and accuracy & yet be disobedient because some demand of Gods word is contrary to the desires of your flesh.
In this one question the whole temptation in the garden hinged on the matter of belief in Gods word. Who would Eve believe- God or the serpent?
Lets observe Eves reply:
Genesis 3: 2-3- And the woman said to the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden: but of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, let you die.
Eve did two things here that caused the enemy to have the boldness to call God a liar. She handled the word of God carelessly- adding to it. She also did not call the tree by the name God had given it- she referred to it as the tree in the midst of the garden not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Mankind still does not like to call sin- sin or evil. It is a bad habit, it is a white lie, it is an alternative life style. Mankind has also since the fall wanted to decide for himself what is good and evil- not let God dictate what is good and evil. Call homosexuality or fornication sin- and the unbelieving world will shout that is your opinion- no, it is not my opinion- it is what the Word of God says it is.
Satan, who is described as our adversary, who goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour is about to pounce on the woman.
Genesis 3: 4-5: In these following verses we will see the pattern for all temptations- we will see the first marketing and advertising campaign for sin. We will also see the enemys use of deception to create doubt.
And the serpent said unto the woman you shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day you eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing good from evil.
Verse 6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise she took the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her; and he also did eat.
The woman, who will later be named Eve, was no match for a brilliant, full of wisdom, deceiver like Satan on her own. She did however possess two things that would have been sufficient to resist this temptation. She had the Word of God and a conscience. We know Adam and Eve had a conscience because after the fall, after disobeying God they felt shame, guilt and fear- all actions of the conscience which is located in the mind. The conscience is Gods alarm clock to warn us of right and wrong. As believers we know we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and greater is He who is in us and the he who is in the world.
Paul writes about the conscience and its role in Romans 2:14&15- where he describes the actions of the Gentiles- when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required in the law, they are a law unto themselves, since they show the requirements of the law are written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness and their thoughts now accusing and now even defending them.
A conscience that can be depended on must be transformed by the renewing of your mind with the Word of God. The world will also attempt to conform your mind and thus your conscience. Eve could have listened to her conscience which had the Word of God and simply said to the serpent- Thus saith the Lord and ended it. Gods commandments to NOT do something are not to prohibit us from enjoyment but to protect us from fulfilling a God-given desire in the wrong way. Eve by listening to the enemy was beginning to have doubts about Gods motives.
Satan cannot force anyone to do anything- he must deceive them into believing that Gods word is not Gods word, is not accurate or acceptable. Once he creates doubt then he can proceed with the deception.
Satan must not only use this three prong attack on Gods word (authorship, accuracy & acceptability) he also launches a three prong attack using the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. All of these are evident here in this first temptation and first sin.
The battle is for the mind. The heart or soul of man is divided into three compartments: mind, will and emotion. The mind is the thinker, the will is the chooser and the emotion is the feeler. Satan appeals to the emotion thru the three prong attack of lust of eyes, lust of flesh and pride of life. If he can get the feeler to overrule the thinker, the decider will choose to sin. Satan has to get our want-to to overrule our should not. That is why our faith must be in the facts, the truth of Gods word and not in our emotions. We are to walk by faith not by sight.
Watch this battle unfold as we see all the classic moves of the first ever sales, marketing and advertising campaign.
First of all- advertising can be used for education about a product or service- but the essence of advertising is to make you discontent with what you have and desire that which is being advertised.
Once the enemy had the woman thinking of God in a different way- that is not a loving God- a giver of good gifts but a demanding dictator who was withholding something good he could proceed with the desire. In fact James describes this process perfectly- but every man/woman is tempted when he/she is drawn away of his own lust(desire) and enticed. Then when lust/desire has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin when it is finished brings forth death. It begins with doubt- followed by desire- which is entertained and thus conceived and then born in to full blown- acted upon sin.
Marketings role is to minimize the risk in order to maximize the interest. Notice this is what the enemy does immediately. He takes away the risk- you will surely not die. There will be no consequences.. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
This is the deception of sin- there are no consequences. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man seweth that shall he also reap.
Next after minimizing the risk- he moves to maximize the interest by offering features, advantages and benefits that sound too good to be true. It is the emotional appeal that overrules the rational logic. You will be wise- you will be like gods.
Cleverly, the enemy has turned a desire into a decision.
Promises that will never be delivered. False advertising.
In verse 7, part of what the devil said comes true, for as a master of deception and the father of all lies- the devil cleverly mixes truth with lies. Their eyes are opened but not to what they expected.
And the eyes of them both were opened and they KNEW they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.
Look back at Genesis 2:25- and they both were naked , the man and the woman, and they were not ashamed.
Shame comes from a guilty conscience convicting us what we have done is wrong. Prior to disobeying God, prior to sin- Adam and Eve possessed a completely innocent conscience. Like a baby or a 2 year-old- who is not ashamed to be naked in front of a room full of people- completely innocent with no knowledge of sin.
The sewing of the fig leaves represent the first attempt of man to cover up his sin, to provide himself with a covering to cloak his guilt and shame. These aprons of fig leaves represent every effort made by man to do something to make himself fit for the presence of God. Fig leaves might be good enough to fool one another- but you cannot fool God. White robes might fool other people- but not the Lord.
In verse 8- we will see the response of Adam and the woman after the fall to Gods presence. They heard his voice, heard Him walking in the garden in the cool of the day, the time they always shared together. Their response, their reaction to what had used to be the highlight of their day? They hid themselves.
