When it comes to Genesis Chapter 3, I believe that it was Indiana Jones who said it best, “snakes, why did it have to be snakes.” In the first two chapters of Genesis, we see the beauty of God’s creation and everything seems like it is going to be happily ever after but then we get to Chapter 3. And it is here that we see how the troubles of mankind began. We begin chapter 3 with the Serpent who we know to be Satan as mentioned in Revelation chapter 12, and he is in the Garden of Eden making conversation with Eve. As usual the serpent always comes with an agenda which is to corrupt God’s Creation and this time, he wanted to destroy the relationship between God and his children. The serpent starts off with twisting God’s word by asking in Verse 1 “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the Garden?” This strategy from Satan is such a clever snare for us because he puts just enough truth from scripture or God’s word into his lies that if we are not grounded in the Bible we can be caught in his trap. So, despite this first trap, Eve quickly corrected the lie by stating the truth “of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the Garden… It is only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, that we are not allowed to eat or even touch it; if you do, you will die.” Still, the serpent was persistent, he had already made her ponder God’s words and had one more strategy to use which was appealing to her personal satisfaction and status. The serpent tells Eve that she will not die but her eyes will be opened and that she will be like God.
I want to take a moment to pause this story and get the prequel of this story which was the fall of Satan. If you look in the Isaiah Ch. 14 you will find the story of Satan’s fall from heaven. Satan or as he used to be known “Lucifer” was an angel of God and was one of the most beautiful of all. Still, he became filled with pride and wanted to ascend higher than God and as a result he was casted out of Heaven forever separated from God. Now if Satan was to have a motto, I believe that it would be “misery loves company” and once he was cast out, he hated God and all that he made. So, if he was going to be separated from God, he did not want to go alone. So going back to the story we notice that the serpent is tempting Eve in the same way he wanted to be like God. If we look at all sin, they all have something to do with personal satisfaction or pleasure. This is probably one of Satan’s most powerful attacks against us because he knows our secret wants and desires and he will use them to turn us away from God. One thing I think we forget as believers is that we must be on our guard and always strive to walk in God’s will because when we begin to look out for ourselves, that is when we begin to fall. To put this in another light, let us look at the author C.S. Lewis’ and one of his greatest Christian works which would have to be The Screwtape Letters which is a fictional tale about a demon named Screwtape who is writing to his nephew Wormwood who is also a demon to give advice on how to turn their human or “patient” away from God or as they call him “The Enemy.” There is a section in the book where they are discussing strategy on how to corrupt their “patient” and Screwtape suggests through pleasure. Screwtape says “Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal…form… we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the Same it is His invention, not ours…All we can do is to encourage humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which he has forbidden… we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker.” Just as in the book this is Satan’s main strategy to twist the blessings and pleasures God has made for us into our personal satisfaction. God had made a beautiful place for Adam and Eve as well as their offspring to live and look over it with God but Satan took that pleasure and twisted it into sin that is far from God’s plan. Giving into this temptation Eve eats of the fruit because she wanted the Wisdom of God and then gave some to Adam who was with her and he ate it too. Once sin had entered their hearts, they noticed that they were naked and the shame that sin brings made them find fig leaves to clothe themselves with. In verse 8 God came through the Garden looking for them and called to them. When he finds them, they confessed to hiding because of their nakedness and more that they had eaten the fruit from which they were forbidden to eat. At this point we see that these two begin to point fingers to find fault. Adam blames Eve but let us not forget that he was with her when she was being tempted. Then Eve blames the Serpent, who then becomes cursed by God. What I love most about this part is the end of God’s punishment for Satan. Like a Father, God loves us and wants to us to be with him and now someone has gotten in between. So, God promises Satan in verse 15 that “there will be hostility between you and the woman, and between her offspring and your offspring. He will strike your head and you will strike his heel.” This is the first Messianic Prophecy in the Bible that tells of the hope that Jesus is going to come one day and make things right again. And like a good father he brings discipline to those he loves and that punishment has been placed on mankind for our sins. Women will have trouble in pregnancy and birth and they will desire to control their husbands and men will have to struggle to make a living for their families. Finally, the two were sent out of the Garden, away from the paradise God had given them. The garden would now be protected by angels and a flaming sword so that they would never get to the tree of life. Still, this was not the end of the story because God does not let them leave without covering their shame by taking garments of animal skin and clothed them. Here we begin to see the atonement of sin and God’s plan beginning to be fulfilled. It took the shedding of blood to cover their sin so they could be free from shame. Despite their fall, God still loved them and still had a plan for them.
While it is sad that they were sent away, this was only the beginning of the story between mankind and God. There was still the prophecy of the one who would destroy Satan and bring us back to our father. The one who would not require us to sacrifice for a temporary atonement of our sins, the one who forever rid us of our shame and the same one that would take my place and yours in punishment. Even when Satan had a plan to disrupt God’s creation, our creator had a plan to reunite us to him once again and it was through his son Jesus Christ. So, as we go about our day today let us remember that we must lay down our personal satisfaction so that we may follow God’s will and perfect purpose. And even when we fail and fall like Adam and Eve, we know that even in the beginning God had and has a way to bring us home. All we need to do is submit to the One who was, is, and is to come.