Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Fall of Man (Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel)

Adam and Eve sin against God.  Cain kills Abel.
The image of Cain and Abel is my own photograph taken at the Creation Museum.

The Fall of Man

Today, I'm reading Genesis, chapters 3 and 4.

As and adult, I am drawn to particular parts of this story that I didn't think much about as a child. In a church ladies' Bible study, I was drawn to Genesis 3:8.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
It was the first part that got our attention. Adam and Eve recognized the sound of God walking in the garden. It occurred to us that this was a common sound to them. They must have been accustomed to walking with God in the garden in the cool of the day . . . walking WITH God here on Earth. What an amazing custom of fellowship with God they must have enjoyed . . . until they disobeyed Him.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 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 loin coverings.
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. - Genesis 3:1-8 

In my Bible, I underlined a key phrase and a key word in the passage above.  Eve saw that the fruit was pleasing to the eye and it was desirable for gaining wisdom.

We are not so different from Eve.  Oh how those words snare us today just as they snared Eve back in the Garden of Eden.  Not everything that is "pleasing to the eye" is pleasing to God.  Just because something is desirable doesn't mean it is God's plan for our lives. 

Another thing that, for some reason, never caught my attention until more recently is found in Genesis 3:21. I don't know why but I always thought that Adam and Eve made their own garments after they allowed sin to enter into their lives. We learn in Genesis 3:21 that God Himself made garments for Adam and Eve.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 

God loved Adam and Eve. He loved them before their rebellion and He loved them after. Adam and Eve's actions resulted in negative consequences, the fall of man, but God still provided protection for them.

When our kids disappoint us, we must love them like God loved Adam and Eve.

When our kids disappoint us, their actions result in negative consequences perhaps in the form of punishment, but we still provide for them because we love them. God loves us in the same way that we love our children. When we disappoint Him, we suffer negative consequences, but He continues to love us and provide for us.

Cain and Abel

If you grew up in church, you've probably been reading the story of Cain and Abel since you were a child.  Cain and Abel were brothers, sons of Adam and Eve.  Abel kept flocks.  Cain worked the soil.  Cain and Abel both brought an offering before the Lord.  Abel offered the firstborn of his flock and God was pleased.  Cain brought an offering, but God was not pleased with Cain's offering.   Cain became angry because God found favor in Abel's offering, but not his own so Cain killed his brother, Abel.

I remember the story as a simple one from childhood but this story is far more complicated.  Jealousy is not a simple matter.  Jealousy breeds resentment. It causes us to lose control of our emotions.  Left unchecked, it can cause us to lose control of our actions too.  Jealousy changes people.  Jealousy resulted in murder in the case of Cain and Abel.  Jealousy can result in the same today as it did then.  

What does the Bible say about jealousy?
Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the Lord. - Solomon 8:6

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. - James 3:14-15

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. - 1 Corinthians 13:4
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For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. - James 3:16

Pay close attention to this next verse.  Paul did not sugarcoat the consequences of a jealous heart in his letter to the Galatians.  He places jealousy in the same category as immorality, sorcery, drunkenness, and others.  Read the last part of this verse carefully.  Paul warns that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-21

This doesn't mean that you will lose your salvation or go to Hell if you felt jealous over a situation yesterday.  Remember that we all guilty of sin (Romans 3:23).  The danger is when our lifestyle indicates that we are living a life without conviction and repentance.  We know believers by the fruit they bear.  
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. - Matthew 7:16-20

Cain suffered severe consequences for his sins.  God told Cain that the ground would no longer yield crops for him.  He would become a wanderer on the Earth.  

Even as God revealed His punishment for Cain, He showed compassion for Cain.  Cain was afraid that whoever found him would kill him, but God told Cain that anyone who killed him would suffer vengeance 7 times over.  Then, God placed a mark on Cain to protect him.  Then, Cain left God's presence and wen to the land of Nod which was East of Eden.

If jealousy is something that you are dealing with right now, I urge you to hand the situation over to the Lord.  Let Him have it all.  

If you are not a believer, then I urge you to go back and read Galatians 5:19-21 again.  Then, know God loves you and wants you to know Him.  Learn more about how to receive Jesus and know God personally here.

This post is part of my Coloring Through Genesis Series.  I'm using my new Beautiful Word Coloring Bible.  I love it because it leaves plenty of space for notes and I enjoy coloring the pages.  I look forward to using this Bible as I continue through the book of Genesis.


Read all posts in the Coloring Through Genesis Series here.