Summary: Creation, Sin, and More Sin The Trouble With It All Genesis 2:4-3:22 David Taylor January 24, 2016
Creation, Sin, and More Sin
The Trouble With It All
January 24, 2016
No matter where one looks, we see that there is something terribly wrong with the world. Nations seek to dominate Nations. We read daily about death, murder, and violence. Our children tell us about the cruel things other children said or did to them. Friends tell us about their disappointments, their loneliness, and the difficulties they have with others. Friends and family have cancer and live with disabilities. This morning we all felt the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook the Kenai Peninsula like a rag doll. But it has not always been this way. There was a time when all of creation experienced peace and harmony, a utopia of sorts. Today I want us to look at what happened to God's good creation.
We pick up the story at Genesis 2:6 where the Lord God forms Adam from the dust and breathes into him the breathe of life. Then God placed Adam in the garden he planted. This garden is separate from the rest of creation just like our gardens are separate from the rest of our yards. It is like a temple, the place of God's presence. God made an abundance of trees to be enjoyed both for their beauty and for their nourishment. God goes all out to provide for them. In the middle of the garden are two trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gives Adam freedom to eat of all the trees that enhance life, including the tree of life, which provides eternal life. God put Adam in the garden to work it and keep it, meaning he was to develop it and protect it. Then God gives him a command. “You may eat all you want from the abundance of trees that are good for food except one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you will surely die.” He is given absolute freedom to eat from any of the trees that will enhance life but avoid the one tree that will kill him. It's like telling your child to eat any food in the kitchen but stay away from the rat poison. Then God makes this observation, it is not good for man to be alone, so God makes a partner for him. God created man for covenant and community. That is, God made man for covenant relationship with God and covenant relationship in community. Some of you are loners; you don't like being around people. Yet I would argue that is because of your sinfulness rather than the way God wired you. So being a loner is not amoral. That is like saying I am lazy or I am harsh person or I am not made for marriage. You were made for meaningful relationships.
Then chapter three starts out telling us that the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field. This serpent is Satan, the father of lies, the deceiver, who seeks to outwit God's people and masquerades as an angel of light. Satan is your enemy. Let's look at the anatomy of their temptation. First, Satan undermines the clarity of God's word. He twists God's word by questioning it, raising doubts in Eve's mind, “did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” That's not what God said. God said they were not to eat from one tree. Then Satan attacks the authority of God's word, you shall not surely die. He removes the consequences and judgment that comes from rebellion. Last, Satan attacks the character of God. What kind of God who really loved you would withhold and keep something from you? He gives you nothing and demands obedience. Despite her initial struggle, she soon caves into closing herself off from God's word. Any time you begin ignoring God's word, making accuses for your sin, you are on dangerous ground because you are hardening your heart against God. I have sat with way too many people who are either on the verge of making terrible choices or have made terrible choices whose hearts are cold and calloused toward God. Satan's tactic was to lead Eve into seeing and interpreting the world through her eyes rather than her ears; what she saw rather what she heard in God's voice. Her gaze moved from the abundance of all that God had given her to enjoy to becoming fixated on the one thing she could not have. When we are fixated on something, everything else get overshadowed by it. She is so obsessed with the one tree it obscured all the other trees she was free to eat from. She no longer saw God as a loving, gracious, and generous parent but as a stern and skimpy lawgiver and judge. Have you ever wanted something so bad that you cannot see anything else. Have you seen two young kids playing with a bunch of toys and one of them gets it in their mind that they have to have the one toy the other child has in his hands? No matter how much you try to reason with them, they must have that one toy. That happens to adults all the time. The character Smeagol in Lord of the Rings was so fixated on the ring that he killed his good friend to have it. It blinded him and crushed his moral compass. What have you become so fixated on that you are convinced you need it to make you happy or fulfilled? What is drawing you away from obedience to Christ?