www.christdeaf.org/bible
Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland

Genesis 3
What they never taught us about Adam & Eve in Sunday School.
Series of studies for Lent 2005

Part 1 - The temptations, the disobedience, and the immediate consequence (Gen. 3:1-8).
Part 2 - God's judgment on the Satan and salvation promised for the human race (Gen. 3:9-15).
Part 3 - Consequences of sin in the woman's relationships (Gen. 3:16).
Part 4 - Consequences of sin in the man's work and his death (Gen. 3:17-19)
Part 5 - The Tree of Life (Genesis 3:19-24)
End Notes
Hearing version of this same series of lessons.



Genesis 3 - Part 1
  1. The Lord God finished making all the wild animals, and the snake was the most clever. One day the snake said to the woman, "Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"
  2. The woman answered, "We can eat fruit from the trees in the garden.
  3. But God told us, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not touch it.  If you do, you will die.' "
  4. But the snake said to the woman, "You will not die.
  5. God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will know good and evil and you will become same as God!"
  6. The woman saw that tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that the fruit will make her wise. So she took that fruit and ate it. Then she gave that fruit to her husband with her, and he ate it.
  7. Then, their eyes opened. They understood they were naked.  They sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves.
  8. Then they heard the Lord God walking in the garden during the cool part of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden.


You know that story.
    Maybe you first learned that story in Sunday School.
    Maybe you taught that story in Sunday School.
    And maybe you know jokes about
        Adam and Eve and "the apple."

(You know that the Bible doesn't say "apple."   It says "fruit."  Period.)

But what you learned about that story in Sunday School
    doesn't touch the deep information God has for us here.

Now is a good time to look again,
    and learn important lessons about life,
learn lessons about our relationship with family,
    and our relationship with God.

During the next five weeks
    we will study Genesis chapter 3,
        from beginning to end,
with new understanding for that old story.


Genesis chapter 3, verse 1...
The Lord God finished making all the wild animals, and the snake was the most clever. One day the snake said to the woman, "Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"  (Genesis 3:1)
If you teach this lesson to children, they will tell you,
    "Snakes can't talk!"

Who is really speaking here?
    Yes, the Devil.  SATAN.

Next week we will analyze[examine] more deeply what that snake picture means.   

But, question:    What does the Devil really look like?

Bible says that the Devil has power
    to make himself look as a variety of shapes,
        for fooling people.  

The Bible says,
    the Devil can make himself seem as "an angel of light."  

The Devil really is an angel that rebelled against God.  
Angels in the Bible sometimes appeared[seem] as humans.  
Sometimes angels appeared as fire.
We also find angel horses in the Bible.

We can guess that if the Devil wants to appear as a snake,
    he can.

What the Devil looks like here is not important.
The things the Devil said, that's important.

The Devil said,
"Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?"
That's a lie.
God forbid Adam & Eve to eat fruit from only one tree.
All other trees, they can eat.

But in the Devil's lie, he is trying make Eve begin doubting God.
The Devil wants us to doubt that God is good and wise.
The Devil wants us to suspect that
    God is holding back something good from us.

Today the Devil's lie says,
    "Did God say you can’t have any fun?"

Sometimes we Christians live that way.
    If something is fun, that must be sinful, right?
        Wrong.

Eve answers the snake:
"We can eat fruit from the trees in the garden.
But God told us,
    'You must not eat fruit from the tree
        that is in the middle of the garden.
    You must not touch it.
        If you do, you will die.' "  (Genesis 3:2,3)
It seems that Eve didn't quote God exactly right.
We can read what God really said in chapter 2:
The Lord God made every beautiful tree and every tree good for food, growing from the ground. In the middle of the garden, God put the tree that gives life and also the tree that gives the knowledge about good and evil.   (Genesis 2:9)

The Lord God commanded man, "You can eat fruit from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat fruit from that tree giving knowledge about good and evil. If you eat fruit from that tree, you will die!"  (Genesis 2:16,17)
God said, "Don't eat that fruit."
Eve said, "Don't eat and don't touch that fruit."

Is that wrong?  
You know some things tempt you strongly.
You feel that you can't resist that temptation.
So what do you do?
You avoid that temptation.
You build a fence around the thing that tempts you.
You make a rule for yourself: Don't go near that temptation.

Example:  A person addicted to alcohol
    maybe must find a different way for driving home from work.  
If he sees the bar, he knows that he will stop for a drink...
    and drink... and drink.   
If he drives home a different way, then he will not see the bar.

Eve does the same.  
    If she won't touch that fruit,
        then she can't eat that fruit, right?

But sometimes two problems happen
    with fences around our temptations.