In verse 9- we see Gods question- a question He still is asking individuals today- where art thou? Where are you? God does not ask a question because He needs information. He asks this question to get one to look at the situation they find themselves in and think about how they got there how they feel how this decision to not obey Gods commandments is working out???
God ever ask you that question? He has me
Next week we will see the consequences of sin. But lets close today by thinking about what we have learned about the enemy and his modus operandi- for his m.o. has not changed. How do we deal with sin and temptation:
- Avoid judging what God says.
- Do not question Gods goodness. (John 10:10)
- Do not doubt or ignore Gods word.
- Do not forget the consequences of sin.
- Do not throw away your confidence in the Lord.
- Remember your defense system. (Ephesians 6)
- Renew your mind- take captive wrong thoughts.Battle for the mind. (2 Cor 10)
- Watch and pray.
- Remember your enemy can disguise himself.
- Dont argue with the enemy. ( Jesus example in Matthew 4)
- Remember good and evil travel on a parallel path.
One thing is needed.. this is what Jesus told Martha in Luke 10. Martha was busy with many things in the kitchen and complained she was doing all the work while her sister Mary sat at the Lords feet listening to what Jesus said.
Martha, Martha- you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.
Personal devotion time is a choice.
It is a time when we sit at the feet of the Lord and listen to Him.
Personal devotion time is a source of spiritual growth and you cannot grow spiritually without a personal devotion time.
This one thing is needed.
You will never have consistent victory over sin and temptation if you do not spend time in personal devotion.
The Consequences of Sin- Genesis 3
In the early part of chapter 3 we saw how the enemy, Satan, operates in order to deceive man and draw him/her into sin. The enemy has not varied his pattern- for it works so well. Now let us see how the Lord deals with sin and observe how He operates and leads to repentance.
Verse 8 &9 reveal Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden. Hiding is an instinctive reaction to guilt. It reveals the fact of guilt. It also brings with it fear. Notice it is the Lord who comes to man- He is seeking Adam and Eve. He is a seeking God. The Lord Jesus, God the Son who became flesh, revealed God to us how God operates. He told Phillip, if he had seen him he had seen the Father. May I remind you Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
In John 4- Jesus told the woman at the well that God was a seeking God who sought those who worship in Him in spirit and truth. Again in John 6- the Lord Jesus tells us no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him;. And the Apostle Peter adds- God is not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance. Repentance is a key.
Christianity is most unique among all religions- in that all other religions begin with man seeking God. Only the Bible starts with God seeking after man.
The first question in Genesis that God asks is where are you?. The first question in Matthew 2:2 : Where is the One who has been born the King of the Jews? Jesus first question to His first two disciples ( John and Andrew) : What are you seeking? The wise men had been drawn by the star and the prophecy- John and Andrew drawn by their search for the Messiah and directed by John the Baptist.
Suppose a friend who is coming to visit you who has not been there before calls and says he is lost and cannot find your home- what will be your first question: Where are you now? This person can you give you some answers that indicate where he is and you can then direct him to get to where he needs to be. The key is the person recognizes they are not where they need to be.
Gods first question is designed to make Adam think. Adam replies in verse 10: he heard the Lord walking in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid.
The Lord responds with two questions: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat?
Lets link this series of questions together to get the full significance of this all important conversation and see how it is God deals with sin.
First God asks Adam- where he is. There is only one correct answer- I am not where I should be- I am lost.
Who told you that you were naked? From what source, God is asking, did you get this information. The answer is no one. The devil did not tell him- Eve did not- the correct answer that God wanted Adam to find was it came from within. Sin caused a change in Adam and instinctively he knows something he did not know before. An evil knowledge from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has now become part of Adams knowledge. This is what God wants Adam to see- the consequences of his disobedience the consequences of his sin.
Genesis 3: 11-13: Gods third question is as direct as it can be- Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? Adams reply- the woman You gave me- you put here with me- she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it. Then the Lord God said to the woman what is this you have done? The woman said the serpent deceived me and I ate.
Both Adam and Eve blame someone else- in fact Adam indirectly blames God for it was God who put the woman with him. But finally- a confession comes forth from both- I ate. I did that which you told me not to do. I John tells us : If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These verses indicate the Lord God is faithful and just. It tells us of Gods response toward all who confess their sins will be in accordance with His nature and gracious commitment to us. He will forgive us and restore the communion with Him that had been interrupted by sin. Or in the case of a lost person- confessing he is a sinner and needs cleansing and forgiveness and ask the Lord to save him, He will do so immediately.
This same principle is taught to us by the Lord Jesus in what we call the Lords Prayer. forgive us our sins-debts as we forgive our debtors.
This confession is what God was seeking to lead Adam and Eve to with His questions. Remember God in His foreknowledge knew this would happen. We are told the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the earth. In other words the plan of salvation was already in place since an All Knowing Triune God knew man created with free will could not obtain salvation through perfection and works even placed in the most perfect environment.Salvation would require the work of Calvary and the death of His Son. It was the perfect plan that would yield the most good for the most people.
God wanted Adam and Eve and all of us to see the following:
- We are not where we should be. We are lost.
- It is because of something we did- we disobeyed sinned – rebelled.
- We need to agree with God ( confess means) that we have sinned against Him.
