Lessons from the Garden of Eden

7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.    -Gen. 2:7-9

click for mp3 of this sermon <–This is something new we’re trying for the first time.

Lesson 1: We are special to God. Human beings are made in God’s image and likeness (Gen 1:26-27).  What does that mean exactly?  I’m not even sure.  People will tell you what it means, but truthfully, we don’t really know for sure.  We do that no other being in creation is described this way.  Paul says of Jesus to the Colossians that “he is the image of the invisible God.”  We are all in God’s image, Jesus even more so.  Also notice that God was physically involved when he formed Adam out of the dust of the earth.  Everything else was spoken into existence.  That was also the only creative act done on day 6 of the creation week.  Each of these point to the fact that we, the human race, and special to God in a way that separates us from the rest of all he created.

Lesson 2: God created vocation. Before the curse is pronounced in Gen. 3, Adam was given a job to do.  In chp. 2 v. 15, he is placed in the garden and told to keep it.  Finding fulfillment and satisfaction in your job is a God-given thing.  God created vocation, profession, before the curse.  As a result of sin, God made Adam’s job work.   UPDATE, 4-1-09 God worked for six days, and then rested.  He wasn’t being punished for sin.

Lesson 3: Satan is a liar. Of course you already know that, but we learned it here for the first time.  In the first 5 verses of Gen. 3, the serpent begins by questioning what God really said.  He moves on to telling outright lies by the 4th and 5th verse.  The Scripture identifies Satan as the Father of Lies, and he was so from the very beginning.

Lesson 4: Where was Adam? Much has been made out of where Adam was and what he was doing while Eve was conversing with the serpent.  Was he asleep?  Was he off doing his job elsewhere?  Why wasn’t he protecting Eve and/or keeping her in line?  In the first place, she was not in subjection to her husband yet.  That was a part of the curse.  It wasn’t Adam’s job to watch over her yet.  Secondly, why did anyone ever ask where Adam was.  It’s right there in the text.  Gen. 3:6 reads “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”  She gave to her husband who was with her. He doesn’t say anything, but he was right there.  He also ate of the fruit same as her.  So there is no one any more to blame than anyone else.

Lesson 5: God has a plan. None of these events caught God by surprise.  He knew before the dry land appeared that man would fall from his first estate.  The plan of salvation was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world was laid.  The first hint of prophecy is in Gen. 3:15.  The offspring of the woman, or seed of the woman in the King James, is Jesus Christ.  Bruising his head is prophetic of the ultimate defeat of the devil by Christ.  There it is, all the way back at the very beginning of Genesis.  Notice also the God isn’t speaking to Adam and Eve in verse 15, but to Satan himself.  He hasn’t revealed his plan to humanity yet, but everything was going according to his plan and purposes.

Lesson 6: God is righteous in judgment and merciful. The perfect fellowship between humanity and God was broken by sin, but he didn’t throw them out like yesterday’spaper.  The curse is given in Gen 3 as the result of sin, but they do not die physical death that day.  Eve is told she will bear children in sorrow, but she will have children.  That’s a blessing.  Adam must work to eat, but they still get to eat.  The best example of Lesson 6 is not in Gen 3, but rather Romans chp. 5.  Paul explains to the Romans that just as sin entered the world through one man’s sin (Adam), so does life enter by one man’s righteousness (Jesus).  The gospel story may not be spelled out in Gen. 1-3, but God’s righteous judgment as well as his mercy can clearly be seen.

You might also enjoy The Fall and other Genesis related topics at the Bible Survey blog.

4 thoughts on “Lessons from the Garden of Eden

  1. [Gen 3:22] Then the LORD God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”–

    We were created in God’s image, but after the fall, after having knowledge of good and evil, somehow is man more like “us” – God? What is God saying here? It seems that in order to have a complete life, someone has to have this knowledge. The most fully human people I have ever met are often recovering addicts, who have this knowledge of evil and God’s love that has led them out of evil. Maybe by “fully human” I really mean “in God’s image.” Can someone be fully human by living a life in the Garden of Eden?

    Response from The Master’s Table: There is an old saying (though not scripture) that “to err is human.” All people ever born after the Garden of Eden have inherited both the sinful nature of humanity as well as the knowledge of good and evil. To be human, as understood by the collective experience of all humans throughout time, would include this knowledge. Joe raises an interesting question, but if we think about the answer in terms of the human exerperience, the answer is no. Were Adam and Eve human? Of course they were; but they were also designed to live forever. After the curse, they eventually tasted death. A lot of things changed that day, including what it means to be human.

  2. You should really check out my site, I think it will expound greatly upon much of what you already have. Yes, Adam was present yet remained silent. Now what does that really say about his righteous state and regard for his wife?

    God Bless!

  3. I really gained understanding from the write ups and the lesson from the Bible passages.But my own question is that ‘if assumed that only Eve ate from the tree,what will happen to ADAM,EVE & generations after them’?

  4. Eve ate from the tree, and gave to her husband and he ate also. Both Adam and Eve sinned, were reprimanded by God, and driven from the garden. All of their children were born into sin nature. We all inherit that from our parents; we are naturally sinful.

    The only man born without sin, for his father is the Spirit of God, is Jesus. Born of God to the Virgin Mary, he lived a life without sin. On the cross, he “became sin” for us. God placed the sins of the world onto his son Jesus, who paid the price and died our death so that we might live.

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