[1] We make rules for ourselves.
    Then we think other people must follow those same rules.  
And if they break our rules,
    we blame them for breaking God's rules. (See end notes for an example.)

[2] Eve's new rule, "Don't touch" became same as a sign that says, "WET PAINT."

If people see that "WET PAINT" sign, what do they naturally do?

They touch the paint to see if it is really wet.
Silly, yes.  But true.

Curiosity is strong.
And that's what the Devil did to Eve with his question.
He made Eve curious about that fruit.

Again, Eve answers:
"We can eat fruit from the trees in the garden.  But God told us, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not touch it. If you do, you will die.' "

But the snake said to the woman, "You will not die. God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will know good and evil and you will become same as God!"  (Genesis 3:2-5)
You know the Devil tried that himself.
    God first made the Devil good and holy,
        the Number One top angel.
But that angel was not satisfied.  
    He wanted to be same as God.
    He rebelled against God.
Then he encouraged other angels to join his rebellion.
And now the Devil also encourages us to rebel against God.
    The Devil says,
        "YOU can become same as God.
        YOU can decide yourself
            what is right and what is wrong."

And if that lie fails, the Devil feeds us another big lie.
    "You think that activity is sin?
        No no, you are wrong. God wants you to do that.
    Eve, God wants you to eat that fruit.
    God wants you to become wise same as Him."

Today we see that many lies from the Devil:
    "God wants you to enjoy sex without responsibility.
        You don't need marriage."

Maybe the Devil tells you,
    "God doesn't want you to stay sad.
    God gives you permission for adultery."

Now the Devil's new lie:
    "Same sex marriage is God's idea."

One big question pops up every time we study this story:
The Devil says, "Eat that fruit, and you will know Good and Evil."

What is wrong about that?
We should understanding good and evil, right?

The Bible is clear:
    We don't understand evil by studying things that are evil.
    We become sensitive to understand evil
        in learning what is good.

Many deaf people work in banks.  All day they count money.
Thousands, thousands of dollars are in their hands every day.
If they touch false (counterfeit) money, they know immediately.
    Why?  ?Because they studied about fake money?
No!  They easily recognize fake money
    because they know real money.
They know how real money looks and feels.
When they see or touch money that doesn't match,
    they know, and reject it.

The same is true for us.
We can recognize the Devil's lies,
    not by researching the Devil's ways,
        but by learning  truth in God's Word, the Bible.

Now, a question:
While Eve was talking about fruit with the snake,
    Adam was where?
    ?Out working some other place in the garden?

No.  See what the story says:
The woman saw that tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that the fruit will make her wise. So she took that fruit and ate it.  Then she gave that fruit to her husband with her, and he ate it(Genesis 3:6)
Adam was where?
He stood there with Eve, while she discussed with the snake!
How many times we tell the story about Adam & Eve,
    and we miss that!?
Very sad, that many English Bible translations miss that, also.
    But the Hebrew sentence in the Bible is clear:
        Adam and Eve were together during their temptation.

Adam must protect his wife!
Why didn't he interrupt the Devil and tell him, "Go away!"?

He became lazy.  
    If his wife wants to take care of that business, fine for him.  
    Adam doesn't care.
If Eve wants to make that decision,
    Adam feels free, zero responsibility.
Big mistake!  
And we husbands still make that same mistake today.

And what about Eve?
When the Devil started talking to her
    about breaking God's commandment,
what should she do?

When temptation comes, the best thing we can do is leave, fast.

Eve's first mistake was trying to argue with the Devil.
She should step back and tell the snake,
    "Talk to my husband. (My hands-off!)"

Eve wrongly took responsibility and authority
    that belonged to her husband.

That relationship of love and protection
    that God planned for husbands and wives,
        here begins to collapse [break-down].
And the Devil wins.

Adam & Eve ate that fruit...
Then, their eyes opened. They understood they were naked.  They sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves.  (Genesis 3:7)
Before Adam & Eve sinned,
    they didn't think about themselves.
They focused on each other,
    and they focused on God.
Back in Genesis chapter 2
    Adam was thrilled to see Eve.
But now his eyes looked away from his wife.
    His heart looked away from God.
Adam sees himself.
    He feels ashamed.
And the same happens in Eve.

They try to cover their shame for their sin with fig leaves.
They try to hide from God.

Only one thing can cover our sin.
Only one thing can remove our shame:
    Jesus Christ,
        His blood offered on the cross for our sins.

Next week we will see God's promise
    to Adam & Eve, and His promise to us.
Already in that garden,
    God made plans for Jesus to remove our sin,
and then cover us in His holy life.



We pray:
Father in heaven,
We are sinners.  
We like to blame Adam & Eve for sinning first.
But we also are guilty for rebelling against you.
We are ashamed.

