Message of the Day: The Fall of Man: What Went Wrong?
Text: Genesis 3:1-24 – The Fall of Man
Key Verse: Genesis 3:6
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (NKJV)
In Geneses 1: 31, it is made clear that everything God had created was very good. Shalom reverberates in the entire created beings. It is peaceful, rich and integrated. The place in which God placed Adam and Eve – the Garden of Eden – evokes pleasure and delight. It is fertile and rich in minerals. For Adam and Eve, life in Eden is the life of peace or and wholeness – shalom!
Chapter 3 of Genesis however, tells the story of a catastrophe which shattered God’s creation. It started with that aspect of being human which we call freedom to choose – the will or volition. Adam and Eve can obey or disobey God’s command in Genesis 2:16-17, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” They can obey this command and enjoy life in perfect fellowship with God or try to find their own way apart from God’s will – assert their autonomy. The next section of the narrative reflects a rather sad picture, Eve gives in and decides to disobey God in the presence of her husband Adam: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6, NKJV)
We see here 3 aspects of which the serpent tempted Eve: (1) that the tree was good for food, (2) that it was pleasant to the eye, (3) and that the tree is desirable to make one wise. All three aspects boil down to two main struggle of all human beings to this day: the “desire” (lust) of the flesh and the “pride of life.” However, we must remember that the most important issue here is the choice between obedience to God’s will or one’s own desire. As mentioned above, the first couple chose to follow their own craving apart from God’s will.
At first, the serpent seems to be telling the truth, for Adam and Eve did not immediately die. But Genesis 3:7-8 exposed what happened to them, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (NKJV). They lost their purity and wholeness – they were alienated their “self” (“they knew they were naked“), they were alienated from one another (“they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings“), and they were alienated from God (“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden“).
Adam and Eve did not die physically but their sense of self, and their relationship to one another and to God is shattered, which tantamount to death. The story of the Fall of the first couple exposes the fundamental nature of sin: it is the desire to to do things apart from God – autonomy! A glimpse of redemption, to address Adam and Eve’s disbedience, is given in Genesis 3: 15, “And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” (NKJV)
Though the serpent successfully tempted Adam and Eve, but through Christ mankind would eventually triumph over sin and Satan. In Romans 5:12, Paul explains that if through Adam sin entered the world, through Christ we receive grace, righteousness and life. In view, therefore, of what Christ has fulfilled for us, we ought to do things within the bounds of God’s will and ask Him to help us do it with his abundant grace.
Bartholomew, Craig G. and Goheen, Michael W. The Drama of Scripture. Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004.
Boadt, Lawrence. Reading the Old Testament. An Introduction. Manila, Philippines: St. Pauls, 2003.
Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999.
MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.
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