Genesis 3 Games In The Garden

Psalm 2:2-4 What Tickles God's Funny Bone?
2:2 "The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against YAHWEH, and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let's break their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord scoffs at them."

Observation: The essence of humor is incongruity. We laugh to break the tension. God is really in control and His purposes won't be thwarted. Independence is the essence of sin. More on this below (and the rest of Scripture). We want to live without restraints, but we don't have the character to do so. People and tomatoes do better with just the right amount of support and structure. No structure, (or too much), no fruit.

Application: How are you living in dependence on God? Are you seeking your power (security/significance), possessions, and pleasure independently of Him?

Prayer: God, You've revealed Yourself to be my All in All. Help me deeply depend on You. Amen.

Proverbs 1:7-10 Can You Just Say “No”?
1:7 ”The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear/obey your father’s instruction, and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching: 9 for they will be a garland to grace your head, and chains around your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, don’t consent.”

Observations: 1:7 Fear of God is not something to be feared, but embraced, because it benefits us greatly.
1:8-9 Biblical parents train their kids in the ways of God. A child learns to listen to their heavenly Father by first listening to their earthly father, and learns to follow God by following their mother's direction. Biblical child rearing first teaches a child to obey. Then the parents can affirm the child for their obedience. Others will affirm the well-behaved child, boosting their sense of worth and value. See The Magic Lamp of Self-Esteem.
1:10 Teaching self-denial rather than immediate gratification is a major task of parenting, which needs to be modeled as well. The ability to withstand enticement of enticing things is essential for spiritual excellence.

Application: If you're a kid, learn from your parents. If you are a parent, teach something worth learning.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I embrace Your wisdom and eschew sin. Amen.


Genesis 3 Games in the Garden
This chapter is so chock full of crucial concepts that we'll stroll through it in a leisurely pace to gather rosebuds while we may, which will reach full bloom throughout the rest of Scripture. Where there's a lot of ink, stop and think, that's the emphasis. Moses is writing this for the folks exiting Egypt and approaching the promised land. The happiness and blessedness of the Exodus generation, depended upon their faithful obedience to what God had Revealed. Problems arose in Paradise, resulting in what's called “The Fall” because of a failure to faithfully follow God's Word. Same thing today. Do whatever it takes to grasp the principles in this passage, because they are the path to understanding the rest of Scripture, and your life.
Here's what you'll find in Chapter 3:
  • Top trick of Satan and his will for our lives
  • Our major motivations and deadly desires
  • Where do we get our sense of worth and value?
  • Why we are tempted to sin and what to do about it
  • "Hide and Hurl" or "Name and Claim It" 
  • What we lost in the Garden and how to gain it back
Genesis 3 Truth or Consequences
3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat, 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t surely die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (Pleasure), and that it was a delight to the eyes (Possessions), and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, (Power-Security/Significance) she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate."
Observations: See Digging Deeper for distortions in the diabolical dialogue, and ssssecret sssstuff on the sssssnake.

Genesis 3:1 The snake was all over the place in Egyptian worship (where the Israelites had just been). Serpent = Satan (fallen angel - Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:13-18, Revelation 20:2), who starts by casting doubt on God’s Word and distorting it…causing us to doubt the Goodness of God (Nahum 1:7) and tempting us to take a shortcut to Doom (the dumb think it's delight).
3:2-3 Adam must have played telephone with the woman, because the message from God isn't exact. That's why it's good to take some of the gray cells God's given you and learn how to study what He's Revealed accurately. Note too, that she minimizes the consequences of obeying/disobeying and adds legalism to God’s words. When we do the former, we add the latter to make us feel good about ourselves.
3:6 Our three God-given Motivations: Pleasure, Possessions, and Power (consisting of Security and Significance). These are human desires in an unfallen state. Satan tempted Jesus with the same three. (Luke 4:1-13) God cares about our desires (He created us with them) and has a plan to fulfill them, in His time and way. The question is: will we trust Him?

Psalm 16:11 "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." 
Psalm 145:16 "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." 
Psalm 84:11 "For LORD God is a sun and a shield. YAHWEH will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly."
Satan’s will for our lives is a short-cut to the Promises of God. Our unsanctified desires are deadly (1 John 2:16). Satan knows the Scripture better than we do, and uses half-truths to deceive us.


Question: What motivates you? Where do you get your sense of worth and value?

Application: Doubting the Goodness of God is demonic. If we don't sanctify our desires for power, pleasure, and possessions, they will ensnare us. If we don't get our worth and value from pleasing God, we'll seek (and find) it in all the wrong places. (See Deadly Desires Series, and "It Ain't Gonna Reign No More" on Truthbase.net for survival and revival tips.)

Prayer: Giver of all that is good, help me trust that You will give what's best, when it's best, and protect me from the folly of failing to wait for You to fulfill your promises. Amen.

Genesis 3 Hide 'N Seek -- I Wonder Where that Adam Went?
3:7 "The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 They heard the voice of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. 9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 The man said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

3:7 Our attempts to cover our sin are inadequate. God's got a better solution (see Genesis 3:21 - it involves blood); die = deposed from exercising dominion (glory/light/power/grace); naked = loss of glory (suit - see 2 Corinthians 5:3-4).
3:8 Intimacy with God and others is shattered by sin. Is it worth it? (Isaiah 59:2). Seeking forgiveness restores the relationship.
3:9-11 God always knows the answer to the questions He asks us (a benefit of being omniscient), so why does He ask them?