Thank You for sending Jesus.
Thank You for removing our guilt,
    and removing our shame,
Thank You for covering us in Your pure love.

Please make our eyes open,
    not for seeing evil,
but for seeing only You.

Amen

 


Genesis 3 - Part 2:

8 Then Adam & Eve heard the Lord God walking in the garden during the cool part of the day.  The man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said, "Where are you?"
 10 The man answered, "I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid and I hid, because I was naked."
 11 God asked, "Who told you that you were naked?  ?Did you eat fruit from that tree, I commanded you: Don't eat?"
 12 The man said, "You know that woman You gave me?  She gave-me fruit from the tree. Then I ate."
 13 The Lord God said to the woman, "You did what!?"
The woman answered, "That snake fooled me, then I ate."
 14 The Lord God said to the snake,
"Because you did that,
you will have a curse worse than all other animals,
        farm and wild.
You will slide on your stomach,
and you will eat dirt all during your life.
 15 I will make you and the woman enemies.
Your future children and her future children
    will become enemies.
Her future Son will crush your head,
    and you will bite His heel."



One day our after-school deaf Bible class was settling down for a lesson about Adam & Eve.

Three girls sitting in back decided
    that day was too beautiful for sitting in church.   
We will name those girls Susan, Jenny, and April.

That room had a side door.  
When the girls thought the teacher wasn't looking,
    together they ran through that door to play outside.

The girls were not fast enough.  
All the adults and half the students saw them go.

We waited while a helper went outside
    and shepherded the girls back into class.

Susan came in first.  She saw everyone looking at her.
She said, "Not my fault!  Jenny told me!"

Next Jenny came in.  "Not my fault!  April told me!"

Then April came in.  She smiled and shrugged ["Oh well..."].

I told them, "Sit down girls.  You will enjoy our story today."

I began explaining
    about Eve and the snake, and their conversation.
    Eve took the fruit, and ate.
    She gave it to Adam, and he ate.
    Then they both felt terrible. Why????
All the students sat quiet, except one girl:  Susan.
She raised her hand, and signed, "I know!  I know!  I know!"
I waited, but no other students wanted to answer.

"OK Susan.  After Adam and Eve ate the fruit, why did they feel bad?"

Susan answered, spelling:  "G - E - R - M - S!"

Susan had learned her health lessons in school.  

The teacher explained to the class
    Adam & Eve felt ashamed, because they knew
        they did something very, very wrong.  
    God gave them a clear command,
        and they didn't obey Him.  
    Adam & Eve were guilty, and they knew that.  
    So they tried to hide from God.

God called them out from their hiding place,
    and He asked them... what happened?  
        "Adam!  Did you eat that fruit?"

Adam answered, "Not my fault!  Eve told me!"

Eve?

"Not my fault!  The snake told me!"

Snake?

"[Shrug]."

(Three girls in class sat shocked, mouths open.)


When we do something wrong, and we know that,
    what do we do?
Same as Adam & Eve, we try to hide our crime,
    and cover the evidence.

If we get caught, what do we do?
Same as Adam & Eve, we blame other people.
We quickly notice things they do wrong.

Or we continue the Devil's lie,
    and tell "good reasons" for the things we did.
And while we work to avoid responsibility,
    we make our mess worse-and-worse.

Yes, we excuse ourselves, but blame other people.

First Adam blames God:  
    "You gave me that woman.  God, that's Your fault!"
    (Maybe Adam forgot where God got that woman.)
Then Adam blames Eve:  
    "She gave me that fruit. Her fault!"
But Adam knew that he was doing wrong,
    and he proceeded doing that, anyway.

Here we see Adam and Eve have their first family argument.

Sin always has CONSEQUENCE.

Here we see sin destroy
    the unity that God planned for marriage.  
Genesis chapter 2 tells us that husband and wife are
    two become one.   
Now we see husband and wife divided
    back to two again, no more as one.

God proceed to talk to each of the three guilty persons.

First...
The Lord God said to the snake,
"Because you did that,
you will have a curse worse than all other animals,
        farm and wild.
You will slide on your stomach,
and you will eat dirt all during your life.
  I will make you and the woman enemies.
Your future children and her future children
will become enemies.
Her future Son will crush your head,
and you will bite His heel."  (Genesis 3:14,15)
What is God talking about here?

If we had nothing more before or after this story,
    we can guess that God is describing
    the natural struggle between people and snakes.

But that seems strange --
    God punishing snakes for what the Devil did.
And we wonder --
    Before this happened, could snakes walk???

One week ago we learned that the tempter here
    was NOT an animal, but the Devil himself.
        Clever.
        Beautiful.
        But now wild in rebellion against God.