Confessing we are lost, confessing we have sinned, disobeyed God is as far as man can ever go in correcting evil. He can never do more than that. But as we see in this account of the first sin and consequences of sin- it provides the grounds for God to act.
This is where God constantly seeks to bring us- to a place where we confess and acknowledge we are wrong. It is with this confession God can begin to work.
This is how God operates in dealing with sin. He finds us in our failures, our estrangement, our guilt, our sense of nakedness and loss, and immediately moves to bring us to repentance. God is not willing that any should perish, but all would come to repentance.(2Peter 3) Does God sound angry and vengeful here in this dialogue?
Do not misunderstand Gods moving. He is not dragging you in front of some tribunal to punish you- He is simply trying to get us to face facts. When we confess our sins, the One who is described as faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Now God will next deal with the serpent, the woman and the man- as we see the consequences for those involved. However, I want to link verse 21 with Gods actions after Adam and Eves confession. Then we will come back and look at verses 14-19.
Verse 21 ;: Unto Adam and also to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.
Here is the beginning of animal sacrifices- the shedding of innocent blood in order to make a covering for their sins. This is but a picture, as all animal sacrifices are but pictures- a kindergarten of grace in order to teach us the great truth that God keeps attempting to communicate to us as men and women. That if we confess our sins- he has made a way to cover our sins. All sacrifices and rite and ceremonies God gave the people of Israel throughout the law in the OT were to point them toward the ultimate sacrifice- the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In fact it is God who ultimately bears the pain, hurt and agony for our sins. John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Paul tells us in Ephesians we are accepted in the beloved. Ray Stedman, pastor, teacher and author who has gone on to be with the Lord gives this insightful story to illustrate this truth.
Ray grew up in Montana in a sheep farming area. Spring is traditional lambing season. Spring in Montana can bring violent snow storms and freezing weather, a threat to the newborn lambs and the ewes. When the storms strike during lambing seasons- the sheep farmers would lose newborns as well as ewes. So they ended up with ewes whose lambs had died and lambs whose mother had died. Attempts to but an orphan lamb with a ewe who lost her newborn were rejected by the ewes- who took one smell and butted the newborns away. To solve the problems- the sheep farmers took the mothers own dead lamb and skinned it- and tied the skin of the mothers dead lamb to the other little lamb, the orphan lamb. Sheep who are notoriously nearsighted depend on their sense of smell- when the ewe smelled her newborn she allowed the orphan to nurse as if it were her own. The orphan had been accepted in the beloved ones place.
There came a time when the Lamb of God lay dead on our behalf and God took us in as orphans, adopted us. He clothed us in the Lamb of Gods righteousness and drew us to Himself where He could supply all our needs as we were accepted in the Beloved.
This is where repentance bring us- to acceptance in the beloved one. But confession and repentance are not only the beginning of the Christian life. It is the way we start and the way we continue. We come to a God who has been seeking you like the hound of heaven to get you to see what is wrong. When you confess and repent we see His response. Immediately God tells us- I have taken care of your sins. My Lamb has died for you and your sins are covered and you are accepted in the Beloved. This is not only how we began our Christian life and journey it is how we live it. Confession and repentance are the basis upon which the Christian life is built. We must continue to repent of those areas where we fail or fall back into a way of living which God has told us is not right. Dont let sin abide- it will only get worse- take you further, keep you longer and cost you more. Confess and repent immediately.
What God is going to show Adam and Eve and thus show us- He is on our side. He is against the enemy. He will do His part if we allow Him to do it in our lives. If God be for us- who can be against us?
So as God led Adam and Eve through an examination of their situation to confess their disobedience. This is what God does with each of us.
What followed next was Adam and Eve saw immediately that God was their defender. ( If one does sin, we have an advocate, a defender with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.I John 2) IMPORTANT: As long as we try to defend ourselves, His defense is of no avail to us, but when we are ready to stop defending ourselves, we have a perfect defender. He is the friend of sinners.
Gods first words are to the Tempter and they are words of scorching judgment.
Genesis 3:14-15: Because thou has done this, thou are cursed above all cattle above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shall thou eat all the days of your life.And I will put enmity between you and the woman- between your seed and her seed; her seed shall bruise thy head and you shall bruise his heel.
In these two verses are the clearest promise, appearing in the Bible of the coming Redeemer. This is the first prophecy and the first presentation of the Gospel, the Good News.
If Adam and Eve were standing there with their heads bowed in shame and guilt when they heard this I believe they may very well have looked up and listened with fresh hope to this very first promise and very first prophecy. Certainly they rejoiced this deceiving serpent would be dealt with accordingly. But this prophecy deals with both comings of the Lord as well as His virgin birth.
First we see for the first time there will from this time on be two classes of people on earth- the seed of the devil and the seed of the woman- which is Christ and believers of Christ are in Christ. Either God is your Father or your Father is the devil- you are of his seed if you have not been born again. These two groups will always be at war, in fact within our own being the flesh will always be at war with the Spirit. The reference to the seed of the woman is a remarkable prophecy of the virgin birth of the Lord. The prophecy deals with both comings of the Lord Jesus in the first coming the serpent will bruise the heel at calvary; in the second coming, the Lord Jesus will crush the serpents head.
Now God deals with Adam and Eve. Remember whom the Lord loves He chastens. Just as our earthly fathers disciplined us out of love for our own good, so does our Heavenly Father. In dealing with Adam and Eve we will see the entrance of pain, subjection, toil and death. But if we give close examination we will see that it is for their own good.
