THE FALL OF MAN
Genesis 3 :1-10
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
It is not everybody that can fall; it is a special privilege for those who are important and standing. If you are not standing it is not possible for you to ever fall. As the popular saying goes that he that is on the ground need not fear falling. However that is not to say that the ground position is good and desirable.
Those who are on the ground or in a falling position suffer all kinds of degradation and embarrassment. If you had ever lived in multiple storey apartments and you are on the ground floor you’ll suffer a lot of things more that you are enjoying. Some may drop water on your head just to punish you or by accident. Any fluid or dirt that comes down from upper floor land in front of your flat and your complaints is disregarded. The sewage system of upper floors run down through your flat to reach its destination and when there is a burst of pipe your health is at great risk. Whenever the bad boys decide to visit it is to your flat they come first while the upper floor dwellers might still have the opportunity to call the police to their rescue.
It is therefore a sense of pride to the human race that man can fall and indeed fell from grace. The other creatures that God made cannot fall because they are never standing; the Creator put them under the control of man forever. Look at the world history and find out how many unimportant people experience a fall. Great men and women fall the poor are already falling. The hope for the poor is to experience a rise that would make him stands but the fear of the great is that he might fall some day.
If we all knew that there is a possibility of falling we would have been more careful with our lives and how we relate with people around us. The Bible also have warned that he that is standing must take heed to avoid falling on his own or been pushed down. There are so many forces; gravitational and centrifugal wagging great wars on anyone found standing.
Who is down? A sinner is down on the ground because he or she does not know God. For us to rise at all we must be in contact with the one called the Most High God. A sinner sees nothing wrong with sinning; to him it was natural to do those things that are not convenient as if they were.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. Rm.1:28
And when a sinner sins people around him do not feel that he has done anything extra-ordinarily wrong or strange but when a saint sins the whole world will stand up against him because he has done something strange. Often we do hear people say to a Christian involved in a brawl: but you say you are a Christian?
So also when an achiever loses all his achievement people are concerned and the pages of news daily report him to the extreme but hardly do anyone take notice of thousands on the streets who are yet to achieve anything. There are thousands of boxers all over the world being beating and defeated daily in boxing contest unnoticed but when Mohammed Ali or George former were beating and defeated the whole world knew and shown great concern.
There is a great lesson here for all of us to learn: never compare yourself to others because you are not on the same level.
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. II Cor.10:12
Never do what others are doing because you feel they are doing it with impunity. When you join the bandwagon you could be isolated for punishment. Do not just go to a place because others are going there and nobody raises an eyebrow your presence there might cause uproar. I have seen some situation where many offended but just one person was isolated for punishment because of his position. The authority felt if the others acted on ignorance he could not be ignorant of the offence and its consequences.
Who is up? A born again Christian is up and standing. God took him up from bare floor and made him an heir of the kingdom above, lifted up from the dunghill to share the throne with the princes.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Col 1:13
He was taken up from filth and washed with the precious blood of the Lamb. Among the born again there are also levels. There are the levels of General Overseers; Bishops Pastors and workers and members. The occupier of any of this level may rise or fall as the case may be. The falling might come by suspension or demotion and vice versa. People have always talked about someone falling from power or grace but it is only politician that fall from power but when Christians fall it is from Grace.
The gravity of the fall of a person would depend greatly on the level he currently occupied on the rung. When a fall occurs for those on the lower level of the rung the impact of the fall is mild and manageable. For those in the middle the impact may be very devastating but yet surmountable but for those on the upper rung the fall is like that of ripen fruits that fall off a moving vehicle on the highway. If the impact of the fall does not destroy it the other vehicles coming behind might crush it, pulverize it beyond recognition. The pages of history books are littered with great men and women who fell once and never rose again while we have countless history of the lower cadre men and women who fell and rose again.
