Genesis 3:6-21 (22 Dec 2013 Christmas Sunday message)
We have been studying the book of Genesis & this morning we shall meditate on verses Gen 3:v6-21.
These verses provide us with a historical record of 2 key things:
1) The immediate consequences of Adam’s sin &
2) God’s promise of redemption & ultimate victory over Satan
And these shall be the 2 headings for our meditation this morning.
First, let’s consider the immediate consequences of Adam’s sin.
Let me highlight 4 consequences of Adam’s sin recorded in this passage:
1) Man’s eyes were opened (v7a)
Adam & Eve’s eyes were opened in that they saw & realised how wrong they were in listening to Satan.
They saw their folly of disobeying God.
They saw the happiness they had lost & the misery they had fallen into.
They saw a loving God provoked & how they had forfeited His favour.
They saw how they had lost their dominion over all of creation.
And now, they experienced a disorder in their body & soul which they had never known before.
There was now “a law in their body warring against the law of their minds & captivating them to sin & wrath” – Rom 7:23
Sin always looks good before you meet its consequences.
But by the time your eyes are opened to realise the consequences, it would be too late.
It is like the prodigal son in Luke 15:17 whose eyes were opened only after he had lost everything.
My friends, are you currently facing a temptation?
I hope your eyes are opened to see its consequences so that you can walk away from it before you suffer from its sting.
2) The 2nd consequence of Man’s sin was that they realised they were naked (v7b & v10)
Now this does not mean that man did not know he was not wearing any clothes previously.
The point is that shameful emotion did not exist in the perfect creation of Gen 2 that they lived in.
They never had to deal with inappropriate thoughts pertaining to the bodies given to them by God.
But now, they were stripped of the purity & innocence they once enjoyed.
And they found themselves exposed and very vulnerable.
And this realisation caused Adam & Eve to do 2 things:
1) They used fig leaves to make coverings for themselves (v7)
The focus in this statement is not about the fig leaves.
There is nothing special about fig leaves except that they are large & have 3-5 lobes.
Therefore, this probably made it easier for Adam & Eve to weave fig leaves together.
But the important implication in this verse is that it highlighted the necessity for post-Genesis 2 man & women to cover up their naked bodies.
The minds of post-Gen 2 men & women are sinful & depraved.
As such, they must cover up & give no opportunities to temptations.
In fact, the bible teaches us to dress modestly and discretely.
Dear Christians, on this aspect, we cannot simply adopt the fashion standards of the world.
Instead, we must remember what the scriptures teach concerning modesty in dressing.
Let us be careful lest we stumble or cause others to stumble in this aspect.
2) The second thing that Adam & Eve did upon realising their nakedness was to hide from God (v8)
I want you to notice a particular phrase used in verse 8.
“….the sound of God walking in the garden…..”
God was walking in the garden!
What a tremendous privilege it must have been – the presence of God with them right there in the Garden!
What wonderful fellowship Adam & Eve must have had with Jesus before they fell into sin!
And this is what heaven is like – the constant presence of our Triune God with His people.
Let me ask all of you a very important question:
If we can have heaven – with perfect health, sanctified pleasures & fellowship of the saints you know….
And there is no sin, no sickness or disasters, no sinful thoughts & abundance of everything…
But Christ is not there.
Does that sound ok to you?
I want to suggest to you that many well-taught Christians may say yes to that.
And that is because they were never brought beyond the doctrines of justification, redemption & sanctification to see that the true object of their faith ought to be Jesus Christ!
What is heaven if our Lord Christ were not present there?
What is the value of your doctrines of justification, redemption & sanctification if these do not lead you to desire Christ?
There is value in these doctrines only if they lead you to be restored to the fellowship with God which we lost in Gen 3.
Let me use a quick illustration to make sure I get this point clearly across.
Supposing I did something that made my wife really upset with me.
And I say sorry to her & she says she forgives me.
Is that all that I desire?
No! I want back my relationship with her.
I don’t want her to give me the cold, silent treatment even after I am forgiven.
I want to walk and talk with her.
I want to enjoy my intimate fellowship with her once again.
That’s what the first catechism question says – to glorify God & to enjoy Him forever!
It’s not just to know we are justified & redeemed.
It is the joy of knowing and having the presence of God that we should seek!
It is that God/Jesus should come “walking in the garden” & we rejoicing to meet Him & fellowship with Him.
Oh, let us examine our hearts to ensure that the object of our faith is indeed Jesus Christ.
The paradise of Gen 2 had the presence of God walking in the garden in close fellowship with Adam & Eve.
But now in Gen 3, Adam & Eve cannot welcome Him the same way they used to anymore.
Sinful man will never desire a holy God.
When the Apostle Peter when saw the miracles of Jesus that showed that He was indeed God, he said in Luk 5:8 – “Depart from me for I am a sinful man O Lord..”