I am reminded of Paul writing a letter to the church in Phillipi from prison. He had been imprisoned by Nero- one of the most evil wicked emperors of Rome. Do you know how God used Nero? Nero hand picked the finest of his guards to watch over Paul. They spent six hours per shift chained to this man of God. Do you remember what he wrote? These things that have happened to me have really served to advance the gospel. How well did he succeed? He closes that letter with this message- all the saints greet you, especially those of Caesars household. In another 2 centuries- Christianity would be the recognized religion of the Roman Empire. Nero didnt know it but God used this wicked man to start a GROW program inside his empire and household.
God speaks to the woman in verse 16: To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain(sorrow) thou shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be for your husband who will rule over you.
There would be and is pain in childbearing- and sorrow in raising children. When their children hurt-mothers hurt, especially mothers. What they feel she feels- what they experience she experiences more than the father and the reason is because God decreed it to be that way. It is not punishment- it is the result of sin and sinful rebellious natures children are born with. A mother becomes so involved in the life of her children- if they fail; she fails- she is brokenhearted. It is what makes this both a fulfilling role and a painful role. Only a mother can fully understand this. This desire for her children to do well serves to remind her how much the Lord desires we do well. The Lord Jesus even said- like a mother hen would gather her chicks he had desired to gather the Jewish leader who opposed Him but they would not. Rebellious children break the hearts of a mother just as rebellious children break the heart of our Lord.
Subject to her husband..he shall rule over you. KJV says your desire will be for your husband.
This along with the scripture in Ephesians which says women are submit yourselves to your own husbands in everything as unto the Lord- has become controversial in recent years of Womens Liberation.
But we must remember God made woman from man to be his help mate- you cannot have two presidents of the USA- nor more than you can have two people try to drive the same car. One must be head. The Lord chose man- but knew man needed a help mate. The two then become as one. And the key is mutual submission- for the man is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church. It is not a license to become a tyrant or dictator- but to take care of your wife. The way God intended this relationship to be- one of mutual submission. The husband wanting the best for his wife and acting in accordance with that and the wife wanting the same for the husband- and both wanting it for their children.
But I think you can see how womens liberationand I believe women should be paid equal pay for equal work. But certainly when we look at the divorce rate- the terrible breakdown in marriages and thus in families we realize we have strayed away from Gods plan for marriage and the traditional roles of husband and wife- man and woman.
Next God speaks to Adam.
And to Adam, God said- Because you have listened to the voice of your wife have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat, cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall thou eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shall eat of the plants of the field; in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground for out if you were taken and dust thou art and to dust thou returneth.
Do you see the sin of Adam here in this passage? He listened to the voice of his wife. That in itself is not bad- in fact you need to listen to your wife. But Adam listened to the voice of his wife when it was different than the voice of God, instead of the voice of God. Do not listen or heed any voice that contradicts the voice of God.
Then Adam is told- dust thou art to dust returneth. You come into the world with nothing- you leave the world with nothing.
On your headstone- will be the date of your birth a dash- and the date of your death. That dash represents your life- the human race.
Were these things that occurred to Adam and Eve punishment? No- they are the disciplines of grace- the work of an all wise- all loving Heavenly Father who chastens those He loves. He said it is for your sake I have done this. These things are given to bring all of us into subjection to humble us, to break our dependence on our own abilities, skills, and education- until you depend completely on the God who made you and who is able to supply all that you need.
Paul experienced a thorn in the flesh which he asked God to remove three times. He obviously felt like this thorn- this infirmity affected his performance negatively. God reminded Paul the thorn was given to keep him humble and dependent upon the Lord. He told Paul His grace was sufficient. Then God said something that opened Pauls eyes- God told Paul and us this great truth and principle my strength( Gods strength) is made perfect in weakness. When Paul grasped this truth- it opened the way for the most powerful ministry of the Church age. Paul realized when I am weak then I am strong. That is why he said, most gladly will I rather glory in my weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The power of powerlessness!
Next week we will see the final exit from Eden and the first family and unfortunately the first murder.
Genesis 4. The First Family- the first murder
At the end of Genesis 3- we see God evict Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Lets look carefully at Gods reason for doing this: The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. So God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Guard the way to the tree of life. Cut off now from the way to the tree of life which provided eternal life. Eternal life in a state of sin would mean forever living in the cycle of sin- hiding- guilt- shame and fear. What a miserable existence. But God did not leave man without access to the Tree of life- but man could not come into the presence of Holy God the same way he had before he sinned.. That is why Christ came to open up a new way into the presence of a Holy God. Jesus would become the Way.
God did not drive Adam and Eve away to keep them from coming to the Tree of Life. He did it to guard the way to the Tree of Life, so that men would come the right way to the tree of life. The right way- the only way being His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. ( Revelation 2 & 22- reference to Tree of Life)
When we come the right Way- we are born again. We receive a new spirit and a new nature housed in our old bodies. We have been freed from the old nature and the word of God tells us- we were crucified with Christ in order that the sinful body might be put to death. There is no other remedy for sin but death.This is what God is clearly teaching us from the 3rd chapter of Genesis all the way thru the Bible. We are to reckon or count this to be true. Sin no longer has power over us- we are no longer its slaves- we have a new owner and now are slaves to righteousness. All our sins are forgiven- but we will still battle sin and temptation while living in our earthly bodies.