We can read about
    who the Devil is,
    and why he came to earth,
in the last book in the Bible, Revelation chapter 12:
"In heaven a war happened.
The good angel named Michael
    and his other holy angels together
fought against the Dragon,
    and the Dragon and his evil angels fought back.
But the Dragon was not strong enough.
    He and his angels lost their place in heaven.
That great Dragon, he was-thrown-down
    out from heaven.
He is that old snake called the devil or Satan.
    Now he tricks the whole world.
That Dragon with his angels
    was-thrown down to earth."  (Revelation 12:7-9)
Now we see
    God uses that same picture for the snake
        in Revelation chapter 12
    in His description for the Devil's punishment
        in Genesis chapter 3.

We see that God isn't talking about animal snakes,
    No, He is-talking about THE great Snake from hell,
        the Devil.

But also in Genesis chapter 3,
    we notice that God talks about the descendants,
        future children, from the woman.
And we see that God isn't talking about
    any and every human child.
No, God describes how THE one special CHILD
    will one day fight against the Devil.
That Special Son from the woman will
    "crush the Devil's head"
while the Devil "bites His heel."

And Who is that special Son from the woman?
    Yes! Jesus!

Again we see,
    God still uses the picture language for a snake.
    God predicts that
        Jesus and the Devil will fight.  
Jesus will get crucified (The Devil's bite).
But in Jesus' death,
    the Devil will lose his legal-right to own us.  
        Jesus wins!

Here in the Garden of Eden we see
    God's first promise for sending His Son,
        our Savior Jesus Christ.
Sin began with Adam & Eve in that Garden.
But God already had a plan in Jesus Christ for saving us
    from the eternal consequences for our sin.

The Bible says that the "first Adam" gave us sin and death,
But the "second Adam" - Jesus Christ -
    forgives our sin and gives us life forever.

Now, that story about war in heaven,
    we recently read from Revelation 12.
That story continues:
That great Dragon... with his angels
    was-thrown down to the earth."
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying:
"Salvation and power and the kingdom of our God
    and the authority of His Christ
    have now come.
All day and all night in front of our God
    the Devil accuses our brothers and sisters.
The Devil has been thrown down.
And our brothers and sisters defeated the Devil
    through the blood of the Lamb - Jesus.
And they defeat the Devil
    through the message they preached.
They were not afraid to die for Christ.
Now rejoice, everyone living in heaven!
But terrible for the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has come down to you!
The Devil is filled with anger,
    because he knows he does not have much time."  (Revelation 12:9)-12
That explains why our world is still filled
    with much hurt and hate.
That explains why we also continue to struggle
    against temptation.

Christ on the cross defeated the Devil, yes.
But the Devil still has a little bit more time for his dirty work.

The Bible says that day will come
    when the Devil and his followers
    will-be locked in hell forever,
no more able to bother,
    no more able to lie, tempt, and hurt us.

Until that Day, let us all continue holding on to Christ in faith.

Amen!


Genesis 3 - Part 3:

Genesis 3:16
Then God told the woman,
    " When you become pregnant,
        you will have much trouble.
    And when you give birth to children,
        you will have great pain.
    You will have desire for your husband,
        but he will rule [control] over you."



In Part 1 we saw Adam & Eve thinking about the Devil's lies,
    deciding for themselves
        what is right and
        what is wrong,
    the two of them becoming gods for themselves,
    and experiencing shame and guilt
        in their separation from God.

In Part 2 saw God's explain
    His punishment on the Devil,
    His promise for sending our Savior, Jesus Christ,
    and that war between Jesus and the Devil on the cross,
        that crushes the Devil's power.

Now in Part 3 we begin to see how sin touches our every-day life
    and how sin damages our union with other people.

Genesis 3:16
First God said to the woman,
    "I will cause you to have much trouble
        when you are pregnant,
    and when you give birth to children,
        you will have great pain."

We all know about pain women feel
    during natural childbirth.

A friend of mine asked a group of women,
    "Childbirth feels how?"

One woman answered, and told the man:
    "Grab your mouth lower lip."

The man did it.

Then the woman said,
    "Now pull your lip over your head."

Ouch!

But a mother's pain for her children includes much more
    than labor during birth.

One popular translation for this verse says,
    "I will increase your sorrow,
        and your conception."

Not all women are happy about having a baby.
Many say, "I hope I'm not pregnant!"
Grief?  Yes!

Then after the baby is born, the emotional pain continues.
Birth really-is the easy part.
Raising children, teaching them to become good,
    that's the hard part.

And while parents raise their children, who suffers most?
    Mom? or Dad?   Yes, Mom.

