And God commanded the man, ” You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the garden of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” As I type these words this morning, I am struck by a couple of things.
First: the first words out of God’s mouth to Adam are ‘You are free”… That’s very important. Man, from the beginning, had the choice to obey God or not. God didn’t create robots. He created us with the choice to serve Him or not. We have this same choice Adam had. Granted, we are born as fallen creatures because of Adam’s choice, but our choice today is whether or not we will accept the plan of God for our salvation.
The people who ‘choose’ not to believe what I am saying, do so because of the very freedom given to them by God in creation. I find that most of the time people who ‘choose’ not to believe, have not been given all of the facts. So if you happen to fall into that category, please continue until the end of this series and then with the knowledge you have of Genesis, make that decision. But do ask God to reveal the truth to you. He is not trying to keep it a secret. He wants you to know the truth. God said that He is ”Not willing that any should perish, but that ALL come to repentance.”
The second thing that strikes me is: God knew man would eat of the tree because he said…”when you do”…not if you do… Which furthermore verifies that God’s plan of redemption was set in place before creation. And we know from the first ‘photo’ in the album that Jesus was there in the beginning, at Creation.
Lastly…there is no Eve to hear the command.
These particular pages of our dusty picture album have been looked at quite a bit over the years…but maybe not the way we will look at them today. Are you ready for this? It is going to make your head spin. If you are like me, you will do a double take and ask yourself ‘why haven’t I ever seen this before? All of my life I have thought of Adam as being the exact opposite of Jesus: Adam sinned, Jesus didn’t. And that’s true. But once again, God is a God of details and we have to look closely to see the meaning of the picture more clearly.
God made it clear…Man was created to be free. And God, being Omniscient, knew before creation, the choice man was going to make. And He knew before creation that a remedy for that horrible choice had to be provided to save mankind from the effects of sin…death. And it is in Adam that we see the first picture ever of the plan of God for our salvation. In Adam we see the choice God made from the beginning, to provide a way to save us from our sin.
Immediately after God gave these instructions to Adam, He created Eve. The next words are: ”The Lord God said It is not good for man to be alone…” And He set about to create Eve. We looked at this photo last week and saw how the creation of Eve is an exact picture of the creation of the church, the Bride of Christ. But let’s look at what makes Adam a picture of Jesus.
Last week we said when Adam saw Eve his first words were ‘This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” It’s safe to say Adam loved Eve more than any man has ever loved any woman. There were no distractions. There were no seductive females around tempting to lure him away from his beloved. There were no other men around to seduce Eve. It was a perfect marriage, in a perfect world, exactly the way God intended every marriage to be. I have read that marriages have no problems as long as there is no one around to interfere. Couples can usually figure things out, unless there is another person involved. And so it was with Adam and Eve ~ until satan came along with his lies.
Note that satan didn’t suggest to Adam that he sin against God. He knew the close relationship Adam had with God. He knew Adam had been the one God had instructed not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. It was unthinkable that Adam would disobey God. So, rather than approaching Adam to sin, he approached Eve. He had witnessed the deep love between the two of them and decided to use Eve to get to Adam.
First of all, the Bible tells us that satan was more crafty than any other animal God had made. I don’t know if you have ever been duped into believing a lie, but I have. You don’t lie and you never think to suspect that anyone else lies. Until you find out…and then the damage is done and it’s too late to go back.
I never judge Eve. The Bible says she was deceived. I’ve been deceived. My friends have been deceived. I see shows on TV of all sorts of people who have been deceived. And they never knew what hit them. They feel like fools. But you know what I think about that? I think God is going to judge me for my actions and them for theirs. And it’s a whole lot better to be an Eve than a satan. But I digress.
Now, Adam and Eve had a perfect marriage. Satan came along and deceived Eve with a lie. Oh, it was a half truth. God did say what he said but that wasn’t all of what he said. Satan is the master of half truths. Remember satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness….half truths.
My children were raised with these words… “A half truth is a whole lie.” Not long ago I heard a sermon by John MacArthur that has been ingrained in my brain. When a person learns to lie, there is nothing they can’t or won’t do. Once they have learned how to charm their way out of something, there will be no sin left that they are afraid to try. Once they learn with a wink and a smile they can get away with it, there’s nothing to stop them. Their conscience no longer is the guard on their heart. Honesty is the most important trait we can instill in our children. Never allow them to get away with even the smallest lie. Let them know from day one that lying is not acceptable.
Satan couldn’t get to Adam but he did get to Eve. Her sin caused a great gulf between herself and Adam. Eve had sinned and Adam was still in a state of perfection. Eve could never again rise to the perfection of Adam, but Adam could to lower himself to Eve’s imperfection. The Bible makes it very clear that Eve was the one deceived…not Adam. 1st Timothy 2:14 says: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
Adam willfully took the fruit from Eve and “did eat” knowing the consequences. He became a partaker of her sin.
Adam knew the penalty for eating of the tree. He knew that the only way to save Eve from the penalty of her sin was if there were a human redeemer. And there could be no redeemer without a child being born. Since Adam was the only man, there could be no child born without him. Adam made a decision to come down to the level of his wife in order to save her.
Did that sentence give you chills? It gave me chills to type it. I stay in a continual state of awe when I study this lesson on Genesis. The details that God Almighty went to to make sure there was no mistaking His plan, amaze me.
Are you still a little skeptical? Well, there are several passages we can compare this to… In Genesis 2:24~ “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and the two shall be one flesh.” This is God’s instruction for the married couple.
And in Ephesians 5:31 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
The passages are almost identical….but Paul adds a line…….”THIS is the great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”
The mystery is not that husband leaves his parents home and cleaves to his wife. The mystery is that this is a picture of Christ and the Church! It is a picture of the Son of God having a perfect relationship with his Father God, choosing to leave his Father’s house, to come into the world, to the level of his fallen, unfaithful wife, in order to save her.
Adam didn’t make a mistake. He made a decision to save his wife. He knew it meant his own death, but it was the only way to save his bride. Her salvation would come thru childbearing. A child would have to be born to redeem her.
1Timothy 2:15 “Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”
Still not so sure Adam is really a type of Jesus? Romans 5:14 “ Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, (Adam) who is the figure (picture) of him (Jesus) that was to come.” (parentheses mine)
This leaves us no doubt Adam is meant to show us a picture of what the redeemer of the world would do. He is a picture perfect example to give us more understanding of God’s Picture Perfect Plan. Adam made the decision to lower himself to his Bride so that sometime in the future we could be saved. This picture of Adam and Eve is played out in real life when God allowed a perfect man to die for an imperfect bride, the church. Our only hope of redemption.
He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”. 2nd Corinthians 5:21″
Picture perfect to me.