Then at our physical death our spirit which was sealed goes to be with the Lord- absent from the body present with the Lord. Our bodies to the grave. Upon resurrection- we receive a new body to house our spirit and those who are alive at the coming of the Lord will be raptured and receive new bodies that are changed in a twinkling of the eye. Paul tells us – I am fully persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day. Now in resurrected, glorified bodies we can live in the presence of Holy God for we are perfect as Adam and Eve before sin. Now we can eat from the Tree of Life by the Rivers of Living water for we have come the way God has prescribed for us to come after the fall. In fact it is the only way.
In the meanwhile, Paul has told us how we are to live. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Now Adam and Eve begin life outside the Garden of Eden. In Chapter 4 we see the birth of Cain and Abel.
4:1- Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. ( this was an expression of her faith in the promise of God to send a seed that would crush the head of the serpent.)
Verse 2 tells us she again bare his brother Abel. ( some conjecture- Abel and Cain may have been twins- with Cain the first born.) Next we read of their occupations: Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. A farmer and a shepherd.
4:3- In the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
4:4- And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering.
We are not given details of these two boys growing up- however we can deduct from these two verses they were taught by their father, Adam, about God. They knew there was a God. They knew sin was an offense to Him. They knew God must be approached with an offering. They had been told of the animal God had killed in order to make skins to cover their parents sin.
We are then told in the course of time Cain brought some fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord but Abel brought fat portions from the firstborn of his flock.
Hebrews 11 tells us by faith Abel made a more excellent sacrifice. He is in fact, the first person mentioned in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.
Principles and truths in the Bible do not change- faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
It is obvious Cain and Able were not left to their own ideas on how to approach God and what kind of sacrifice was needed. They had both been taught and heard that the shedding of blood was necessary for atonement. The killing of an innocent lamb was repulsive- it was awful- but that is exactly what God wanted mankind to see- the awfulness of sin.
The important lesson God wants to teach Cain and us is this lesson: without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. He is teaching us sin cannot be taken lightly. In fact, God is showing us sin is only solved by death.
Abel believed and obeyed. He came the way God had instructed them to come.
Cain, on the other hand, came his own way. He came a way that seemed right to him. He probably even thought his way was better- he had worked harder to grow the fruit and harvest it and bring it in a beautiful arrangement to God.
In Genesis 4: 4b-5- we are told. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor.
Cains reaction was instantaneous- he could not hide the feelings of anger at God and hatred and jealousy of Abel. In fact, Cain was upset that his hard work had not been accepted, admired and approved by God. Here is a clear indication of a rebellious spirit- one that believes God is not fair and does not conform to his/her own thinking of how God should act.
In verse 6, the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? The Lord uses the word why because He wants Cain to look at his actions- to be introspective as to why he is so upset? What are his motives?
In verse 7, the Lord tells Cain what he must do to remedy the problem-
but if you do what is right, will you not be accepted? ( Cain has been told what is right- Cain and Abel were taught what God expected and demanded as an appropriate offering. All Cain has to do is do what is right- do what God has commanded. But, the Lord says, if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door it desires to have you but you must master it.
The choice was clear- you can do it the way I have commanded- said the Lord and it will be accepted or you cannot do it and you will be mastered by sin.
What we are about to see is another first in the book of Genesis, the book of firsts. The first false religion.
You are also witnessing the first reaction of those who follow false religions. Like Cain the founder of the worlds first false religion- they are infuriated when they are told there is only one way and their way is wrong. False religion is always based on human works and efforts. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that good works merit salvation. These false religions were from the very start based on human reasoning, not divine revelation. Its basis of philosophy regarding- salvation was salvation could be earned and merited by hard work, effort and toil.
True salvation rests on three focal points: the Word of God, the Work of Christ and the Witness of the Spirit. Cains religion and all false religions substitute for all three.
It is not the Word of God but the intelligent reasoning of man.
It is not the Work of Christ at Calvary- it is ones own good works, religious rituals, and social works. In other words human sacrifice and effort. (Ted Turner)
It is not the witness of the Spirit. God approved Abels sacrifice but did not approve Cains. But Cain was self satisfied with his offering- believing it to be more worthy than Abels. He did not seek Gods approval- he was satisfied with his own works.
In other words, the God of the Bible, was not conforming to Cains philosophy and way of thinking. He was angry with God- thought Him unfair and he was furious with jealousy at Abel- who Cain considered an inferior individual compared to him in every way. And as far as Cain was concerned- anyone could see his offering was vastly superior in every way compared to Abels offering. Except for one thing- it was not what God commanded. It did not involve blood and death. You cannot get blood out of a turnip!
There is a way that seems right to man- that leads to death. The man who is indifferent to Gods way lives life by his own philosophy- characterized by stubborn self-will, fierce pride and dependence on his own talents, intelligence and ability.
The man or woman who will not be satisfied with God will continue on a restless search for the satisfaction in the things of the world. But we are warned not to love the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.( I John 2: 15-17)
When the love of the Father is not in a person- that person will invariably attempt to fill the void with the things of the world.
The first murder is about to occur. As we can see- it first began as a thought process. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. Jesus linked murder to anger with ones brother in His sermon on the mount. Abels murder is premeditated. It would be considered first degree murder. It also involved deceit as Cain approached his brother with a seemingly innocent invitation lets go out to the field.
