The Word Of God - Lesson II D
In this study we are going to see what happened when Satan, in the form of a serpent, entered the perfect world of the first man and woman.
We can read of this encounter in:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it, or you will die.” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
God's Test For The Man And The Woman
God had prepared a test for the man and the woman to test their obedience to Him and this test came in the form of an angel named Satan, who had rebelled against God and had been thrown out of heaven. One day this fallen angel, or the serpent came to the man and the woman in the garden. He tried to sow seeds of doubt into their minds by the words he spoke to them in:
…..“Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”
The woman answered him and her answer was partly correct for God had indeed said to the man that they were not to eat the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden as we can read in:
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
However, the woman did add the words that they were not to touch the fruit of the tree, which God had not said. God does not explain in His word why the woman added these words so we should not try and explain it either. The serpent then became even bolder in his attack on the man and the woman by openly declaring that they would not die but that they would be like God, if they ate of this tree as we can read in:
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The serpent thereby made God out to be a liar.
However, the serpent’s words did make the woman look at the tree as we can read in:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it….
Now both the man and the woman were still in a state of innocence, of sinlessness at this time. This did not change by the woman looking at the tree for they were not forbidden to look at the tree or even to touch it. They were only forbidden to eat from it as we can read in:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
However, they went beyond just looking at the fruit of the tree to actually eating the fruit of the tree as we can read in:
……..she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it.
a. Loss of Innocence
Eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was an act of disobedience and caused an instant change in them for it turned them from innocent, sinless people to guilty, sinful people as we can read in:
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Now there had been a time when the man and the woman were naked and they had felt no shame as we can read in:
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
When God had formed both the man and the woman they were in a state of absolute innocence, purity. This means they had nothing to hide from each other or from God. Their nakedness does not just refer to their physical nakedness; it refers to their spiritual and emotional nakedness for they were blameless in every respect. There was no need for them to be ashamed of any thing in their lives before each other and before God.
However, the moment they ate of the forbidden fruit their situation changed. They became instantly ashamed of their nakedness, meaning they knew they were no longer innocent, pure. Instead, they felt guilty and ashamed before each other and before God.
The man and the woman became afraid of God as we can read in:
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
No doubt God came to see them in the garden every day and they would have had wonderful fellowship together. But this day everything changed. God had once again come to the garden to have fellowship with the man and the woman but this time they were not waiting to meet with Him. Instead they hid from Him among the trees.
Did God know what had happened? Yes, for God is all-knowing. Therefore, He knew what they had done and had already put a plan into place to deliver them from their predicament as we can read in:
I Peter 1:18-20
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Furthermore, God knew where they were hiding. The question God asked the man was not for God’s benefit it was for the man’s benefit for God wanted him to realise his true condition. The man’s answer shows us the condition the man and the woman were in as we can read in:
He answered, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
The man and the woman had disobeyed God. Their shame and guilt had caused them to become afraid of God and to try and hide from Him.
c. Broken Relationships
The relationship between the man and the woman and between them and God had been broken because of their disobedience.
When God had initially formed the woman from the man’s side and had brought her to him the man was overjoyed as we can read in:
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib (or side) He had taken out of the man and He brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman for she was taken out of man.”
Sadly, after the Fall their relationship completely changed when the man tried to blame the woman for the fact that he ate the fruit as we can read in:
The man said, “The woman You put here with me –she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
However God did not blame the woman for the man’s sin but made each one of them responsible for their sin as we can read in:
Genesis 3:16 where God deals with the woman
To the woman He said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”
A better translation is:
To the woman He said, “I will surely multiply your toil (this is related to the curse on the ground, which will affect the woman too since she works alongside the man), and I will multiply your conception. With effort (meaning hard work, requiring endurance) you will bring forth children.You will turn to your husband. And he will rule over you”
And Genesis 3:17-19 where God deals with the man
To Adam He said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it, Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
d. Need for Covering
After the man and woman had eaten of the fruit they realised that they were naked and they decided to cover themselves as we can read in:
Then they eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
The man and the woman tried to cover up not just their physical nakedness but their spiritual nakedness. They had lost their innocence, their purity and they tried to cover up their sin and shame in a humanistic way. However, God showed them that the way they covered themselves was not acceptable to Him. Moreover He showed them what was acceptable to Him as we can read in:
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
God knew that the disobedience of the man and the woman had caused a spiritual death, a spiritual separation between them and Him. God knew too that their covering was insufficient to deal with their spiritual separation from Him for the fig leaves were not able to cover over their sins. Blood needed to be shed for their sins to be covered. Therefore, he sacrificed an animal by killing it. The skin provided the physical covering for the man and the woman but more importantly the shed blood provided the spiritual covering for them. This first sacrifice points to the final sacrifice of His Son on the Cross as we can read in:
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people…
e. Physical Death
God had told them that if they were disobedient to His command they would die as we can read in:
But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.
Even though the man and the woman did not die physically the moment they sinned, they did eventually die as we can read in:
Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died.
The sin of the first man and the first woman affects the rest of humanity as we will see in the next study.