Summary: The sermon share like coon dogs we occasionally bark up the wrong tree like Adam and Eve and the results can be devastating.
Genesis 3:8-15 “Barking up the wrong tree”
Bob Kaylor, tells the following story: "as a kid growing up I spent part of my summer in my uncles farm in Western Pennsylvania. I usually went during the time to put up hay, probably because I was small enough to tuck the bales into the spaces at the top of the barn .Those were some great times -- drinking ice cold whole milk straight from the dairy barn, riding the tractors and taking a dip in the river when it got too hot.
"My cousins liked an evening activity that I never quite understood, however, and that was hunting raccoons at night. If you've never been part of this activity, let me describe it to you -- you run at top speed, chasing a barking dog through the woods while shining a flashlight until the dog stops at a tree and barks madly into the darkness where you see ... nothing. We never bagged one. In fact, I'm certain I never saw a raccoon on those hunts (and I'm not sure to this day why we were hunting them in the first place or what we would have done had we shot one). It was great fun for my country cousins, though, and completely pointless to me! Those dumb dogs were constantly barking up the wrong tree.
• Today's reading shares with us Adam and Eve are like the coon dogs they are barking up the wrong tree
• Now God said you can eat from any tree in the garden except one. Adam you eat of the tree of life all you want. But you can't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the day you eat you shall die The tree of life gave Adam life
• Now why couldn't Adam eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, wouldn't it be good to know about these? More than likely the point is not so much about the choice of good and evil but it’s probably about trusting God. Will they trust Gods wisdom over their own?
1. When Adam and Eve bark up the wrong tree their eyes are opened
• They see there naked exposed, without covering
• Their eyes open to break relationship with themselves remember immediately they blame each other
• There are eyes are opened to broken relationship with God once God walked in the garden with them in the cool of the day. When relationship is broken it is hard to mend.
2. When Adam and Eve bark up the wrong tree Cursed becomes the ground creation. "Cursed is the ground because of you," says God to Adam. "In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field" (vv. 17-18).
3. When Adam and Eve bark up the wrong tree they will Sweat v. 19), "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground."
• Yes, there is sweat in toil, but there's also something else meant by that phrase, "the sweat of your face." This was actually an idiom in the ancient world which was less about labor than it was about anxiety -- Fear caused sweat
• There is fear that there will never be enough, that our labor will not meet our needs. What if the crop fails? What if the storm hits? What if there's a fire? What about groceries this week? The car payment? The tuition bill? My retirement? What if I get sick or my kids get sick?
• Scholars say "This is the curse of Adam -- limited resources, an insecure future and a world that no longer responds to his command."
4. When Adam. And Eve barked up the wrong tree immortality left them. They were going to die! "Out of the ground you were taken; you are dust and to dust you shall return" (v. 19).
5. When Adam and Eve barked up the wrong tree security departs. The last scene in Genesis 3 offers what is perhaps the most heartbreaking of all: God banishes them from the garden and from the divine presence.
• When they barked up the wrong tree eyes are opened, cursed is he ground, sweat will be on brow, immortality gone, and security parts.
6. In conclusion, Thank God there is another tree that opens blinded eyes
• There’s a tree that removes the curse
• There is a tree that that wipes our worries and sorrows away
• There is a tree that gave back immortality
• There is a tree that reconciles a broken relationship.
• There is a tree that fixes the mess we put ourselves in
• There is a tree that forgives, that redeems, and that atones.