Great men and women should be careful of treading the path that might lead to a fall. The only man in the Bible who fell once and rose again was King David but he never recovered well and brought problems to the nation of Israel. When Adolf Hitler (Germany) and Idi Dada Amin (Uganda) fell it was once and fall all. It was recorded of Judas:
That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship,
from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Acts. 1 :26
There is a place for those who have reached greater height before fallen from Grace; the place that Judas went to after he fell. The place of loneliness and agony where the thought of had I known and what would people be saying about me now make it very difficult for them to come to repentance. The place where the only option the devil gives to them is to plan how to cover the nakedness of their lives already exposed and the danger here is that when we try to cover what was already in the open more atrocity is committed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Jas 1:15
I have seen people who committed fornication and adultery that resulted to unwanted pregnancy but in a bid to cover the shame and hid their sins tries to abort; they ended up killing an innocent child and sometimes killing themselves. The place reserved for the fallen is a dangerous place.
THE FOWLER, THE SNARE AND THE BAIT
Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter,
and as a bird from the hand of the fowler
The secret behind so many falls is that there is a fowler always looking for great people in order to bring them down to the floor. It tends to enforce the law of gravity on people that whatever or whoever goes up must come down.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1Pet. 5:8
When birds are ensnared it is because someone called the fowler set trap for them, trap cannot set itself and it does not activates without the action of the victims. When you are entrapped you have to share part of the blame; your illegal actions and inordinate ambitions triggered the trap.
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Jas 1:13-14
The fowler is very wise and is in possession of so many tricks which you and I may not be aware. He is known by so many other names: Devil; enemy but he is a fowler. The fowler does not work alone but with countless number of agents all around the world. The fowler has choices of trap when dealing with an individual and as a matter of fact he designs a specific trap for a specific person after a careful study of that person. We have all probably done a study of a thing or a person or events before; the motive for the studying is what will guide our work as we progress on.
The main purpose of the fowler doing a careful study of your life is to look for loopholes and weak points where you can be attacked. If you asked me to do a study of a man who is great with an assignment of bringing him down I will probably look into the following:
- Where he hails from
- What food he likes and uses to get strength
- Who are his friends and supporters
- What might quickly disturb him and make loosen control
- What are his frivolities
- What are his secret ambitions that might be worked upon to push him to a mistake, etc
It is after you have done this that you can now determine what sort of trap to use for the victim.
There are Secret or deceptive traps. The fowler makes you do a thing without showing you the consequences. In many homes when we set traps for rats we normally disguised it by covering the metallic part of it to make the rat only see the bait. The Devil made Judas Iscariot to sell Jesus giving the assurance that the Lord would probably escaped and he would just collect the money but Jesus at that time surrender Himself for the arrest because the time had finally come for Him to sacrifice His life. Little did king Saul knew that bringing some choice animal home for sacrifices in defiance to God’s command would have such a great and lasting consequences for him and his children. The fowler makes the choice of a secret trap for the victims he considered to be too wise to fall so easily. Men and women of great life and spiritual experiences are not likely to fall to mere nuance and frivolities.
There are also open traps. The fowler shows you the wrong thing he wants you to do and forcing you to do it by bringing upon you an almost irresistible pressure. There are several types of pressures namely:
- Financial pressure
- Physiological pressure.
- Political Pressure
- Peer group Pressure
Many people are falling victims of financial pressure. When they need money to do a thing and they do not have legitimate money to meet the needs there are several avenues the fowler opens up immediately. For a woman it could be commercializing the body to make money and for the men it could be stealing or forgery.
The physiological needs could be most pressing and these may include the need to satisfy immediate hunger and thirst or to meet up with certain erotic desires. King David and Esau were trapped with physiological pressures. Esau was terribly hungry and despite the fact that he knew that accepting the offer from his brother would make him lose his birthright he just wanted to satisfy the hunger. Many people are daily being led to things that are evil and injurious to their physical and spiritual wellbeing because of certain pressures from some quarters. Men and women of God and great men of the world are also driven by what I call political pressure. They do things, enact laws and abrogate decrees not because they were so convinced that what they were doing was right or in the interest of the congregation or the governed but because of the pressure brought on them by certain power brokers, their wives and self interest. Jesus said concerning Moses on his decision to allow divorce: what a great pressure Delilah had brought upon Samson to the extent that he told her what eventually led to his downfall to the level of the ordinary.
