The world is fresh, and new, and full of promise. Adam and Eve are living in paradise and walk in the Presence of God. There is harmony, peace, and all good things, and then comes Genesis 3.
It is easy to read this chapter, become a bit depressed, and long for everything that was lost, but I don’t think that is the intention of Genesis 3. Yes it is good to know what was lost, and how it was lost. It gives us an understanding of why, even in the best of circumstances, it feels like something is missing, something is wrong. It is also easy to shift the blame for that on Adam and Eve. Why were they so stupid? Why did they give in to Satan so easily? However if you honestly reflect on how you would have done if you were in their shoes (even though they didn’t wear any), would you have done any better? It is easy to shift the blame for doing wrong, Adam did it, he blamed Eve AND God. “The woman did it. The woman that you gave me.”
There are so many lessons we can (and need to learn) from this chapter:
- Deception starts with doubting the word of God (v1: “Did God actually say …”)
- Satan is out to kill, steal and destroy. He is the father of lies and want to separate us from God. (v4,5)
- Shame, fear, pain, back breaking toil, etc, etc, was never meant to be part of life
- The fall of man affect all of creation, it was universal (v14,17)
- Ambition without God leads to pride (v6)
The saddest verse in this chapter, and probably in the whole bible, is verse 8: “… the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God …”. This is like coming home and finding that your children are hiding from you in fear (Adam says to God in verse 10: “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, … and I hid myself.”) This is where we see very clearly that God has lost his children, and we have lost sight of who He wants to be to us. Even today many Christians don’t know how to enter and enjoy the presence of God, and yet He desires to see His children in His presence. There is such peace, joy, and healing in His presence that we should take every opportunity to enter His presence, and to spend time just being loved by our Father.
However that is not the central message of this chapter. God might have lost his kids, but He wants them back, and He is not going to stop at anything to get them. That is the central message of this chapter, a message of hope (v15):
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Of course verse 15 refers to Jesus defeating Satan on the cross. God did not, nor ever has given up on his original plan. He always intended an earth ruled by His children in relationship with Him. A world of peace, love, joy, health, and satisfaction. A true paradise for the children he once lost. And He is still implementing that plan. That hope is certain, and the promise is true. Redemption is here, God has done it. One day soon the universe will be restored. We no longer have to grieve for what was lost, but can live in hope for what is coming. Life is good, because God is good. There is certain hope, because God has promised.
Let’s look forward to this new year and live in the hope that He has made possible.