If we will be honest- we probably think Adams sin of eating the forbidden fruit seemed but a little sin. Not really that bad. But look what it opened the door to.
We also see- the seed of the serpent against the seed of the woman. Lets review this first murder- the taking of another life. It is especially horrible for the following reasons:
- Abel was Cains brother. ( Even today police know the first suspects in murder are relatives or those close to the victim.)
- Abel was Cains younger brother whom he ought to have protected.
- Abel was a good man- a saint. As we read this account- he did nothing to provoke his brother except obey God.
- God Himself had told Cain what would come of his anger and disappointment if he did not deal with it.
- He covered the murder with an act of friendship.
- He committed this murder because his works were not accepted by God and Abels offering was.
- Cain directly struck at God Himself for Cain hated Abel because God loved Abel.
In verse 9-12- we see the first trial and condemnation.
Here is the arraignment: God questions the accused, Cain. Where is Abel your brother? God asks Cain that He might draw from Cain a confession of his crime. If we are to be justified by God, we must confess we are guilty.
Cain, in effect, pleads not guilty. He covers with a lie. I dont know where he is. Am I my brothers keeper? You think Cain is not the seed of the devil- he is a liar and murderer.
Notice in this first trial we have the first forensic evidence- blood evidence. What have you done? Your brothers blood cries from the ground. Interesting to note that the blood of Abel is mentioned in Hebrews 12: 24. ..to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. The blood of Abel cried out for justice and retribution- but the blood of Jesus shed on the cross speaks of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Now comes the sentencing phase for Cain.
Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground which opened its mouth to receive your brothers blood from your hand. When you work the ground it will not longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on earth.
Paul writes in Galatians 3: 10 Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the law. ( That includes all of us- b/c none of us are able to keep the law.) But Paul adds in verse 13- Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming the curse for us at Calvary.
The punishment was designed to fit the crime and the criminal. What did Cain take great pride in? His ability as a farmer, a tiller of the soil to grow crops. Now what he took pride and enjoyment in has become a curse to him. Also as a prideful man he will now be a condemned criminal marked in some way by God that everyone will know who he is and what he has done. His sin will ever be on his mind. His guilty conscience a constant reminder of what he has done and what it has cost him.
Yet in His punishment God shows that He is long-suffering not willing that any should perish but all would come to repentance.
What is Cains reaction? My punishment is greater than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land and I will be hidden from your presence. I will be a restless wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me.
Now remember- Cain is the founder of the first false religion. Look at his response and you will see the response of Cains false religion that is common to all man-made false religions.
There is no repentance- no confession of wrong doing.
There is no remorse- only resentment.
Cain thought God was unfair when God accepted Abels offering and rejected his and he thinks God is unfair in his punishment.
In fact we are seeing another firstthe First Pity Party.
God assures Cain that He will protect him from harm and gives Cain some type of distinguishing mark.
KJV tells us in Genesis 4:16 17- And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived and bare Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after his son, Enoch.
Cain went out from the presence of the Lord. He would be restless for the remainder of his life- because there is no rest outside of a right relationship with the Lord. I John 2 tells us: But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in darkness. He does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
The fact that Cain feared retribution by others lets us know there was by this time considerable population in that part of the world. The origin of Cains wife has perplexed many people. Where did he get his wife? In the land of Nod, east of Eden. In Genesis 5: – we are told Adam lived to be 930 years old and he begat sons and daughters. So Cain married what had to be a sister or relative of some type.
So we see the first murder, first trial and subsequent punishment.
We also see the first city built by a convicted murderer.
I believe Cain built this city to create an artificial paradise filled with good things that he might find satisfaction and peace in those things. He never would.
Today we live in cities with all the things we can imagine and then some.
We have larger houses but smaller families.
We have more devices to create convenience- but have less time.
We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values.
We have taller buildings- but shorter tempers.
We have more knowledge that is doubling at a rate of every 900 days- ever learning but sadly for many never coming to the truth.
As Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun.
Genesis 5- Adams Descendants.
As we read in Genesis 4- the godless line of Cain begins with Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad and we are told of their offspring without any detail until we come to Lamech.
Lamech, we are told, is the first polygamist taking two wives. So we see sexual excess- sexual promiscuity being legitimized . He is also a boastful, violent man.
His sons continued in a way that seemed right to them Jabal developed the business of producing livestock- he developed a way of systematically producing goods. His brother Jubal was in the music industry providing entertainment. As a man grew indifferent to God and His Ways they searched for ways to entertain themselves- find pleasure in entertainment in order to fill the void only God could really fill. Another brother, Tubal-Cain was the inventor of metals introducing the first metals and the means to produce them. This would also mean the production of the first weapons.
If they had had a newspaper or a television station- it would have been reported and editorials written that man thru his own intelligence and will power was developing a civilization that had everything. It was good economic times- they had music, culture, sexual freedom, art and commerce. They also had weapons for protection. They had no need of God and His rules. Lets kick God out of our society-lets get rid of Him and His restrictive laws and lists of dos and donts. We can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong.
Then Lamech kills a man who wounds him. Evidently he believed in self-defense. Those who follow the false religion of Cain always can justify their own behavior and find reason to excuse rather than accuse their behavior.
He boasted if Cain could kill his brother, Abel in cold blood and is avenged seven times- then I will be avenged seventy times seven.