They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. Mt 19: 7-8
You can imagine the power of pressure when people that are learned are driving by peer pressure to smoke cigarette despite the fact that the public health ministry warns and the manufacturer also through the legend on the pack that it is dangerous to human health. Many of our children are forced by this same kind of pressure to do what their mates are doing even when they are not so convinced. They do those things because that is what their friends are currently doing. Never under estimate the great power of pressure.
The fowler uses bait to achieve his objective. We have said earlier on that he makes a study of his victims, what he has discovered will then be used as bait to entrap the person. A friend of mine who went to China discovered that that lizard is one their delicacies. Since we do not eat lizard in Nigeria it does not matter how they tantalized such thing to me I shall not be tempted. But if it is fried chicken or beef it might be considered to have some elements of temptations to an African/Nigerian person like me. Below are some of the list of the bait and possible victims:
- Sugar Appeals to Ants
- Sweet Appeals to Children
- Food Appeals to Hungered
- Water Appeals to Thirsty
- Home Appeals to Destitute
- Light Appeals to Those in darkness
- Love/Lust Appeals to lack it at home or in marriage
- Coins Appeals to Beggars
- Strife Appeals to Meddlers
- Sex Appeals to Incontinent person
- Gifts Appeals to Greedy/Needy
- Power Appeals to Politicians
Look at our text Genesis 3:1-4, 6. You will discover that the tempter had done its own work correctly before attacking Adam. Adam was the subject of attack but the fowler did not come through him but Eve.
The Purpose of Relationship
Satan had studied the relationship between Adam and Eve and had discovered that Adam was a difficult person to come through and that he would always listen to his wife if she comes up with an idea. The fowler also studied to know when Adam was not always around in the house so that he could attack her without any resistance.
In life we do or have come across so many people of different shapes, sizes, character and benefits without knowing the purpose for them being around us. If Adam was around Eve when the tempter came the story would have been different from what we now have. If we are not careful and discerning there is a prospect of seen so many people that surrounds us as enemy or people of no tangible value. That person that is a torn in our flesh could be planted by God to keep us on fire of prayer and thereby maintained for us a closer relationship with God. Ask yourself a question. Could I have been close to God the way I am now if these or that problem has not caused it?
If the other woman had not made her life unbearable would Hannah have sought the face of God for her own child?
There are one or two lessons we can quickly learn from this incident. The first one is that when people close to you are fallen or are involved in one problem or the other, it might just be one of the tricks of the fowler to single you out for an attack.
The reason why an attacker in a football match dribbles so many defenders in front of the opponents’ goal post is not for the fun of it. He is not going to get paid for how many defenders he dribbles or disorganizes but for scoring a goal. When the defenders are eliminated, his utmost agenda is to shoot directly in to the goal post and defeat the goal keeper. That is what count. Your fall is what counts for the fowler.
The second lesson is an outcrop of the first. We have to be interested in the fellowship and good neighbourliness of those who are our friends. Many of them are actually been used of God to shield us from attacks of the fowler. There is a saying in Nigeria that goes thus; the peace of the tree is the peace of the bird that perch on it. It is always a thing of joy for the fowler to find his victims alienated from those who could help them from falling. The antic of the fowler is dividing them to destroy them. You have to cherish the fellowship of people that God brought around you the might be the firewall for your protection and continous relationship with God. Apostle Paul had a torn in the flesh that kept him subjected to the authority of Christ.
Another trick the fowler used to bring about the fall of man was unnecessary question. Whenever a seemingly unnecessary question arises in your mind about the truth you already verified and accepted you should just watch out. Satan asked an obvious question from Eve; Hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? There is a song that comes to mind to warn you of questioning the truth in your moment of darkness:
God of the mountain
Is the God in the valley
When things go wrong
He will make them right
God of the bad time is the God in the good time
God of the day is the God in the night
A person going through the tunnel of darkness should always remember one thing that it does not last for long. Hold on a little the day will soon come and the brightness shall return.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.