Sinful men will hide away from God, just like what Adam & Eve did in v8.
It had to be God who took the initiative to come looking for man.
And that was exactly what we read in v 9 where God called out to Adam “Where are you?”
Obviously God knew where Adam & Eve were.
He knew they were hiding.
These words were recorded to show us how sinful man typically dealt with their sins.
And that brings us to the 3rd consequence of man’s sin.
3) Man makes excuses for sin
When asked whether he had eaten from the tree, Adam said this in verse 12:
“…The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate…”
In other words, Adam is saying “I am not the problem, dear God.”
“You were the one who gave me the woman”.
“And the woman was the one who gave me the fruit”.
Adam was literally implying that God & the woman were the causes of his sin.
And in response to that, Eve quickly added that it was the serpent who deceived her into eating it – v13.
And the perfect family that once was so loving & happy ended up in division & distrust.
You see, that’s what sin does to us.
We will make all kind of excuses for our sins in order to look good.
We will blame the cause of our sin on everyone, including God.
But we will not own up and face the issue.
Is that your situation today my friends?
Perhaps sin has caused strain within your family.
Sin will make you refuse to accept that you were part of the problem & not just the victim of it.
Perhaps sin may have also caused strain in the relationship between different people in our Church.
And unless you recognise the effect of sin on you, you will continue in the sorrow that sin brings about.
And that brings me to the 4th effect of sin which we see in this passage.
4) Mankind is cursed
You don’t need to study gynaecology to know that the physiological make-up of the woman is complex.
It’s all written right here in God’s word.
The woman was cursed with multiplied sorrow & conception– v16.
There will be great pain in childbirth & this pain extends even to the raising of children.
But despite that, the woman’s desire will be “for her husband”.
She will want to “possess & own” him.
She will be jealous over him & that desire may be so strong that she wants to take control of him as well.
But yet, deep inside her, she desires that he lead her and he will rule over her.
The Man, on the other hand, was cursed with difficulty in his breadwinning efforts – v17.
But take note – work is not cursed; it was the ground that was cursed.
And that’s why hard work is always necessary before you can reap the efforts of your toil – v18 & 19.
So never expect it easy at the workplace regardless of the type of work that you do.
And finally, physical death came into the world – something that never happened in Gen 2.
What a sad story of the consequences of Adam’s sin.
And the bible tells us in Rom 8:22 “…that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”
A wonderful creation which God said was “Very Good” is now ruined – all because of the consequences of man’s sin.
But thankfully, the story did not end there.
And that leads us to our 2nd heading for today:
2) God promised redemption for man & Ultimate victory over Satan
Listen to what God said in Gen 3:15.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
This verse tells us that 3 things that will happen from Gen 3 onwards:
a) First, the woman & Satan will become enemies
There will be 2 different groups of people in the world – the “seed of the woman” & the “seed of the serpent”.
The “seed of the woman” are the Godly descendants of the woman throughout history.
The “seed of the serpent” are the wicked people whom Satan will use as his agents to destroy the seed of the woman.
It should not surprise you that behind every wicked man is the instigation of Satan & his wicked hosts.
b) Secondly, coming from the woman will be a Seed (with a capital “S”) who will strike Satan & totally destroy him
Satan caused man to fall into sin.
But now, a Man – the Seed of the woman (with a capital “S”) will come and defeat him totally.
This Seed of the woman will “crush the head” of the serpent – which implies total destruction.
In other words, there will be a Man from the Godly descendants who will save God’s people from this sad state in Gen 3.
c) Thirdly, as this promised Seed strikes Satan, He Himself will be wounded.
The last part of verse 15 says “….And you (that is Satan) shall bruise His heel.”
This is the first glimpse we have of our promised Saviour Jesus Christ in the Bible.
And as the old testament unfolds itself, the revelations pertaining to Jesus will become clearer & more specific.
I want to tell you that Gen 3:15 is the key with which you should understand the whole bible.
This verse tells us that human history is all about God unfolding His plans to redeem His people back to Himself.
Your life is not about you, what you can do or will achieve.
Your life is about whether you are the “seed of the serpent” or the “seed of the woman”.
Sometimes we read stories in the old testament and we just apply their morals as lessons for our lives.
This is not wrong in and of itself.
But if we fail to see how these stories fit into God’s salvation plan for His people, we missed it all.
Because these stories are just building blocks towards the coming of the Promised Seed of the woman.
I’m gonna take some time, but I need to elaborate what I mean here.
From the end of chapter 3, Satan & his agents will do everything they can to stop the promised Seed from being born.
The “seed of the serpent” came in the form of Cain in Gen 4.
And Cain killed Abel – the “seed of the woman”.
Very often, we focus only on what Cain & Abel did in their lives.
Cain gave vegetables as an offering, while Abel gave an animal as an offering, etc.
And we use their actions as lessons for what would please or displease God.
