Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. It took six days for God to complete His creation. Among His creation, human beings were unique. God created human beings in His own image. God loved human beings so much, and God gave everything to human beings to govern and rule over all the other creatures. God was so much pleased with His creation. Then God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good!
The first man and woman were Adam and Eve, and God placed them in the Garden of Eden. It was a paradise for both Adam and Eve, and they had a truly blessed time with God and all of God’s creation in the garden including trees, animals, birds, etc. The serpent who was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made came to Eve, the first women, to tempt her and to make Eve deviate from God and His command. Eve was deceived by the servant, and committed a sin because she was complete sold to the serpent’s lie. In fact, even before the deception, Eve herself had been already sold to her own desire of eating the forbidden fruit. Indeed, it was just a matter of time before Eve took and ate the forbidden fruit. She was craving for the forbidden fruit. The serpent knew this. The serpent did not lose the perfect opportunity, and Eve powerless surrendered. Eve reached out her hand, took the forbidden fruit, and ate it. Eve did not stop there. She brought the forbidden fruit to Adam, her husband. Adam, without questioning, took it and ate it. Of course, Adam knew it was a forbidden fruit. Adam should have challenged Eve against breaking the God’s command. Adam didn’t. This gives us a great insight about how vulnerable we are to a sin, and how contagious a sin is. One person’s sin is easily transmitted to another person, especially those whom we love. Then how to resist and overcome temptations coming at us to make us sin? We need to do exactly opposite that Adam and Eve did:
1. We should not harbor a temptation in our heart. Eve did, and Eve failed.
2. We should ask God’s help when confronting a temptation. Adam didn’t, and Adam failed.
Both Adam and Eve took and ate the forbidden fruit. It tasted really good and truly delicious. Together they indulged in the fruit while breaking the God’s command. However, as soon as they ate, the sin took over them, and the weight of the sin fell on them. Their joy of eating the fruit short-lived, and immediately, the power of the sin took hostage them by throwing into a completely different world that they had never been experienced. In fact, they had never felt shame before in the paradise, but they became shameful, which was just a prelude of the power of the sin. The real cost of the sin was the terrible separation between them and God. Adam and Eve used to live together with God while enjoying His presence as God’s children dearly loved by God. They talked to God everyday about what had happened in their daily lives. God joyfully heard their story, and God told His pleasure and love to them. They listened to God, and their hearts were filled with joy. In the Garden of Eden, they had the most blessed life. It was a paradise for both Adam and Eve. However, the most beautiful relationship with God was suddenly stopped. Then God became the source of fear instead of loving Father. They hid from God in fear. Was God changed? No. God was the same loving God, but Adam and Eve just became fearful to God. All were caused by their sin. Although they wanted to continue the blessed relationship with God, their sin did not allow. They hid themselves from God. Knowing this, God loving Adam and Eve could not let them alone.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, Adam and Eve, his wife heard God walking about in the garden. So they hid from God among the trees. Then God called to Adam,
“Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
Yes, God came to Adam and Eve who were hiding from God. Didn’t God know where they were? No. God knew exactly where they were. Like loving parents, God wanted let them realize where they were, what they did, and why they were hiding from God. Loving parents never give up their children no matter what their children did. Our God was same. God came to Adam and Eve as their loving Father. God called them with the most comforting voice to Adam and Eve, who were hiding in extreme fear. Yes, God loved them and came to them because God was love.
Adam replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
Adam used to never be afraid of God walking in the garden, but the day was different. He expressed his fearful heart. He was vulnerably exposed to his own sin and put him in darkness. Thus, he could not stand before God, who was holy without any darkness at all.
“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
Again, God knew exactly what Adam did, and God gave an opportunity for Adam to say what he did. Have we had felt a burden of sin in our heart before? How heavy it was? Sometimes, the weight of the sin was unbearable heavy. Can we remember what was the most effective way to unload the burden? Yes, it was confessing our sin. Especially, verbalizing our sin that we committed to God as our prayer is the first step. Through our prayer, we can clearly hear our sin by our own voice while we are presenting our sins and weakness to God while asking His merciful forgiveness.
On the contrary, Adam replied,
“It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12b)
Adam did not cross the point of God yet. God came to help God by unloading his sin burden, but Adam was defensive. Rather than confessing his sin, and asking God’s forgiveness, Adam actually blamed God as the ultimate source of his sin. Here is the logic:
1. Eve fell and sinned. Then the women gave me the fruit, and I ate. Thus, the woman could be seen as the immediate cause of his sin.