One Bible verse in Proverbs says,
    A wise son makes his father happy - proud,
    but a foolish son makes his mother sad - grief.  (Proverbs 10:1)

If children succeed, Dad will brag about them.
And if children rebel, Dad knows how to let them go.
But mother holds her feelings,
    and carries pain for her children all her life.

Sin influences not only a woman's relationship with her children.
Sin also ruins her relationship with her husband.

The 2nd thing God told Eve,
    "You will have desire for your husband,
        but he will rule over you."

Now, be careful!  That verse is easy to misunderstand.

That first line: "You will have desire for your husband."
That word "desire" means what?

?Does "desire" here mean fall in love?  Sweetheart?
    Positive emotions?  Sex?

Sorry, no.

The Hebrew language has several different words
    that mean "desire."   

But the Hebrew word that we find here in Gen. 3:16
    appears only 3 times in the whole Bible.
The first time is here, God speaking to Eve.
The 2nd time is in the next chapter,
    in that story about two brothers, CAIN and ABEL,
        Adam & Eve's first two sons.

Maybe you know that story.
ABEL worships God with his sacrifice,
But his older brother CAIN only gives a sacrifice
    but he has no true faith,  no true worship.
CAIN becomes jealous against his brother.

God speaks His warning to CAIN.
    "CAIN, you are angry.  Why?
    Your face is sad.  Why?
    If you do well, I will help you.crouching
    But if you don't do well,
        sin is near your door, crouching....
    Sin has desire for you,
        but you must rule over it."  (Genesis 4:6,7)

That's a clear picture!
God describes sin same as a lion ready to grab and kill a deer.
Or the picture is same as a gang of thieves hiding,
    waiting for a person to walk past them.

God told CAIN:
    "Sin is near your door, crouching.*
    Sin has desire for you."

Desire here means what?
    Fall in love?  Sweetheart?  Friends?  NO!

God tells CAIN: "Sin wants you for its lunch!"
    Sin has desire for you,
        but you must rule over it.

That's exactly the same way
    God uses that same word...

God said to Eve:      
"You will have desire for your husband,

but he will rule over you."

God said to Cain:
"Sin has desire for you,

  but you must rule over it."

Many English Bible translators misunderstand Gen. 3:16,
    and they incorrectly translate that verse.

God is not painting a beautiful picture about
    love between husbands and wives.
God is not describing here how a husband must become
    a loving serving leader in his home.
Many other verses in the Bible talk about that.  But not here.

The picture here shows
    anger, conflict, misunderstanding,
    struggle for control,
        all still happening in families today.
Why?  Sin.

Sin always has CONSEQUENCES.
Sin ruins love and fellowship in marriage.
Sin ruins love and trust between parents and their children.
Same-as sin ruins our love and fellowship with God.

But you know the way God made for us
    to connect again in fellowship with Him
        is through Jesus and His cross.

The way we experience God's love again
    happens in forgiveness.
The same way we show love in marriage and in family
    happens in our forgiving each-other.

Sin separates us from God,
    but the cross of Jesus is same as a bridge
        that connects us to Him, together again.

Sin separates husbands and wives,
    sin separates parents and children.
But the cross of Jesus is same as a bridge
    that connects our families together again.

Things that separate our families are
    disappointment
    hurt
    angry words
    mocking words and facial-expressions
    time we spend looking-at
        TV, computers, work, hobbies,
    instead of time that we need for looking-at each-other.

 All your sins, God nailed on the cross with Jesus.
And all those sins that other people in your family do,
    God nailed their sins on the cross, also.

Jesus makes possible for us to release our sins to Him,
And Jesus also makes possible for us to release to Him
    our hurt, our anger, our disappointment.
Jesus makes possible for us to release to Him
    all those sins that other people do against us.

When our love is gone,
    Jesus make possible for Him to show His love through us.

Same-as God told Eve,
    sin has broken our families.
But now Jesus heals our families
    in His love and forgiveness.




Genesis 3 - Part 4:

Now we learn about what God told Adam.


Genesis 3:17-19
17 Then God said to the man,
    "You listened-to your wife,
        and you ate fruit from that tree
            that I ordered you: Don't eat.
    Because you did that,
        now I will curse the ground for you.
    From now on, during all your life,
        you must work hard with pain for your food.
 18 The ground will grow thorns and weeds for you,
        and you will eat plants from the field.
 19 You will sweat and work hard for your bread,
        until you go back in the ground.
        Remember, I made you from the ground.
    You are dust,
        and you will become dust again."



If we can summarize God's punishment for Adam in two words.
    Those two words are work and death.

But Question:  Before Adam began sinning,
    Adam lived in the Garden of Eden doing what?

Adam was doing work!

