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Can't See the Forest for the Tree


Sermon shared by John Beehler

January 2002
Summary: A tree in the garden did in Adam and Eve and allowed sin to gain it’s hold on us. But it was another tree, the one Jesus was nailed to, that rescued us from death.
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Audience: Believer adults
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will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Their eyes would be
opened, but they would be different than God. Movie (Jack Nicholson) "You want
the truth, you can’t handle the truth." God can handle the truth about sin, we can’t.
Once we knew of sin we were overcome with it. And God knew that.

Why is it, when we are denied something, we want it more? (Gen 3:6)
Adam and Eve had this forest of trees from which they could have eaten, but Satan
got Eve focused on the tree that was off limits, and that was their downfall. God
told Adam, "...of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in
the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Adam passed along this information to Eve.
Now Eve may not have been given complete or accurate information and therefore
was tricked into eating the fruit from this tree, but Adam knew better.
Eve gives him some of the fruit and, in direct disobedience to God, knowing word
for word what God had told him, ate it. What could be the harm in just a little bite??
After all - who would ever know? It’s the little secret sins we think we can get away
with, isn’t it?

Why was “their eyes being opened” and knowing they were naked bad?
(Gen. 3:7)
Well, it’s not that their eyes were literally “opened”. Their eyes being opened meant
that they now had the “knowledge of good and evil” Satan had tempted Eve with.
They had lost their innocence, their sound judgment, and were now confused and
shamed by knowing they had disobeyed God. Herein lies Satan’s half-truth. Their
eyes were opened, BUT only to the shame and grief, and in their shame and grief,
Adam and Eve felt “naked”. No, not naked in the sense of no clothes but in the
realization that they had been stripped of all the honors and joys of paradise and
exposed to the miseries and ramifications of an angry and disrespected God.
Feeling naked, they then made garments of fig leaves for themselves.
What does this passage of Scripture say to us today?
People often say that the Bible is outdated and has no relevance in today’s modern
world. Of course, I disagree. I often say that you can find the answer to ANY
problem that life throws at you today in the Bible.
This scripture reminds us that Satan is still attacking us today, using the same old
tactics: lies, trickery, half-truths, attacking us at our weak points, trying to take us
out. And, of course, we still fall for them.
Fortunately, as it tell us in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
If you look just a few verses further on from our Scripture for today at Gen. 3:21,
you’ll see that God fixes Adam and Eve’s pitiful attempts to cover themselves and
makes garments for them. God then, as He still does today, looks out for us and
gives us 2nd, 3rd, 500th chances. He knew Adam and Eve couldn’t deal with Satan
correctly and we can’t take on Satan by ourselves, so He helped Adam and Eve and
looked beyond our naiveté and futile attempts to save ourselves and rescued us by
giving His only Son to die for our sins.
A man purchased a white mouse to use as food for his pet snake. He dropped the
unsuspecting mouse into the snake’s glass cage, where the snake was sleeping in a
bed of sawdust. The tiny mouse had a serious problem on his hands. At any moment
he could be swallowed alive. Obviously, the mouse needed to come up with a
brilliant plan.
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