Session 6, The Fall!
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
Genesis 2-5, key verse 3:15
Key personalities: God, Adam, Eve, the devil, Cane and Abel.
A look at Genesis
The Book of Genesis starts off the masterpiece of God's work, the origin of the universe, and the cradle of His Word. We are given God's witness of Himself, the human race, relationships, family life, the birth and role of nations, and, finally, the work of sin and God's rebuttal of Redemption. The word Genesis means the beginning, or better stated, the origin of generations. It comes to us from Chapter Two, Verse 4, "account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, where the summary in the Greek translation, the Septuagint or LXX, (250-150 BC) states the account of creations origin. Can there be a better name or title for the Book that points to the epic of it all? Notice how even the titles of God's Books point to His elegance, simplicity and His will and call.
The first eleven chapters of Genesis give us the primeval history, creation of planetary bodies, life, plants and animals, and those created in God's own image--people. We know the corruption of sin and how the first humans had their communion and fellowship with God broken and struggled with life, our relationship with God, building a life and family, witnessing the destruction wrought by a fallen humanity when God has to cleanse His Creation with a flood and Noah. The rest of Genesis, Chapters 12 though 50, deal with the Patriarchs--the "fathers" of God's chosen people--Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons, God's very particular work in one of them, Joseph, and the birth of Israel--the people and nation. The patriarchal was to populate, know and worship God, instruct their lineages with God's precepts all for carrying out His purpose and plan and pave the road to Redemption. Genesis closes out with Joseph being reunited with his family and the early nation going into Egypt, then a land of prosperity, protection and growth.
Genesis shows us the God of wonder
The God of wonder, who is still creating and crafting, now sets His mind on us, humanity, His pinnacle of creation. God, involved and creator of the universe, created us to rule over the world, to be His stewards of care to the environment. After He creates us, we rebelled by sin; He intervenes and gives us opportunities for redemption. First, He gives us a covenants--several, the Law; because of our sinful and imperfect nature, we could not know Him so He sends Himself as the Son, as God is One God with three persons, and the Son lives on our behalf a perfect life, paying our EVERY debt to be holy and dies to please Gods anger against sin and pay that dept, by atonement so we are forgiven (Luke 19:10; John 3:16; 11:25-26; 12:31; Acts 1:8; 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:57-58; Col. 2:15).
Look at it this way. God is love in action. He crafts his magnificent epic mural of creation, first in absolute perfection as the universe is canvas of His work so we are too the canvas of His work. He designs and engineers what is beyond science or deep thought the majesty of quantum mechanics and astrophysics. He produces, He writes, He directs and casts us, His children to act. We are the humanity, we are created and sent by God, we are an extension of His purpose, but we are extensions of His essence. We are not little gods; rather, we are created to know and worship Him and carry out His will and objectives. Then, we betray Him. We take all that is good and desire something more. We set our minds on evil as He sets His mind on crafting us.
Key Happenings: Trouble in paradise!
Most people would yearn for paradise or utopia. When we had bliss, what did we do? Break it! We then work like the there is no tomorrow to keep breaking it. We went from a perfect harmonious relationship with God and nature to being ashamed and naked. Murder and dysfunction came about. Sin has left its mark. Satan attacks us by tricking our thinking us to not believe in God or in His power to restore, he tricks into hating God and goodness; Satan leads us into despair and dysfunction and seeking alternatives to God like drugs, cults, and pride (Prov. 6:16-19; James 1:13-16).
Do not eat that fruit. One rule, plainly simple. And, yet, we have been tricked by a serpent, the devil. The naivety and innocence was gone, sin came in, and paradise is lost (Isa. 14:12-14; John 8:44; Rom. 1:21-25; 2 Cor. 11:1-3).
Original sin: Also called our sinful nature (this refers to our heredity of sin, the universal, wicked sin-character of humanity that we are predisposed to choose what is evil over what is good). This describes the decay of our understanding of God and our separation from Him, and even, as Christians, our standing in Christ and virtue will cause the decay of ourselves and our culture. We placed ourselves under sin, and anyone who has ever lived was and is under this curse. This creates the sinful desires that lure us with passion to what is deceitful and evil. This means to be controlled by our desires of sin and rebellion and having careless disregard of truth or consequences! It is our natural, sinful nature to be me first, default to what is wrong, make bad choices and follow what is evil and immoral, desire what is wrong and to destroy (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 5:12-21; 7:1-6; 5:12-19; Titus 1:5; James 3:9; 2 Pet. 2:14; 3:3).
The serpent, Satan, seeks to deceive people to his perverted way of thinking, to evil and pride. He seeks us to question God's pure motives, challenge His holiness and lies to us to do it so we do not see hope and form unbelief, despair and distrust (Isa. 14:12-14; John 8:44; Rom. 1:21-25; 1 Cor. 15:26; 2 Cor. 11:1-3; 1 Tim. 2:14; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; Rev. 12:9).
The kids, Cain and Abel. Why was not Cain's sacrifice considered acceptable? It has nothing to do with plants versus animals; rather, the focus is upon the attitude of reverence and faith. Abel was faithful, and Cain was not. Cain got upset and flew off the handle; his guilt produced fear, and it festered into an anger at and a hatred of God and goodness affecting Cain and his many generations. This came to a climax with Lamech who was a brute. Later, God institutes the eye-for-an-eye as a limiter to stop the escalation of violence and rage (Psalm 51:5; Rom. 3:10-12; 1 John 3:12).
