Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saving Adam

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve spent a lot of time defending Eve (and subsequently, her “daughters”) on my blog. But today, I’m trying a new approach. We’re gonna take a look at Adam, the one to whom God entrusted care of the Garden and His instructions for living.

A good comment was made on the blog recently: that Adam neglected his role as the head of the marriage, and this is what led to sin. However, I want us to take a look at this statement and see whether or not this really answers the question, “How did sin come into the world?”.

The above question regarding sin is what you and I should be most concerned about with regards to Adam and Eve as Paul quotes the pair in 1 Timothy 2:13, 14. After looking at those two verses, we should look back to the account in Genesis 3 to see what happened. As I stated in my post yesterday on “Reading With Common Sense,” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the statements in 1 Tim. 2 and Genesis 3 to know that Paul is simply defending the Fall as it happened, not to prove why women shouldn’t lead in the church.

To answer how sin entered the world, let’s go back to Genesis 2:

15The LORD God took the man(O) and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil(P) you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat[d] of it you(Q) shall surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17, ESV).

Do you see God’s words? He gave Adam a commandment and a consequence—if Adam ate from the tree, he would die. End of discussion.

Now that we see God’s warning and promise to Adam regarding the situation, let’s go to Genesis 3, where the serpent begins to dialogue with Eve:

“He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" 2And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said,(B) 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4(C) But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6So 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 to be desired to make one wise,[b] she took of its fruit(D) and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her,(E) and he ate. 7(F) Then the eyes of both were opened,(G) and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:1b-7, ESV).

I want us to take a long, hard look at Genesis 3:2. When Eve responds to the serpent’s tricky question, she demonstrates knowledge of the commandment; she understands God’s warning regarding the forbidden fruit. Now, don’t get me wrong—Eve doesn’t get it ENTIRELY right. She does add something to what God said (the part about “touching” the fruit)! The point of verse 2, though, is to show that Eve knows the commandment. She never heard it directly from God, so we have to assume that Adam told her—which means Adam did something right! Adam educated his wife regarding what God had told him.

Isn’t that supposed to happen? Aren’t husbands and wives to educate and inform each other regarding God’s promises and warnings? Yes! So, while most of us bash Adam, he actually did something right—he told Eve what God had said.

Now I want us to look at what happens when God punishes Adam, Eve, and the serpent:

“ 17And to Adam he said,

"Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
(R) of which I commanded you,
'You shall not eat of it,'
(S) cursed is the ground because of you;” (Genesis 3:17, ESV)

Do you see the words in bold print? When God punishes Adam, He does so because Adam listened to his wife instead of God. God says nothing to Adam about neglecting his leadership role in the marriage; Adam is punished for listening to Eve when Adam himself had directly heard God’s commandment from God!

Adam and Eve were supposed to “partner together” and have dominion over God’s green earth. They were supposed to walk right before God together and live in peace and harmony with their Creator. However, instead of working together to do good, they “partnered together” to commit sin; and because they used their unity, their equality, to commit sin, God would make it so that now, Eve would be subject to her husband; husbands and wives would now struggle against each other in the home.
Adam’s wrong, therefore, did not come through neglecting his role—he faithfully warned Eve regarding God’s command. His wrong, however, came in Adam placing his wife before God. Adam’s sin, therefore, shows us our sin. As humans, there has come a time (or there will come one) when we have placed a human (spouse, sister, brother, child, friend, coworker, Pastor, church member, etc.) before God. But we have to learn from Genesis that no matter how many humans come into our lives, God MUST BE FIRST! For if God isn’t first, we will surely listen to other people; and tragedy will grip at our heels.

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