I have been physically ill for much of this week and there hasn’t been a new post since Monday. I’ve been digging in the archives and to be honest probably don’t post “reruns” often enough. It’s been six years since this post was published. There is constant turnover online as blogs disappear and new ones are created. I certainly have many more friends and followers today than way back when. And of course some things are worth repeating. From July 2008, here is 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
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.
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’s paper. 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.