What about testing, trials, and temptation? Trials refer to persecution, but can also refer to any harsh circumstance that is not under our control, such as adversity or some temptations like lust and greed (they creep up, but we can still deal with temptations). Testing refers to the circumstances that God allows so we will learn character, perseverance, produce our fruit, and prove and develop our faith further. This can bring out our best and gives us our maturity, our faith build up, and enables our fruit to benefit others. These are for our direct benefit and growth that He works out for our benefit and for His glory. Satan may bait us to get us to fail while God works only for us to succeed (Rom. 5:3;.8; James 1:2, 9-11; 2:5-6; 5:1-6; 1 Cor. 10:13; Eph. 6:10-18).
God's image: "imago dei" what is this about? God tells us we people are made in God's image or likeness. The point is that we are unique to all other created animals, perhaps referring to our souls. We are made in God by God and for God; we bear the life He gave and are enabled to have a relationship to God and to represent Him to one another. It does not mean we are like God or resemble God or are little gods. Rather, it means we bear God's image so to be in Christ; in contrast, animals are perhaps made without a soul and made for our use--it is our responsibility to care for them. It is about our stewardship to hear God's Word and rule over and to care for what God created in the joy of adoring obedience. By that note, women, even though created later, are not inferior to men, just have different roles (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7; 5:1-3; 9:2-6; Psalm. 8; 94:10; Prov. 12:10; 22:2; 2 Cor. 5:20; James 3:9).
Work is not a curse? Did you know that we were created to work and work is not a result of the fall; rather work was created before sin entered? Even Jesus worked for a living--He was a carpenter. God works and demonstrates the balance of work and rest. Yes, work can be our prime exhaustion as well as a hotbed of conflict and chaos; but , your work is also an act of worship, since it is God you are serving! What sin did was make it worse and harder. So, to make it better, think of ways to honor God and be our best, it is not you in command. If you are the boss, you may think, they work for me, and they have to do what I say! But, the key is the attitude we are to have--that of looking to Christ as our employer so we do our work for Him. Therefore, we are to be our best for His glory, regardless of our circumstances (Gen. 2:15; 3:19; Rom. 8:17; Phil. 2:1-11).
Methuselah lived 969 years! Crazy long life spans for the first ones? This could be God's mercy of a suspended sentence to offer the pondering of sin and the opportunity to repent. Also, it has been hypnosis the earth rotated faster. But, God will limit the life span to 120 in Gen. 6:3, and gives us further instructions and examples like Enoch who lived a moral life, as to follow to repent and seek Him as Lord (Heb. 11:5).
Sin! The pride and self importance of humanity, our frailties all converge in one man and one woman--Adam and Eve--who represented all of humanity in one decision they made; it is an act we all would have done, disobeying Our Father sooner or later.
Then God blesses!
When God created everything, matter and life, He declares them good. He issues His command and control, His care and detail. All things have an objective existence, a purpose and function; nothing is unimportant, everything is important, everyone has meaning and purpose. God has made everything for the purpose of His World--from the micro of the subatomic to the macro of galaxies, the hand of God is in it and runs it. All things point us to that He is Worthy. As humans, we are to know, worship and glorify the Creator.
We may be the apex of His creation. We may have had it good for a while, but we opened the gate of sin, by pride and desire, by selfishness and immorality, and we fell from God's grace. Sin entered into the world corrupting everything, all of humanity, all of creation. Everything now grinds to a halt by sin, from the toils of the soil to the pains of childbirth, all shows our desperate need for a Redeemer, someone to save us from our sin and restore God's work and our relationship.
Key Takeaway: The universe, all that there is, all that we are, is broken. We are flawed and desperately need a Redeemer to save us! God is through all space and time, yet intimate with humanity (Matt. 18:20). God still loves and pursues us, even through the mess we made; He gives us the reality of His holiness and the plan and purpose of our being.
The foreshadow of Jesus Christ? Here He is the woman's seed (Gen. 3:15)!
Questions to Ponder
1. Have you ever done an art project or something special and someone messed it up? How did you feel? How do you think God feels what we did to His mural?
2. What do you think is your objective or purpose or function in life? Remember, you are important, and have meaning and purpose.
3. What are the directives and call given to us do you see in this passage? (look at Gen. 2:16)
4. How do you see that God still has His love and plan for us?
5. What must you guard against? What must be aware that is crouching at our door?
6. Why did the woman respond to the serpent in that way? Causes, motivations, responsibility and excuses? Did you notice Adam did nothing?
7. How is Christ revealed in this passage? How is God's holiness displayed?
8. How does this passage help you get to know God better? How does it help you get to know yourself better?
9. Why did God not give up on us, humanity? How has He persevered to give you His instruction, love, care, protection?
10. How does the fact Christ seeks to repair your relationship and standing with God?
11. Did you know that work is not a curse? What can you do to make your work also an act of worship? How would it help to see your job as looking to Christ as your employer too?
12. What can you do to be your best for His glory, regardless of our circumstances? What gets in the way? How do you guard against it?
© 2012 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org