Remember, God told Adam,
    "You work and take care of that Garden." [Gen. 2:15]

God first planned for Man to work.
Work before sin.   
Work after sin.  
What's different?

Remember, in Genesis chapter 1
    God made Man and Woman perfect.
        They had no sin.
And the Bible also says that
    God made Man and Woman
        "in His IMAGE."
That means their
    thoughts,
    ideas,
    attitudes,
    actions,
    and feelings
were same as His
    thoughts,
    ideas,
    attitudes,
    and actions.

The Bible says that during those first six days,
    God worked,
        creating,
        and making the world.

Then God gave Adam responsibility
    for taking care of His world.
And Adam's work also was creative and wonderful.

But when sin began,
    that world became broken.
And man's work changed.

Adam first worked
    for God,
    for his wife,
    for the animals.
But now Adam must work for himself.

Adam first worked,
    for giving pleasure to God,
and for serving other people.

Now Adam must work for staying alive,
    and for feeding his family,
    and for supporting his wife and children.

God made His world good and perfect.
But Adam's sin broke His world.
Now everything that Adam makes, also will break.

God's first plan for our work really never stopped.
Work that creates,
    serves,
    and satisfies,
is always best.

But that work now must have 2nd place.
Work for staying alive, now that's first.

Work becomes ruined with sin.
Now our focus is-not working for giving.
Now we focus on work for getting.

God told us, we must take care of this world.
But our work often ruins part of His world.

Adam wanted to become smart as God, right?
Now we are stuck, trying to do for ourselves,
    work that God first planned
        for Him to do for us.
Adam & Eve wanted to become gods.
Our broken world proves that we are lousy gods.

Now, please notice again
    what God told Eve,
    then what God told Adam.

We see in HIS description
    about sin's influence in our lives,
those things that give us most pleasure,
    now give us most grief.

Maybe you notice that men and women
    think and act differently.

When men meet for the first time,
    they talk about what?
        Their work.
When women meet for the first time,
    they talk about what?
    Their families and friends.
Men identify themselves in their jobs, their professions.
Women identify themselves in their relationships
    with other people.

Now notice that in God's description about sin's influence,
    sin gives women most pain, where?
    In their families - with children and husband.
And sin gives men pain and frustration where?
    In their work.

Also notice that where we have our greatest strength,
    we also have our greatest temptations.

Men often focus on work so much, they ignore their families.

Many famous old men successful in business
    answered this question:
        "If you can change anything in your life,
            what will you change?"
No one says, "I wish I had worked harder."
No one says, "I wish I had stayed in my office more hours,
    working more over-time, working more weekends."
No one says, "I wish I bought more things."

Most men say, "I wish I had paid attention to my wife.
    I wish I had given more time to my children."

For man, work is both a blessing and a curse.

If our goal for work is getting more things,
    we will always have disappointment,
    and we will never become satisfied.

God first gave Adam and Eve everything they needed for life -
    BASICS.
The Bible teaches that we also can become satisfied
    with the things God already gave us.
And we can trust Him for everything we really need,
    while we give our lives in service to Him
        and serving other people.

Because we have sin,
    now we must work to earn our food and our homes.

But one thing we can never earn:
    our home in heaven.

Work for that is finished.
Jesus did that work for us,
    in His suffering and death on the cross.
Now Jesus invites us to rest in Him.

That is really important, because God told Adam
    that sin not only ruins our work.
God also said, sin destroys our life.
If we do sin, we will die.
We all sin.  Therefore, we all will die.

God said,
    "You will sweat and work hard for your bread,
        until you go back in the ground.
        Remember, I made you from the ground.
    You are dust,
        and you will become dust again."

Where do we often see those word?
If you go to a funeral,
    the pastor maybe say that verse
        over the body in the cemetery.

If you go to Ash Wednesday worship,
    when you get your ashes
the pastor says to you,
    "Remember, you are dust,
        and you will become dust again."

And Adam could never forget that,
    because his name ADAM means "ground."

God invented life.
Sin destroys life.
And Jesus let our sin destroy His life.
His death pays our debt.

Sin leads us to hell.
But now Jesus made heaven open again,
    for all who will give-Him their sin,
        and trust His promise.

Amen!



Genesis 3 - Part 5:

Our study began, seeing Adam and Eve eating fruit from the tree
    that gives knowledge about good and evil,
    that tree God forbid them to eat.  

But remember, the Garden of EDEN had two special trees:
    [1] the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil, and
    [2] the Tree of Life.

Four-weeks-ago, our study began focusing-on the first tree.
Now our study ends focusing-on the second tree.