Genesis 3 The Blame Game on the SeeSaw
3:12 "The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”


Observation: 3:12 We balance guilt by blaming others, circumstances, or even God, rather than take responsibility for our sin. If we don't own it and deal with it, our sin will remain and stink. (In 1 John 1:9 “confess” means to “say the same” thing.)
3:13 The serpent didn't have any fingers to point, so the consequences start with him.

Application: "Name it and Claim it." When aware of our sin(s) we need to call it what God calls it (unfaithful rebellion), and claim the solution/forgiveness He offers (but then we're getting ahead of ourselves). Fig leaves are so out of fashion.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for pointing out my sin, so I can be freed from it, and have intimacy with You. Amen.

Genesis 3 Survivor: Earth Edition
3:14 "Yahweh God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring/seed and her offspring/seed. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” 
16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you will bear children. Your desire will be (to master) your husband, and he will rule over you.” 
17 To Adam he said, “Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you; and you will eat the herb of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 The man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living."

Observations: Note the consequences for each. Adam and (soon to be called) Eve didn't get cursed.
3:15 Stepping on a nail hurts; having your brains splattered is fatal. The original audience must have scratched their heads over this one. We can see that it refers to Christ wounded, but victorious over Satan.
3:16 desire = desire to master/rule over (cf Genesis 4:7 sin versus Cain).
3:17 not listening to one's wife is not an appropriate application for this verse if you want to live in Paradise.
3:20 “Eve” means life or living, an expression of hope???

Genesis 3 From Figs to Fur
3:21 "Yahweh God made coats of skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them. 22 Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever...” 23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed Cherubs at the east of the garden of Eden, and the flame of a sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life."

Observations: 3:21 A blood sacrifice (life is in the blood Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11).

Question: What happened to Genesis 2:17 “the day you eat...surely die”? Adam talks and plays Hide'n Go Seek with God, gets a new wardrobe, and is looking very much alive. In fact, he goes on to live a bunch more years.

BIGGER Question: Exactly what did Adam and friend lose?

BIGGEST QUESTION: How does Salvation reverse the effects of The Fall? See below.


Digging Deeper:
Genesis 3:1 Satan: "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?"
Genesis 2:16 God: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.
Genesis 3:2 Eve: "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden."
Genesis 3:3 Eve ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’"
Genesis 2:17 God: "in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Genesis 3:4 "Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’"
Having a Quiet Time in the Garden was pretty simple. “Good Morning Lord, thanks for life today! Nice job on the oranges. Ok, let's see what Your will for me is today. Hmmm, Genesis 2:17 “Don't eat the fruit.” Hey, I read that yesterday. Check. Got it. Thanks for watching out for me. Help me not eat the fruit. Amen. OK, catcha latter."
"Hey Eve, what's for dinner? Apple pie you say. What's that? Sounds delicious."

Question: If Adam clearly saw the consequences of his actions, would he have bitten the bait?
Genesis 3:14 This winged disk, a symbol of deity, with the snakes in the middle, is Egyptian, but it is found all over the Ancient Near East.

The Parthenon Code reveals Greek stonework depicting the serpent in an upright position (a physical impossibility) and as the giver of wisdom. It also shows the serpent becoming serpent-man, and finally Zeus, the ruler of this world. Athena, the goddess of Greek wisdom, whose name means “not-die” comes fully grown of the head of Zeus (cf Eve from Adam's rib - see image at end of this post). Cain is the good guy, Seth the evil one. All of it is a demonic perversion of Genesis. If you want to see the sign of Satan throughout ancient civilizations, look for the snake. Eye opener.

What Adam and Eve lost:
  • Right to live forever, 
  • Holiness/unhindered relationship with God, 
  • Glory/dominion.
What we gain back in Salvation through Christ:
  • Justification: sins forgiven, debt paid, spiritual rebirth, heaven rather than the lake of fire, fait acompli,
  • Sanctification: progressive growth in our relationship with God becoming more holy and Christlike,
  • Glorification: restoration to pre-Fall glory when Christ rules over the earth with His faithful followers.
You can't hear “well done, good and faithful servant” unless you've done something, been good, and faithful and a servant. See the first of the Seven Relationship/Discipleship Passages (Ephesians 2:8-10) for more on the different aspects of salvation. 

God in a nutshell: Sovereign ruler who sets the rules, specifying consequences, which we are free to reap. He means what He says, will always follow through on His promises, but is gracious in dealing with us. He tries to bring us to an awareness of our sin.

Us in a nutshell: We're given commands with the expectation we would obey them. We can choose to do wrong and suffer the consequences. We have pre-Fall, innate desires for Power (security/significance), Pleasure, and Possessions, which we pursue to get worth and value, when we don't get it from pleasing God. We tend to minimize the consequences of obeying/disobeying God, as well as hide our sin and hurl at (blame) others. We're not that cute and cuddly, but for some reason, God loves us.

Where to Go for More:
Note resources in the comments above.

C.S. Lewis' book Screwtape Letters has opened a lot of eyes to the workings of our adversary.

Since Satan's major weapon is deception, see: Lies We Believe (that keep us bound to sin);
If you want help on Spiritual Warfare, see Defense Against the Dark Arts (sermons and self-study guides that will equip/arm you to escape and stay free).

Neil Anderson's book Bondage Breaker gives additional help in living victoriously, for those who like things spelled out, and his book Victory over Darkness gives lots of case studies for those who live vicariously (learn from the experiences of others).

The Parthenon Code: Mankind's History in Marble, is a little technical but fascinating, demonstrating the perversion of the Genesis account.  



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