Now, that is not wrong.
But what is the bigger picture of that story?
The “seed of the serpent” acting through Cain tried to exterminate the “seed of the woman”.
Abel was killed & it looked like all was lost for the “seed of the woman”.
Is God going to fail in His covenant promise? No, He raised up Seth to continue the Godly heritage.
And this cycle of animosity between the “seed of the woman” & “the seed of the serpent” continued.
The “seed of serpent” caused the descendants of Seth to be polluted by ungodly marriages in Gen 6.
But God preserved Noah.
And the “seeds of the serpent” tried to unite together at the Tower of Babel – Gen 11.
But God raised up Abraham to continue the Godly heritage.
And God renewed His promise of the Promised Seed to Abraham in Gen 15.
But then there was trouble even in Abraham’s family line.
It looked like the house of Jacob would be exterminated by famine in Gen 42.
But God preserved it by the ministry of Joseph.
And then, it looked like Pharoah would wipe out the “seed of the woman” in Exodus 1.
But God delivered them by a mighty hand through Moses.
And all these men of faith God raised to continue the Godly line were just images of the Redeemer who would come.
At every juncture in old testament history, there were times when it looked hopeless for God’s people to continue.
For eg, in 2Kings 6:28, the people of God degraded to a state where they had to eat their own children to survive.
And we ask ourselves: why does the bible record such things?
They are there to remind us that God had not forgotten His covenant in Gen 3:15.
The situation may look hopeless.
But God will raise up someone to continue the Godly heritage because our God is a God who keeps His covenant!
And this was the case even at the lowest point of Israel’s history when all the tribes were exiled.
Yet God preserved a remnant, brought them back & reconstructed the temple.
And at last, in the fullness of time, the promised Seed was born of a virgin.
The Christmas story is not just about singing carols on a cold winter night.
It says in Matt 1:21 “…you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
This is the fulfilment of God’s promise in Gen 3:15.
This is further re-inforced by what we read in 1 John 3:8b “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested (and what is the purpose of this manifestation?) – that He might destroy the works of the devil.”!
The promised “Seed of the woman” (with a capital “S”) has come! – that’s the true Christmas story!
But wait, the “seed of the serpent” continued his evil schemes even on the Promised Seed.
The devil himself tried to tempt Jesus in Matt 4.
And the Scribes & the Pharisees tried to trap Him throughout His life on earth.
But each time, this God-Man Jesus Christ “learned obedience through what He suffered” – Heb 5:8.
And He remained sinless even though He lived in a sinful world.
Finally, the “seed of the serpent” acted through Judas Iscariot.
He caused the Promised Seed to be taken & nailed to the Cross.
But this incident “which bruised His heel” became the final blow that “crushed the Serpent’s head”.
For Jesus, our Saviour, said in John 19:30 when He was on the Cross, “It is finished.”!
He had accomplished what was necessary to restore His people back to Himself.
By His death He represented the death of his people so that all their sins are paid for.
He rose from the dead & through Him, His people have life.
By being bruised, He crushed the devil decisively & fulfilled God’s covenant promised in Gen 3:15.
This is the victory of the God-Man Jesus Christ – the Promised Seed of the woman.
Perhaps this morning you were hoping to hear a sentimental Christmas message about shepherds & angels singing.
But the real Christmas story is about a faithful God fulfilling His covenant & “crushing the serpent’s head”.
Let me close by asking: “What do all these mean to you?”
You know, Right after God announced the promise of the Redeemer, He made “coats of skin” to covered Adam & Eve – v21.
These coats of skin taught Adam & Eve 2 key lessons:
1) Firstly, a life had to be given up in order to cover them.
Throughout the old testament, animal offerings were used to illustrate & re-inforce this point to man.
2) Secondly, God was the one who provided this covering to Adam & Eve.
God was the one who went looking for them after they sinned.
God was the one who pronounced judgement upon them.
God was also the one who provided them with the means to get back to Him.
And God kept His promise & ensured that Jesus the promised Seed came & accomplished salvation for His people.
It has been over 2,000 years since Jesus rose & returned to heaven.
The Bible says He will return again soon.
This time, He is not coming to deal with the sins of His people any more.
This time, He is coming to take His people to heaven. – Heb 9:28
He is not coming as a suffering Saviour.
He is coming as a victorious King.
There are only 2 groups of people in this world.
Those who remain as the “seed of the serpent”.
And those who desire to be restored to God through Jesus their Saviour.
These are the ones who are eagerly waiting for Jesus to come again.
The question you need to answer on this Christmas Sunday morning is “Are you one of them”?
If so, let the people around you know that you believe in Jesus and want to be associated with Him.
Tell the world that you belong to Him by obeying Him in the command to be baptised.
The days of grace are ending soon.
Do not delay your return to Him or it may be too late.
To Him be all glory forever & ever. Amen!