Genesis 3:20-24
20 The man named his wife EVE [meaning "life"], because she became mother for every person that since lived.
21 Lord God made clothes from animal skin for the man and his wife, and God put-clothes-on-them.
22 Then the Lord God said, "Man has[finish] become same-as Us; he knows good and evil. Now, if Man eats fruit from the Tree of Life, he will live forever.  He must not do that."  
23 The Lord God forced the man out from the Garden of Eden, to go work the ground, that ground God took and made man.
24 After God forced the man out [finish], God put an angel, protecting the Garden of Eden, on the east side.  And God put there a sword of fire.  That sword turned every way, protecting [blocking] the way to the Tree of Life.



Two trees.
    One tree gives life.
    The other tree gives death.

Adam & Eve first choose which tree?
    Yes, the tree that gives death.

Today we see people still making that same choice.
    Often, when God offers-us life,
        we choose death.

Now, Question:
After Adam & Eve sinned,
    God didn't-want them eating fruit from the Tree of Life.
God blocked their way to that tree.
Why???

God said,
    "If Man eats fruit from the Tree of Life,
        he will live forever.  He must not do that."  

God first made man and woman perfect, having no sin.
God's first plan for us, means life forever.  No death.

But now we are perfect no more.
We all sin, and sin leads to death.

If we understand this Bible verse right,
    that Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden
    can stop physical death, only.

Yes, God's judgment against Adam & Eve
    blocked their way to that Tree of Life.
But also, that was God's mercy.
Imagine, living forever in sin!

I don't know about you,
    but I am happy that God limited our time
        for struggling against sin.

In Genesis chapter 6,
    God says He limits the number of years for our life,
    because person living a long time can invent much evil.
God said,
    "My Spirit will not struggle against people forever,
        because they are sinful flesh
    From-now-on, they will live only 120 years."

But, you know-that here in Genesis chapter 3 is not the last time
    we see the Tree of Life.

We see that Tree again in the last book of the Bible, REVELATION.

The Bible often compares
    the Garden of Eden
    and heaven.
        The Hebrew word for "garden" is "paradise!"

Also, we see the Bible's description about heaven
    includes the Tree of Life.

Relation chapter 2, in the first letter to 7 different churches,
Jesus said:
    "My Holy Spirit now speaks to your churches.
    Every person must pay attention.  
    Every person that wins,
        I will give-him the right to eat fruit
        from the Tree of Life,
            that tree God's garden."

In REV. 22, the last chapter in the Bible,
    JOHN saw the Tree of Life,
        "that gives healing for the nations."

Then Jesus said,
    "Happy are people who wash their robes.
    They will receive the right to eat the fruit
        from the Tree of Life.
    And they can go through the gates into the city."

Yes, God kicked Adam & Eve out from the Garden of Eden.
    But not forever!
Yes, God block their way to the Tree of Life,
    but only for a short time!

Our way back into God's Garden is how?
That verse in Revelation explains two steps.

The first step is "washing our robes."
The Bible often uses that picture meaning
    washing away our sins.
That already happened
    when Jesus died on the cross for us
    for taking-away our guilt.

Remember in Genesis chapter 3, after Adam & Eve sinned,
    they tried to cover their shame using fig leaves.
But that didn't succeed.
In our story today, we see God covered them, using animal skins.

Those animals that died to cover Adam & Eve's bodies,
that becomes a picture for Jesus, God's perfect Lamb,
    sacrificed for us,
        covering our ugly sins in His perfect blood.

If we want to enter heaven, we must be covered in Christ Jesus.

The second step for entering heaven, Jesus said,
    is eating fruit from the Tree of Life.
But what exactly does that mean?

We find the answer
    in the Greek word the Bible uses for "tree."

In English we have only one word: T-R-E-E.
And in ASL we have only one sign:  tree.

But the Greek language, has two words:
    [1] DENDRON
    [2] XULON

The first word, DENDRON, means a living growing green tree.

For example, Jesus said,
    "Every good tree - DENDRON - grows good fruit,
    but a bad tree - DENDRON - grows bad fruit" [Matthew 7:17]

That is the word the Bible most often uses for naming a tree.

But the Bible also uses the other Greek word, XULON,
    meaning WOOD.

For example, Peter on trial for preaching about Jesus,
    Peter told the judges,
    "You killed Jesus by nailing Him on the Tree - XULON." [Acts 5:30]
        ...meaning the cross.

Later Peter wrote in his first letter,
    "Jesus carried our sins in His body on the Tree - XULON -
    so we can stop living for sin and start living for what is right."
    [1 Peter 2:24]

And in several other verses, the Bible uses that word XULON
    for naming the cross where Jesus died.