Now note how this chapter closes- Adam and Eve have another son- Seth. Eve says God has granted (appointed) me another child(seed) in the place of Abel. Seth also had a son named Enosh.
At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord. As God clearly told Adam and Eve-there would be two classes of people in the world after the fall. The seed of the devil and the seed of the woman- as we noted this was unbelievers and believers- the lost and the saved. Notice the difference: there are those who are indifferent to sin and evil and those who call on the name of the Lord. Seth would take Abels place as a leader of a line of Gods faithful people.
Now we come to a section in chapter 5 – that if we are not careful we will skip over. What appears to be a generational list of Adams descendants traced thru Seth down to Noah and his three sons. But if God had Moses carefully record this- there is something here He wants us to learn.
First lets take note of God reminding us He created Adam in the likeness of God. However- when Adams son, Seth, was born- we read he had a son in his own likeness; in his own image. Remember God had said each species would reproduce after its own kind. Adams son was born in the likeness and image of Adam- not God. All of mankind would come from Adam- from one man he made every nation of men. ( Act 17) That also means we would all be born with a sinful nature.
Since we were all born the first time in sin- with inherited sinful natures. No wonder Jesus told Nicodemus- you must be born again.
Many people are fascinated with the longevity of these men- and others look at this with disbelief and think how can we believe such things. I choose to believe it even though I cannot explain it. But then I cannot understand how an I-Phone works. And if someone had described this phone to me years ago-I would have thought no way. Impossible- a product of imagination and fiction.
Interesting side note due to longevity, Adam and Methuselah were contemporaries. Adam was still alive when Methuselah was born and in fact did not die for another 243 years. It most likely that Methuselah knew Adam- his great-great-great etc. granddaddy. And here is what is interesting- Methuselah was Noahs grandfather. So on the other side of the flood- there was a connection all the way back to Adam via Noah thru his grandfather Methuselah.
I want us to take note- where God gives us additional information about these individuals or their name is especially significant. Each name has a meaning as we will see but God pauses to share important details regarding Enoch. The name Enoch comes a root word meaning teaching. Enochs life has something God wants to teach us.
Lets look at Enoch. When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
Notice the information God has given us about Enoch.
He became the father of Methuselah at age 65. It was a turning point in his life. His walk with God began after the birth of his son. Fatherhood often changes a man. He is faced with responsibility. He begins to think of others besides himself. But something else happened and to understand what occurred we must understand the meaning of the name of Methuselah. In the Bible names had significance, as we will see.
Methuselah- the name actually means when he dies, it shall come,; or his death shall bring. The giving of this name to his son by Enoch brings us another first in the book of Genesis. Enoch was the first prophet. God had spoken to Enoch- had touched his life and Enochs life was clearly marked with a before and after. Before the birth of his son- Enoch did not walk with God- afterwards he did. Listen to this commentary on Enochs life found in Hebrews 11. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ( Did you realize this famous verse- Hebrews 11:6 flowed out of the life Enoch lived?)
To walk with God means to live by faith and walk by faith. To walk with God, means to walk in the same direction as God. In order to be headed in the same direction as God, one must know where God is headed. If we have learned anything about God in these first few chapters of Genesis- it is this- God hates sin. He does not want it to rule and reign in the life of man- as per Gods comments to Cain that sin would master him if Cain did not do what was right. God demands obedience- in fact more than sacrifice.
To walk with God means to keep in step with Him. Except two be in agreement, how can they walk together. ( Amos 3:3)
We are told to walk in the light as He is in the light.
We are told to walk by faith and not by sight.
Enoch walked with God, which means he walked with God by faith. And as Hebrews tells us without faith it is impossible to please God. Is your walk pleasing to God?
This chapter of the generations of Adam ends with the birth of Noah and the subsequent birth of his three sons when Noah was 500 years old.
Before we move on the chapter six- lets take a look at the names that God had Moses record.
We understand in the Bible, names have significant meaning. Theologians studying the origins and roots of names have given us the following meanings for these names:
Mahalalel- The Blessed God.
Jared- Came Down.
Methuselah His Death Shall Bring
Now put it all together: God has appointed mortal man shall sorrow, but the Blessed God came down teaching that his death shall bring strength and comfort.
As we turn to the story of Noah and the flood- we see a world that has become so godless there are only 8 souls who will survive the flood.
We walk and live in an ever increasing godless generation. To walk by faith, means we must learn to trust God- take Him at His word- Trust and Obey.
For as we are ever aware of whether the Lord is coming soon or we are going to be with Him by passing through the door of death- time is of the essence.
Only one life will soon be past. Only whats done for Christ will last.
Now let us look at one of the most interesting stories in the Bible- the story of Noah, the ark and the flood.
Genesis 6- The Flood:
Importance of this story today. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also be the coming of the Son of man. Jesus in Matthew 24- telling us signs we can observe that indicate the 2nd coming is near.
1: When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,(2) the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and they married any of them they chose.
Then the Lord said, My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal his days will be 120 years. The Nephilim were on the earth in those days- and also afterward- when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them . They were the heroes of old, men of renown. ( vs. 4)
The Lord saw how great mans wickedness on the earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth- men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground and birds of the air- for I am grieved that I have made them.