2. However, God gave him the woman (i.e., Eve), who caused him to sin. In fact, Adam did not ask Eve, but God gave Eve to Adam.
3. Thus, God is the ultimate source of his sin.
If we were God, how would we have responded to Adam? Some of us, who are short-tempered like Peter, one of the twelve disciples, might have had punished Adam for his obnoxious logic pointing God as the ultimate source of his sin. God did not.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
God is patient and long suffering toward us, and God was toward Adam also.
Then the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
What was the answer of Eve to God? Eve transferred all of her fault to the serpent. She did nothing wrong. The serpent was bad, and the serpent deceived Eve. Thus, she was innocent. If there were no serpent, Eve would have not sinned. Thus, the serpent should have been punished, not Eve. Was it a truthful description about what had happened? No. As described above, Eve was already sold to her temptation, and her heart was ready to sin. She just needed a small push for her to actually sin. The serpent gave the small push, and she sinned. If she were upright before God by holding tightly God’s command, she would have not been sinned at all by resisting against the serpent’s temptation and lie.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8)
Then how can we resist against temptations constantly coming at us? We have to come to God. God is our rock and our fortress. In Him, we will not be shaken. Our victory is sure, and our honor comes from God because He is our refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach us.
Then God turned to the serpent, and God punished the serpent. Please note that the serpent was not one of His beloved children like us, human being created in His image. The serpent was cursed more than all animals.
“Because you have done this, you are cursed
more than all animals, domestic and wild.
You will crawl on your belly,
groveling in the dust as long as you live.
And I will cause hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14b)
God also foretold the evil that would come from the serpent’s offspring, which would strike the heel of the woman’s offspring, but the woman’s offspring would strike back the head of the serpent’s offspring. This is the prophesy of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. When Jesus Christ was crucified, it looked as a victory for the evil. But the cross actually led to a complete destruction of the evil by making all of God’s children released from their sins and restoring the precious relationship with God as His beloved children forever. In fact, this is the Good News given to all man kinds, ever lived, living and to come. Yes, God is longsuffering, and His steadfast love saves all of His children. Then He restores the beautiful relationship with God, which for this time will not be taken away forever.
Due to their fear of God, Adam and Eve could not live any longer in the garden. The source of fear was their sin. As a result, they had to leave the garden. Is there anyone of us who wants to live together with a person whom we are fearful of? No. Then it would be living in hell. God, out of His love, decided to send them out of the garden. Again, like loving parents, God’s heart was breaking because God had to send their children away, not because of lacking of love of them, but because of their children’s sin and fear of God, the loving Father. Before sending them again, God gave a protection on their shame by making clothing from animal skins for Adam and Eve.
And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. (Genesis 3:21)
The clothing from animal skins holds God’s true nature of His love, and at the same time, His Law of atonement.
In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22)
The wage of sin is death because the sin separates us from God. Not being connected to God, our inner being is dying out. Why? If we are not spiritually connected to God, our inner being is no longer spiritually nourished. Then how to avoid this tragedy? We need to get rid of our sin, which is the source of our spiritual death. How to get rid of the sin in our heart? The answer is blood for our atonement, because blood cleans our sin. This is the reason why the Israelites sacrificed animals before God as an atonement of their sins regularly. However, none of the animals was not a perfect sacrifice to clean all our sins completely and forever. Only is the perfect sacrifice a perfect human with no sin. There is no man ever lived without sin, except Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the perfect human and the perfect God, became the perfect sacrifice for all by dying on the cross to forgive all our sins. This is the reason why we don’t fear God anymore as soon as we accept Jesus Christ as our savior who died for us for our sins as our ultimate atonement. In Him, all of our sins are forgiven, and we are no longer under a curse of sin and death. As a result, our blessed relationship with God is restored as His beloved children again. We will forever enjoy the most blessed relationship with God because of Jesus Christ.
Give thinks, God, for giving us Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son as the perfect sacrifice for all! God had never left Adam and Eve although they directly sinned against God. The exactly same God is with us today no matter what happens in our lives and even we might fall in a terrible sin. Yes, God is waiting for us with His wide-open arms to embrace us in His bosom. Just come to God. Ask His forgiveness. He will give His forgiveness and restore the broken relationship with Him forever.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)