Genesis 3:1 (NIV) 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
On verse 1: It is important to be aware of Satan’s tactics and the ways he wants to lead us astray. That way you can guard yourself against them. We see one tactic of Satan here in this verse: Satan likes to try to confuse us about what God actually said and what God actually requires.
Genesis 3:2-5 (NIV) 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
On verses 2-5: Here we see on display another common tactic of Satan. Satan likes to make you question whether what God says is reliable. Satan likes to make you question God’s trustworthiness. Satan likes to make you think that God is withholding something good from you, something that you could otherwise get if you didn’t have to follow God so strictly. Satan’s goal is to make you think that God is actually not that good, not for you and not worth trusting.
Genesis 3:6 (NIV) 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
On verse 6: Listening to the serpent’s advice, the woman eats the forbidden fruit. Then she gives some to her husband (who was without excuse because he “was with her”, meaning he knew that she was disobeying God’s command), and he goes ahead and eats the fruit any way in disobedience of God’s command. Here we see an upending of God’s created order. God had made man and woman to rule “over every creature that moves on the ground” (Genesis 1:28), and yet here we see the man and woman listening and obeying a serpent. Here the man and the woman were meant to serve and obey God, but instead they disobey Him and cast Him aside. That is when many problems begin to surface.
Genesis 3:7-8 (NIV) 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 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.
On verses 7-8: After disobeying God, Adam and Eve feel shame. They try to cover up their shame by making coverings for themselves with fig leaves (v7). Despite making coverings for themselves, they still feel the need to hide from God. Their coverings did not do the trick; these man-made coverings could not take away their shame and guilt before God. I believe these coverings are a picture of man-made religion. Man-made religion is about us trying to make coverings for ourselves to cover our shame, but it doesn’t work. We still feel ashamed, guilty and distant from God because of our sin. It is not what we do to cover our shame that matters, but what God does to cover our shame. Just as God would make coverings for Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:21, so God would later provide the greatest covering for our shame: Jesus’ blood shed on the cross to forgive us of our sins. It is not what we do to cover ourselves that matters; what matters is what God has done.
Genesis 3:9 (NIV) 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
On verse 9: Whenever God asks a question, it’s not because He doesn’t know the answer. Rather He asks the question for our benefit. The fact that God would call to the man and say, “Where are you?” suggests to me two things: (1) God wanted the man to realize his condition, that his sin had now separated him from God; (2) God took the initiative to search for the man and the woman even after they had sinned. That is the love of God for us too. When we weren’t thinking about God, God was thinking about us and took the initiative to call out to us and rescue us when we were lost, afraid and separated from Him.
Genesis 3:10-12 (NIV) 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
On verses 10-12: When questioned, the man confesses to God that he has eaten from the forbidden tree. Yet his answer seems to place at least part of the blame on the woman and even on God when he says, “the woman you put here with me” (v12). It’s as if the man was saying, “I would not be in this bad position now if God had not provided this woman.”
What can we learn from this? May we be quick to admit when we are wrong without blaming others for our mistakes.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great love, how even after we sin and disobey You, You still look for us, pursue us and cover us with Your love. Despite our sin, thank You that in Your eyes we are still worth pursuing, so much so that You sacrificed Your Son Jesus Christ and covered us with His righteousness so that we could be with You. May I be quick to admit my mistakes without blaming others and receive Your mercy. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!