Friday, April 17, 2020

Genesis 3:14-21

The LORD God said to the serpent,

   “Because you have done this,

            cursed are you above all livestock

            and above all beasts of the field;

   on your belly you shall go,

            and dust you shall eat

            all the days of your life.

   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.”

  

   To the woman he said,

   “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;

            in pain you shall bring forth children.

   Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,

            but he shall rule over you.”

  

   And to Adam he said,

   “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife

            and have eaten of the tree

   of which I commanded you,

            ‘You shall not eat of it,’

   cursed is the ground because of you;

            in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

   thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;

            and you shall eat the plants of the field.

   By the sweat of your face

            you shall eat bread,

   till you return to the ground,

            for out of it you were taken;

   for you are dust,

            and to dust you shall return.”

  

The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

 

Having sinned, the man and woman must now face judgment. Before we consider God’s judgment upon their sin, however, we notice that even his wrath is mixed with mercy. He did not storm the garden with fire and fury as was his right. Rather, God wooed the man out of his hiding that he might acknowledge his sin. It is also worth noting that the man and woman are spared physically. Certainly decay and death have now entered the human experience. Spiritual death has fractured their once harmonious communion with God. The earth, their home, will experience the same sorts of decay. But God spares them for a glorious purpose. Nevertheless, God’s mercy does not nullify the need for justice.

 

God pronounces a series of curses upon the serpent, the woman, and finally the man. Take note of God’s sovereignty throughout. God’s absolute rule has in no way been diminished by the wicked actions of his creatures. The attempt of the man and woman to be as God is revealed as a pathetic fantasy. Even the ancient foe is proved to be unable to act apart from the willing of God.

 

We must be careful to not say more than the Scriptures allow. But it seems clear that the fall, while tragic and wicked, played a part in God’s sovereign design to magnify his glory in judgment and mercy. Indeed, God’s work of redeeming sinful man was decreed long before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-10; Revelation 13:8). So God’s response to the sin of the man and woman was not complete destruction. But in the midst of the curses pronounced there was also a promise.

 

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.

In what Martin Luther called the proto euangelion – the first gospel – the LORD God promised that the serpent would be finally slain by a descendent of the woman (3:15). In a display of sovereign grace, the Lord snatched the woman from the clutches of Satan and made her the progenitor of the Messiah. No wonder genealogies are so important in Scripture. They are a record of God’s faithfulness to his promise to send the Savior.

 

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

As if to foreshadow the work of Christ, God takes the life of a blameless one in order to provide coverings for the guilty man and woman even as he would offer up his dearly loved Son to cover sinners with his righteousness.

 

Dear Christian, your sins have been covered and your shame taken away by the precious blood of Lamb of God. You need not cover yourself with your own fig leaf righteousness. The garments of Christ’s righteousness now cover you from head to toe.

 

Todd Pruitt