DENDRON / XULON

Now, guess which word Jesus uses for naming the Tree of Life
in the last book of the Bible.  ??
       [1] DENDRON - a living, growing, green tree?
or    [2] XULON - the cross?
    Which?

Yes #2.
The Tree that gives Life forever
    is the cross of Jesus Christ.

In His death that happened in our sin-filled world,
    we receive life forever in His perfect world.

Sin kicked us out from Eden,
    but Jesus and His cross leads us back in.

An angel and a sword of fire blocked the way to the Garden.
    Now Jesus stands blocking our way to hell.

The tree that gives knowledge about good and evil
    brings us death.

But Jesus' cross becomes the Tree of Life,
    that makes possible again
        God's first, beginning plan for us,
    when He made our world good and perfect.

Now in Christ, we can live forever!
Thank you, Jesus!   Amen!




END NOTES

Part 1
People tend to invent helpful rules for themselves, rules not directed in God's Law, and then impose those rules on other people.  A good example comes from the late Paul E. Little, How to Give Away Your Faith, 1966 by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of the United States of America, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. Pp. 100-101.
I got some practical firsthand experience with this problem at a student conference in New Jersey some years ago. There I met a fellow, a salesman, who literally worshipped baseball before he became a Christian. He would slave away all winter long so that he could be completely free for his god in the summer months. For something like twelve years he hadn't missed a single game in Philadelphia. He knew every batting average since 1910. He slept, ate, drank, and breathed baseball. Then he met the Savior and gave up his idol, leaving it at Jesus' feet.

 Toward the end of our rugged and somewhat exhausting conference, this fellow overheard me suggest to another staff member, 'Say, after the conference let's go to Connie Mack Stadium and see the Phillies. They're playing the St. Louis Cards.' The salesman was staggered. Incredulous, he stared at me and demanded, 'How can you as a Christian go to a baseball game?' Now, I've heard a lot of taboos in Christian circles, but this was the first time I'd heard baseball banned! I was flabbergasted and didn't know what to say. When he asked a second time, 'How can you and Fred claim to be Christians and then go out to a ball game?' Fred and I starting thinking and discussing the situation. As we talked to the salesman we uncovered his problem. Here was a man like the Christians in Rome, a former idol worshiper. Baseball had been a big thing to him; now he assumed that anybody who saw a game (ate meat), however removed from idolatrous intents, was worshipping baseball as an idol.

Fred and I canceled our baseball date since our going would have needlessly disturbed our friend at a sensitive stage in his Christian life. But we also talked and counseled with him, and he gradually realized that not all Christians find baseball a problem. With his background, baseball will probably be a dangerous temptation to him for the rest of his life; this he knows. But later he also saw that he couldn't legislate for Christians who have no problem with the sport. It heartened us to see him begin to mature in his attitudes.
[Return to study, Part I]




Part 3 (Desire)
teshukah
Part III of this study notes that the Hebrew word "desire" (teshuqah) used in Gen. 3:16 is used only 3 times in the whole Old Testament. The second reference is Gen.4:7, in the Cain and Abel story, as discussed above.  However, the third time it is used is in Song of Solomon 7:10, "I am my beloved's, and he has desire for me."    

A first impression from the Song of Solomon text seems to allow for translating teshuqah as "affection."   However, the meaning of teshuqah (preditor's desire for prey) as it is used in Gen.4:7 also applies to Song of Solomon 7:10.

Song of Solomon 7 opens with the husband describing, with poetic delight, his wife's body.   If we apply the Gen.4:7 meaning of "desire" to the wife's response in Song of Solomon 7:10, "I am my beloved's, and he has desire for me," that text becomes a playful, "My beloved is the hunter and I am the hunted (and I am very much enjoying the hunt)!" 



Part 5 (Tree)
dendron
Other NT verses that use DENDRON for green, growing tree:
    Matt. 3:10
            7:17-18
            12:33
            13:32
            21:8
    Mark 8:24
    Luke 3:9
            21:29
    Rev. 7:1-3
            8:7
            9:4

 
xulon
Verses that use XULON for the "tree" of the cross of Christ:
    Acts 5:30
            10:39
            13:29
    Gal 3:13
    1 Peter 2:24

etz
What is the Hebrew word for "tree" in the Genesis texts?  The Hebrew word ETz is the word for "tree" most freqently used throughout the OT, including the Genesis texts.  That word also refers to virtually anything made of wood - timbers and planks in houses, fire wood, gallows, wood carved into idols, etc.


What about the Septuagint? How does it translate "tree of life?"  Surprise!  Three hundred years before the crucifixion of Christ, the rabbis and scribe who translated the Septuagint also chose the Greek word XULON, rather than DENDRON, when translating "tree" in the Genesis 1-3 texts.


[Home]