Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Genesis 3

We have to be very very careful in coming to Genesis 3 at the fall of man. The Bible never uses 2 words when it could use 1, and in my opinion I could do with it using more words for clarity sake. But we don't get that, so we have to be extra careful with what we do have. Beginning in verse 1:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " If God said this it was not recorded. We are likely to infer that Adam told Eve this statement, or Eve made it up. But here is the first warning from the text to turn our brain on or pay the price.

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.
"For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. The fruit was pleasing to her body, her soul, and her spirit. As a tripart being made in the image of God, Eve was in every way attracted to this fruit. (One proof verse of tri-part nature: 1 Thes 5:23)

Let us now summarize how it went down:
  1. the clever serpent talked to her
  2. Eve responded by saying we must not touch or eat the fruit
  3. Satan urged her to become wise like God by eating the fruit
  4. Eve was pleased by the fruit in every way
  5. Eve took it and ate it
  6. Eve gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it.
At first glance it looks like Adam is standing there the whole time, as what Pastor Jason said, and what was the general thought tonight. Accepting that and moving on, we eventually we come to: v17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life." Don't read over this! Eve talked? When did this happen? Either God is lying or something happened in verses 1-6 that was not recorded. This does not appear in any of our 6 bullets. And if that was not recorded, was there anything else missing?
Obviously we have to temper our understanding. If Adam was there the whole time then God would have said "Because you didn't stop your wife, or correct her, but stood by, cursed is the ground.." But that is not what God said because it didn't happen that way. God cursed Adam because Eve talked him into eating. If everything in v1-6 happened one after the other with no time lapse then Adam would have been sweet talked by the serpent not by Eve. Since that is not what is recorded when God passes judgement we can infer that Adam was not present for the initial conversation. 'With her' does not mean with her the whole time, it means 'with her when she took the fruit and gave it to him'
The most natural reading is this based on v17:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. Adam came back, Eve pitched everthing to Adam, he gave in to disobedience although he knew he shouldn't, She also (in addition to eating it herself) gave some (of the fruit) to her husband, who was with her, (during the conversation) and he ate it.
We can also infer that because God punished Adam by taking his dominion away from him, and Eve with the desire to rule Adam but being unable to, that part of the pitch was that Eve knew best and Adam should listen to her. Eve usurped Adam's role as the head, and Adam let her.

Now this might seem like a lot of writing for a very little payout, but I'm trying to make a larger point here. Namely that it is important to read the Bible very carefully. Until coming to FBC and becoming a Protestant about a year ago I have spent all of my life reading the Bible wrong, superficially, not reading for all it's worth. When you are careful you will find that sometimes the obvious meaning and the deeper meaning can be similar, different, or even complete opposites, (the deeper meaning being the correct one). Take Hebrews 6 starting at verse 1 as an example of this. If you just read over it you might come to the conclusion that if anyone makes even a single mistake they cannot repent again or be saved. But the deeper meaning is 'once saved always saved'
May God bless our reading such that the conclusions we draw are in line with His holy book and may our understanding of a few verses be aided by an understanding of many more verses. Amen.

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