BUT Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. ( verses 5-8)
A population explosion has taken place on earth. In verse 2- lets seek to understand exactly who these sons of God were or what is meant by the daughters of men. There are two schools of thought I will share with you: the term- sons of God has been interpreted to mean either angels or human beings. If the former is true and it refers to angels it would obviously be fallen angels.
Can a fallen angel reproduce? According to the Lord Jesus in Matthew 22 he says when we get to heaven we will be like the angels in heaven- neither marry or are given in marriage. Given that angels ( good or bad) are spiritual immortal beings- we would conclude they are unable to reproduce.? Others looking at the Old Testament references to sons of God point out this reference is only used to describe angels. In the book of Job we read: Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.
The other school of thought says the sons of God are those who have followed the way of Seth- believers who follow the way of God.
The daughters of men is interpreted two ways- these are the daughter of men- referring to those sinful unbelievers who follow the way of Cain. Thus an intermarrying of believers with unbelievers. Or these are the daughters of men who have been seduced and married these demonic sons of God.
Now Jesus reference to angels in Matthew 22 implies they are sexless. But there is a qualifier- these are angels in heaven as opposed to fallen angels who are not in heaven. Jude tells us these fallen angels have left their proper dwelling. I believe this is an important clue. In the New Testament- the human body is referred to as both a vessel and a dwelling place. Many cases of demonic possession are recorded in the New Testament. Based on these truths- I believe one can conclude on good Scriptural evidence the following: evil spirits- fallen angels possessed the bodies of men- (dwelling place) and these demon-possessed men married women and produced a race and offspring referred to as Nephilim. The word giant comes from the Hebrew word- nephilim. Nephilim comes from the verb naphal meaning to fall. Thus these were fallen ones who also were of great stature. So what we can conclude is: men indwelt- possessed by demons are marrying and producing offspring a race of immoral, violent sinful humans to form a wicked, Godless society where anything goes.
The Lord looking down upon His creation and this invasion of evil makes a decision. God has the right to do anything- He is the potter we are the clay. And He always does what is right. (God is Sovereign, All-Knowing and Just).
God says: My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh and yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. This is not the length of life man will have- for we will see after the flood longevity of life. This is the amount of time God marked off before the flood- a 120 years, which would be the time when Noah would be permitted to preach the grace of God and extend an invitation to the people of his day to turn from their wicked ways and accept the promise of salvation. Dont ever get upset with a preacher who extends the invitation to sing another verse he is only exercising the long suffering of God who does not want any to perish but for all to come to repentance. For 120 years, while building the ark, Noah was a preacher of righteousness- but sadly he saw no one walk the aisle- no one come to be saved. They would not listen.
Verse 5 tells us the results : And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Wickedness is the absence of the life of God at work in human society. It is opposed to the things of God. It is present in the life of the unbeliever- the flesh is enmity with God.
Look at the works of the flesh as described in Galatians 5 : Now the works of the flesh are plain: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. And also in Romans : God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. Shameful lusts- unnatural relationships- homosexual.
It is interesting to note in every listing of wickedness you will find sexual sins listed prominently. Here in Genesis 6- this sexual immorality and perversity was widespread. Note- this is a sign of the collapse and breakdown of a society. It is not local it was wide spread- it was not sporadic it was continuous.
Notice the second part of verse 5- every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. This outward wickedness was a result of inward corruption. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. What is down in the well comes up in the bucket. It constantly drove man to search for sexual sin that was even more exciting more satisfying- leading men and women as Paul said to seek the unnatural relationships as they were inflamed with lust and filled with every kind of wickedness.
Do you realize what the people of this age did? They made sin, sexual sin- fashionable. The conformed the society in their time so thoroughly- so molded their thinking that 120 years of preaching did not result in one single conversion.
Look at our society today: pornography is everywhere- thanks to the computer and the internet- with every kind of sexual perversion you can imagine; homosexuality is openly accepted and fashionable; all types off sexual sin abounds and is the norm; abortion is the law of the land and a right of any woman. Guilt is something alien to this conscience seared society.
What did Jesus say would be a sign of His coming as it was in the days of Noah so will it be in His second coming.
We want to look carefully at the next verses at Gods decision to destroy mankind except for 8 souls and to understand what is meant by Gods grieving. We will want to understand as fully as we can as finite beings- the love of God which compels Him to take such drastic actions.
Do you know the name that is being given to the changes in our economy by the experts? The Re-Set Economy. In other words- we are in computer language- shutting down and re-booting. We are starting over. God will do the same thing here and He is showing us that like a watchmaker who knew beforehand- his watch would stop telling time- he built into his watch the means to re-set the watch. God knew this was coming and that is why He developed the plan of salvation before the earth was created. To re-set us who were all born with sinful natures we had to be born again because what is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.
Gods plan of salvation- to save us from ourselves and from the power and penalty of sin always required the shedding of blood- death. For the wages of sin is death. So God provided Himself with a lamb that could take away the sin of the world. The Lamb of God is His Son. And since God the Father and God the Son are one and the same- God gave us Himself. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ ( 1Thess 5:9) Faithful is He who calls you who will also do it.( 1 Thess 5:24) So Revelation 13: 8 tells us of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. 2 Timothy 1: 9 tells us : This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.
An all knowing, loving God devised a plan. For He knows- a failure to plan is a plan to fail. He is not willing that any should perish but all come to repentance. God does not want us to fail He has a plan!! We will see in our next study- His plan- a plan based on His great Love and Mercy.