Summary: Learning from Adam and Eve's mistake, so we can avoid falling into sin.
We all make mistakes. Some of them are more embarrassing than harmful. I remember at our former church in Wisconsin, I typed up the bulletin with this announcement: "Ladies, please remember to pick up your bowels in the kitchen." It was supposed to be bowls. In fact, every Sunday a couple of the Junior High boys would compete to see who could find the most mistakes in the bulletin. I'm sure glad it is Barb, not me, who types the bulletins here. Some mistakes matter more than others. They are not humorous and can have serious consequences. Today we are going to look at the worst mistake ever made. The big mistake, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the Garden of Eden. We are in Genesis, Chapter 3. Now, don't be confused when I say Adam and Eve made a mistake. There are Christians who say things like, "Yes, I made a mistake and lost my temper, but it was not a sin, just a mistake." Wrong! Whenever we disobey God, whether we rob a bank or repeat gossip or lose our temper, it is sin, and it is a big mistake. What we are going to do today is try to learn from Adam and Eve's mistake, so we can avoid falling into sin. Let's pray God would help that happen today.
Let's start with some background. Adam and Eve are living in the Garden of Eden, Paradise. In Chapter 2:16,17 God has given them a simple instruction. Whenever I play a new board game, I always get a little frustrated because it seems there are 900 rules. In the Garden of Eden, however, it is very simple. There is only one rule. Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As we come to Chapter 3, we are introduced to a talking snake. 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" This chapter does not tell us exactly who the snake is, but the rest of the Bible makes it clear. The snake is Satan. As Revelation 12:9 says, he is "the great dragon, the ancient serpent, called the devil, or Satan." Apparently some time before God had created the earth, He had made angels, beings who served Him in heaven. One of the most powerful of these angels was Lucifer who led the rebellion against God and was cast out of heaven. Many Bible scholars think Isaiah 14:12-25 describes this event. In Genesis 3, Lucifer, or the devil, indwells and possesses a snake with the purpose of enticing Adam and Eve to make the big mistake of joining him in his rebellion against God. As we read on, we see that that is what happens, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. We will look at the results of this next week. Today, however, I want to explore three mistakes Adam and Eve made that led to their big mistake. They are also three mistakes that will lead us to disobey the Lord.
#1) Not believing God's Word. This was really Eve's mistake. She doubted and distorted what God had said. Eve tells the serpent, "God said eat of the forbidden fruit and you will die." The serpent responds, "You won't die." It is unclear whether he means Eve had somehow misunderstood the Lord, or whether he is saying God didn't mean what He said and was just trying to scare them. Either way, he is contradicting God's Word, and Eve makes the mistake of believing him. Next Sunday, we will see how very wrong Satan was.