Genesis 3:13-19 (NIV) 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
On verses 13-19: What was the result of the man and woman giving into the serpent’s temptation? Everything that used to be easy is now a great struggle:
– For the serpent, mobility would become a struggle as God tells the serpent that he will crawl on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life (v14). (This suggests to me that the serpent’s previous way of moving did not involve crawling on its belly before. Maybe it walked, flew or swam!) Even more importantly, whereas before the serpent was able to dupe the man and the woman with ease, now there would be “enmity” (a great struggle) between the serpent and the woman (v15), a struggle that would carry on for generations between the serpent’s offspring and the woman’s offspring. In the end, however, the struggle would end with the serpent’s offspring being crushed by the woman’s offspring (v15). Who is this offspring of the woman who would crush Satan’s head? It’s Jesus Christ. Through His death, resurrection and reign, Jesus would deal a final and fatal death blow to Satan. Praise God. Even from as early as the third chapter of Genesis, the Bible already speaks of the ultimate victory Jesus Christ would have over sin and Satan.
– For the woman, bearing children would become a much more painful struggle (v16).
– For the man Adam, working the land would become a much more painful struggle (v17).
What can we learn from all this? Sin (disobeying God) does not make things easier or happier, but much more difficult and sorrowful. As much as Satan will make sinning seem so attractive and pleasing to the senses, in the end sin only leads to death and destruction. But praise God that the struggle against sin and Satan ends with Jesus gaining the victory on behalf of the man and the woman.
Genesis 3:20 (NIV) 20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
On verse 20: Adam and Eve have just experienced the first and greatest failure in human history and are destined for a life full of struggle because of their sin. Yet we see Adam’s faith in God’s Word. Instead of dwelling on his failure and the problems that would result from his failure, Adam focused on God’s promise that in the end Eve’s offspring would defeat Satan’s offspring. Thus when naming his wife Adam doesn’t give her a name that has anything to do with death, destruction or hopelessness. Rather, by faith Adam names his wife Eve (or “Zoe” in Greek), the Hebrew for which (hawwa) sounds like “living”. Praise God! Even in the midst of the greatest tragedy in human history – the fall of mankind – Adam had hope because of faith in his offspring, Jesus.
Genesis 3:21 (NIV) 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
On verse 21: Out of love, God covers Adam and Eve’s shame by making clothes for them. That is the heart of our God: full of compassion, mercy and love.
Genesis 3:22-24 (NIV) 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
On verses 22-24: Before, Adam knew nothing about evil. He only knew what was good. But after disobeying God, Adam now knew both good and evil. Was God being insecure and cruel by not allowing Adam and Eve to also eat from the tree of life and live forever? No. Much the opposite of being cruel, God was doing the loving thing by keeping the tree of life from them. For God knew that in their sinful state if Adam and Eve were to eat from the tree of life, they would exist forever in their sinful state and be apart from God for eternity. To prevent that from happening, God barricaded the way to the old tree of life and would point Adam and Eve to a new tree of life: the cross where Jesus would die. At the tree of life called the cross, Jesus would bear the punishment for Adam and Eve’s sin and for our sin. It is by eating the fruit on this new tree of life (the precious body and blood of Jesus on the cross) that we can truly receive forgiveness, be cleansed and live forever as children of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that though our sins created for us a great struggle and separated us from You, Your mercy and love are greater still. Thank You that by the cross of Jesus Christ, You made hope possible for Adam and Eve back then and You make hope possible for me today. Thank You for providing a new tree of life for us, the cross where Jesus died. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!