Saturday, April 16, 2011

Adam and Eve

We are studying this story from a parent/child relationship.  As we look at it we can break it down into three parts. The Lord giving the instruction, Adam and Eve disobeying the instruction, and the Lord handing out the consequences. 

Gen 2:15-17  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Here we see the instruction.  The Lord instructed Adam to eat of every tree of the Garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The Lord also told Adam exactly what the consequences would be if he did decide to disobey the command: Adam would die.

Gen 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more subtil 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?   And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:   For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.  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 of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Here we see the disobedience.  The serpent tempted Eve, convincing her that what God had to say was not really true.  If she ate of the fruit she would be like a god; dying was not something she would have to worry about.  For Eve, the thought of trying that fruit and becoming wise was appealing, so she tried the fruit.  When she brought it to Adam and he ate of the fruit as well.

 Gen 3:8-13  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.   And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?   And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?   And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.   And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Now the guilt set in, Adam and Eve began to realize what they had done.  Just like a child that has done something wrong, Adam and Eve go about trying to hide their sin, and just like a parent the Lord knew exactly what they had done.  This part of the story sounds so much like the typical conversation with a child that is in trouble.  When the Lord asked them what they had done Adam immediately blamed his wife and Eve, not willing to take responsibility for her sin, blamed the serpent. 

Gen 3:14-19 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.   And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Gen 3:22-24  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:   Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.   So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

The Lord now hands out the consequences for the sin.  Something I noticed in the parent/child relationship here: the Lord never loses His temper, lectures them or berates them for what they have done He simply hands out the consequences.  The serpent is cursed.  Eve's consequence was multiplied sorrow and now Adam would rule over her.  Adam's consequence was the curse of the ground and in the end, death.  Adam and Eve were also driven from the garden.  Very severe consequences for simple disobedience, but not what they deserved.

It is interesting that the consequences show the Lord's mercy with His justice.  We see the justice in the fact that Adam and Eve received the consequences for their sin. In His mercy, the death that was promised was not immediate.  Adam did not receive the ultimate consequence for his sin until he was 930, when he died.  His justice is what drove them out of the garden, but it was His mercy that clothed them in the skins of animals. The ultimate demonstration of mercy, in this story, is found in verse fifteen of chapter three:  the promise of the Savior.   The consequence of sin must be fulfilled because His justice; but the promise of the Savior shows us His mercy.

So what is the challenge for us as parents?  Do we give clear instructions complete with what the consequences will be?   When our children disobey, do we yell, berate, lose our temper; or do we hand out the consequences with calmness.  Do we parent with justice tempered with mercy or does one take preeminence over the other?

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