Summary: Sin is deadly in the end even though it may seem pleasurable in the beginning. Humans cannot determine what is right and wrong in the universe God created. It is beyond our limitations. So we can and must trust God. The question is will you trust him.
Middle Eastern people in the Bible, from Abraham to Paul, were as acquainted with covenants as we are with weddings. The Greeks and Romans did not have covenants. In fact, when the Jews translated the OT into Greek, they had to use the Greek word for “will” or “testament” to translate the Hebrew word for covenant. Since our society was shaped by Greek and Roman cultures, we don’t know much about covenants either.
However, as we learn about God and the covenants he made with people like Abraham, I expect us to experience a surge of faith. We will see who God is and what he can do in our lives when we understand covenants more clearly. So, think of areas where you perceive the need for a breakthrough. It could be an attitude or habit in your life, a broken relationship in your circle of loved ones or a problem in the church. Whatever breakthrough you may notice, expect God to reveal his love and power in a fresh way because of the covenant.
A covenant is a comprehensive agreement between two participants with clearly outlined boundaries and bonds; a mutual understanding between two people that voluntarily bind themselves to each other forever. Covenants could be between equal partners or between a powerful king and a weaker person. God’s covenants are always in the form of an agreement between a king and a servant.
God chose to bind himself to humanity in a covenant to express his love for us. He made that covenant with Abraham and it still blesses us today.
Why did God make a covenant with Abraham? How does a covenant made thousands of years ago still affect us today?
I. GOD’S PROBLEM BEGAN IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN Genesis 3 NIV
A. The serpent acted
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'?"
The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
B. He deceived Adam and Eve with three lies
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
1. God lied to you. (He does not lie.)
2. Sin is good for you. (Sin is ultimately destructive.)
3. You can be God’s equal by determining what is good and evil on your own. (Humans cannot determine what is right and wrong in the universe God created. It is beyond our limitations.)
C. Adam and Eve distrusted God (trusted the serpent)
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
D. Adam and Eve disobeyed God
E. Curses came on everything
1. They realized they were naked.
2. They hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
3. They refused to confess and played the blame game.
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
The man said, "The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
4. Punishments for all
So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you …. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.”