Genesis Chapter Three Verses 15-24
Genesis 3 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. Without it, we can’t even begin to understand the darkness that blankets the earth. With it, we can catch a glimpse of the light, which shines in the darkness. Have you seen the light?
The Gospel in Genesis 3:15?
Genesis 3:15 is known as “first gospel”—a prophetic picture of the time when Satan would be defeated by the woman’s triumphant “Seed.”
The text itself invites us to find an interpretation that goes beyond mere biology. Satan, a spirit being, cannot produce seed; and clearly a woman does not produce seed. So, even at the simplest reading of this pronouncement, the seed apparently refers to a spiritual being who has the serpent’s same attitude.
Based on other scripture, it appears that the serpent’s “seed” refers to those who willfully set themselves against the seed of the woman. The age-long conflict between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan will continue until the end, as out lined in the Book of the Revelation. “He” that crushes the serpent’s head refers to a future descendent of the woman and is a singular noun (which is a reference to Jesus).
Judgment upon the woman (verse 16)
Because Eve manipulated her husband, she will struggle in domestic life. Difficulty will plague her role as a mother (multiplied pain in childbirth) and as a wife (marital conflict with her husband).
The phrase “Your desire shall be for your husband” refers not to sweet marital communion but to ongoing struggle (the identical Hebrew phrase appears in Cain’s struggle with sin later). The battle of the sexes had just begun.
Judgment upon the man (verses 17-19)
By eating the forbidden food, Adam abandoned his headship over his wife and his dominion over the creation. Besides domestic struggle, Adam will now struggle to eat, and his labor will include toil. The domain of man is cursed and will no longer yield its fruit easily.
Finally, in contrast to the serpent’s promise that “you will be like God,” Adam is told he was made from dirt and to dirt he will return in death. He was initially to have dominion over the ground, but now the ground will resist and finally, literally, devour him. God’s promise that “you shall surely die” was about to proven true. He died instantly in terms of his spiritual relationship with God. His body did not know how to die. But the process had started and he began to die physically.
Four Lessons From the Fall
In Genesis 3 man distorts, denies, and defies God’s Word—reducing it to an alternative viewpoint, while man wants to be the judge of what is “true for me.”
This rebellion against God’s Word is responsible for all our woes—our alienation from God, our self-deception, our broken relationships with each other, the failure of animals to respond to our dominion, our toil to raise food from the ground, the “groaning” creation, and our own physical death.
Unbelief is not just stark atheism but any stubborn, willful disregard of God’s Word, even by “believers.” Do we accept that His Word is true, and yet sometimes stubbornly, willfully disobey what He says? Genesis 3 is with us still. This passage of Scripture is full of personal applications.
1. The Standard Is God’s Word
First, we know that God’s Word is still the standard by which we are to live our lives and to resist temptation. Jesus (the “Last Adam") fended off temptation by affirming God’s Word. “It is written,” He told Satan three times in the Book of Matthew. The first Adam compromised God’s Word; the Last Adam elevated its authority. When facing temptation, Jesus used scripture available to us, rather than generate “new” scripture.
2. Sin Is Our Problem
Second, in contrast to the claims of modern social engineering, we should not blame sin on our childhood or environment.
Adam and Eve experienced no childhood trauma; their “Father” (God) was gracious and provided all that they needed to live fulfilling and joyous lives. Yet they rebelled against God. Like Adam and Eve, we would choose to sin, even in a perfect environment.
3. Suffering Is Because of Our Sin
Third, sin ultimately led to the ravages we see around us daily—particularly physical pain due to disease (natural evil) and emotional pain due to sinful choices (moral evil).
Philosophers make much of “innocent” suffering. But biblically, there are no true cases of innocent suffering, save one, which is the very purpose of Christ’s incarnation and crucifixion: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The death of Christ is the only case of a genuinely innocent person suffering, and He did so to reconcile us to God.
4. Our Solution Is Christ
Fourth, and most important, is God’s promise to provide a way for us to escape the tragic consequence of sin.
While the choice to “take and eat” ultimately plunged mankind into the darkness of death, by offering Himself as a sacrifice on the cross the Son of God freely provided new life for us, if we will but “take and eat."
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