2013-04-26 - The Fall of Man
Definitely the first tragedy recorded in scripture and arguable the biggest tragedy is found in the third chapter of Genesis. In the first two chapters God created everything including man. Adam had the whole world under him and could do anything he wanted. Well almost anything. Genesis 2:16-17 records, "The Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'" (NASB) Just one rule don't eat from this one single tree. Then God creates woman and they live in paradise ruling over all of God's creation. And that's where this fantastic tale turns tragic.
The story continues with the curses that God puts on the snake, on man, and on woman but well end it here as I want to just concentrate on the fall and not its results. I think from here we can learn four concepts that will help deal with sin above the obvious just don't do it.
First do not add or subtract from what God says. God said, "Dont eat the fruit of that one tree or you will die." Eve added, "Don't even touch it." Satan removed the penalty from God's words when he said, "You wont really die." Both what Eve and the snake did changed Gods word. Dont change it. I try to be careful to understand what the Bible says and work hard to not add my own ideas into it. My twelve year-old son, Jordan, teaches counsel time in our church's AWANA program from time to time. He usually practices his ideas on me and most of the time they are pretty spot on. But, there are times when he comes to me and I have to tell him that he is treading all over what scripture says and twisting it to say something that is not supported by the text or the context.
Second, don't focus on the negative. Adam and Eve had free reign of the whole planet of all the wonders it had to offer for their enjoyment. But Eve looked on the one thing she couldn't have. Rules may eliminate doing something but not everything; concentrate on the "everything else". If I say dont press the button to a crowd of people then that button is what most will concentrate on. And some will succumb to the temptation of the thing they dwell on.
Third, take responsibility. Don't play the blame game. Adam blamed God for making Eve and blamed Eve for giving it to him. Eve in turn blamed the serpent. You can't repent of sin without responsibility and remorse. Adam hiding perhaps could indicate some remorse but he failed on the responsibility part. It is pure speculation on my part but I sometimes wonder how different things may have been if Adam and Eve had repented of their sin against God instead of trying to cover it up and excuse it away.
Fourth, I want you to notice something that I have missed so many times in reading this story. Look carefully at verse six. As Eve ate the forbidden fruit, where was Adam? He was with her. But the Bible doesnt say he tried to stop her or anything. Why not? Was he going it alone and letting Eve go it alone. God created them to be together. We are created to be in community with one another. Don't fly solo; don't be a lone ranger; do not go it alone. Help others and hopefully they will help you. If you see someone going the wrong way, stop them or at least try. This can be summed up with one word: accountability.
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted