- "Did God Really Say?" - The serpent starts by questioning what God had said and then contradicting it. Notice also that Eve quotes God incorrectly. She says that God said not to touch the tree, but He never commanded that. He just said not to eat from it. (Compare Genesis 2:17 to 3:3.)
This reminds me of how modern society questions the validity of God's Word and even contradicts it in almost every matter. Can you think of some examples of how modern society contradicts God's Word?
Our only defense against the world's way of thinking is to know the Scripture for ourselves. If Eve had been grounded in what God actually said, rather than merely what she thought He said, perhaps she wouldn't have been so easy to persuade.
- The 2nd Sin - Sin alienates us from God and from others. Note how Adam and Eve hid from God and blamed each other for their mistake. Sin reverses the intended order of things. We should be in a loving relationship with God and others, not hiding from, blaming, being in enmity with, or feeling shame in regard to God and others.
When we do sin, there is only one way to put things back as they should be. We can admit our sin and ask forgiveness. This was Adam and Eve's second sin. They tried to pass off their sin instead of admitting it and asking forgiveness.
When have you tried to blame others, or blame circumstances, instead of owning up to your own mistakes? The way to holiness is to honestly acknowledge our sin for what it is, take responsibility for it, and sincerely repent of it.
- "Because You Listened..." - In verse 17, God makes it clear that Adam is being punished because he listened to Eve instead of to God. This shows us the need to reject peer pressure, even as adults, and to live to please God rather than people. It shows the need to reject other people's ideas and advice, just as Adam should have with Eve, when they contradict God's known will.
Who has your ear? What person do you listen to most in your life? When you have a decision to make, do you go to them before you go to God?
Remember that every person is fallible, despite their intentions, and that only God will lead us right every time. Go to Him first and reject any suggestions that contradict what you feel He's telling you either in Scripture or in prayer.
- Skin Covers Sin - God made garments of skin to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness. They didn't make the garments; God did.
Where do you think those garments of skin came from?
Garments of skin come from animals. God put animals to death in order to make those skins that covered Adam and Eve's shame in their nakedness. And these garments of skin show us a very important point. They show us how seriously our holy God takes sin. He takes it deathly serious. It's so serious that it cannot be glossed over or ignored. It can't be smoothed over with a simple apology. It takes death to bring about forgiveness.
Only God could cover Adam and Eve's sin and He did so by means of sacrifice.
In the same way, God sent Christ to be our sacrifice in order to cover our sin once and for all.We didn't decide to have Christ come for us; God did. God knew that we couldn't cover our own sin and shame. We couldn't do anything to make up for our selfish (sinful) attitudes and actions. He had to do it for us, and He did it by means of the ultimate sacrifice.
- The Tree of Life - God put up a barrier between humanity and the Tree of Life. Why did He do this? He says that it if humans were to reach out their hand and eat from it, they would live forever. Does God not want us to live forever? Does He not want us to have eternal life?
As God makes clear in the coming of Christ, He does want us to have eternal life, but it can't come by our own doing. In our sinful state, we can't reach out our hand and take from the Tree of Life. Eternal life is something that God has to give us and lead us toward.
He leads us to the Tree of Life and eternity by guiding us into His wisdom (Proverbs 3) and through belief in His Son (Revelation 22).
We will eat from the Tree of Life, but it will not be because of our strength or actions. We can't reach out our hand and take it for ourselves. It will come only as a gift from God and from what He has done for us by teaching us and sending Christ to take away the barriers between our sinfulness and God's holiness.