Category: Panorama of the Bible

Talking Snakes and Other Disasters (Man’s Temptation and Fall)

Talking Snakes and Other Disasters (Man’s Temptation and Fall)

Text: Genesis 3:1-24

Major Players: Adam, Eve, the Serpent/Devil

Words you should know:

Nachash

“Hebrew Pronunciation [nah KHASH]

Translation serpent, snake

(Genesis 3:1-2,4,13-14)

Nachash is the most prevalent of eight OT terms for snake (Numbers 21:6), but the usage is broader than that. The nachash in Genesis 3:1,14 was the shrewdest (KJV-now the serpent was the most subtil) animal and did not crawl on its belly before the curse. It is possible that Nachash was a dragon or some form of dinosaur. The nachash/Leviathan was a sea monster (Job 3:8, Job 40:25-41:26, Amos 9:3, Psalms 74:13–23, Psalm 104:26 and Isaiah 27:1.), and there were other sea serpents (Amos 9:3). Associated with nachash are slithering motion (Proverbs 30:19), flying (Isaiah 14:29), sudden attack (Genesis 49:17), poisonous venom (Psalm 58:4), sharp bite (Psalm 140:3), hissing (Jeremiah 46:22), eggs (Isaiah 14:29), and licking of dust (Genesis 3:14; Micah 7:17). The serpent of Genesis 3 is an enemy of man linked with evil and is particularly identified with Satan in Rv 12:9, where he is also called a “dragon,” based on the Greek drakon, which can mean “serpent.”

The nagging question: hath God really said…

Did God really say? This question has been plaguing mankind since the Garden. Often times it is phrased this way, “Jesus never specifically said anything about ______.”

This very question is why it is so important to know your Bible; you cannot answer the question of what God has said unless you actually know the answer.

The Trouble with talking to a snake

First of all, the snake talked; that in and of itself should probably give pause. Since it did not, it may be safe to assume that, at one point and possibly right up until the flood, animals could talk. Admittedly that is a little suspect. It is more likely that the serpent had never talked before and that should have been a tip off to Eve that something was wrong.

Problem number two: Eve did not stand on revealed truth. Note that when Jesus was tempted, despite being God Himself, He answered with revealed truth, saying, “it is written.”

Problem number 3: Eve made the decision on her own and then persuaded her husband. Since we have the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious that Eve should have taken counsel with her husband. If nothing else, it would have been prudent to ask for a 2nd opinion. However, it was necessary that Eve did make this decision on her own.

The Disaster

The overall disaster in this story is that man sinned and, as a consequence, the intimate fellowship with God was lost. Previous to the sin, Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden in the cool of the day. In other words, they had the sort of intimate, face to face fellowship of parent and child.

Disaster number two: innocence was lost. Humans were aware not only of their own literal nakedness but also of the fact that they could hide nothing from God.

The curse: God answers this act with a 3-fold curse. The Serpent will now go on its belly, there will be enmity between the offspring (both literally and spiritually) of the serpent and the woman and, ultimately, the seed of the woman will prevail. This is the proto-euangelion or pre-gospel. The woman is cursed with great pain in childbearing and will desire to be in lordship over her husband but will not succeed. The man is cursed with increased struggle in his labors, with them being fruitless at times.

The final and ultimate curse is that humans will die. Until the day when Christ shall come and finally restore man to his place in the garden, we are cursed to deal with sickness, death, and dying.

How did God deal with the sin

God killed two animals and used the skin for kephora (atonement/covering)

Why did God allow the Fall of Man?

Commenting on John 9:3, J.C. Ryle remarks:

“A deep and instructive principle lies in these words. They surely throw some light on that great question, the origin of evil. God has thought fit to allow evil to exist in order that he may have a platform for showing his mercy, grace, and compassion. If man had never fallen there would have been no opportunity of showing divine mercy. But by permitting evil, mysterious as it seems, God’s works of grace, mercy, and wisdom in saving sinners have been wonderfully manifested to all his creatures. The redeeming of the church of elect sinners is the means of ‘showing to principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God’ (Ephesians 3:10). Without the Fall we should have known nothing of the Cross and the Gospel.” (http://www.ccel.org/e/easton/ebd/ebd/T0001300.html#T0001304)

3 Major Views on Original Sin

Pelagianism: This view says that Adam’s sin had no effect upon the souls of his descendants other than his sinful example influencing those who followed after him to also sin. According to this view, man has the ability to stop sinning if he simply chooses to. This teaching runs contrary to a number of passages that indicate man is hopelessly enslaved by his sins (apart from God’s intervention) and that his good works are “dead” or worthless in meriting God’s favor (Ephesians 2:1-2; Matthew 15:18-19; Romans 7:23; Hebrews 6:1; 9:14).

Arminianism: Arminians believe Adam’s sin has resulted in the rest of mankind inheriting a propensity to sin, commonly referred to as having a “sin nature.” This sin nature causes us to sin in the same way that a cat’s nature causes it to meow—it comes naturally. According to this view, man cannot stop sinning on his own; that is why God gives a universal grace to all to enable us to stop. In Arminianism, this grace is called prevenient grace. According to this view, we are not held accountable for Adam’s sin, just our own. This teaching runs contrary to the fact that all bear the punishment for sin, even though all may not have sinned in a manner similar to Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-18). Nor is the teaching of prevenient grace explicitly found in Scripture.

Calvinism (The view held by this ministry): The Calvinist doctrine states that Adam’s sin has resulted not only in our having a sin nature, but also in our incurring guilt before God for which we deserve punishment. Being conceived with original sin upon us (Psalm 51:5) results in our inheriting a sin nature so wicked that Jeremiah 17:9 describes the human heart as “deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Not only was Adam found guilty because he sinned, but his guilt and his punishment (death) belongs to us as well (Romans 5:12, 19). There are two views as to why Adam’s guilt should be seen by God as also belonging to us. The first view states that the human race was within Adam in seed form; thus when Adam sinned, we sinned in him. The other main view is that Adam served as our representative and so, when he sinned, we were found guilty as well. This second view is sometime referred to as Federal Headship. Because Adam was our “Federal Head” before Christ, his sin is imputed to humanity. When Christ became our Federal Head, after the resurrection, His righteousness was imputed to us.

Discussion Questions

  1. Was the Original Sin eating the forbidden fruit or, perhaps, not trusting God’s revealed truth?
  2. What comes to mind when you think of the word sin?
  3. God did not instantly kill Adam and Eve but He did say in the day they ate of the fruit they would die. What do we learn about God from the fact that God waited to allow Adam and Eve to die of old age?

Final Thought

The major tragedy of sin is not that we die or the fact that corruption runs rampant on earth. The tragedy is that we have lost the kind of intimacy with God that we were designed to have. Thankfully, the Gospel gives us hope that one day we will join God in Heaven where He, Himself, will be our reward and we will enjoy full intimacy with Him forever.

It begins…(The Creation Account Study Notes)

It begins…(The Creation Account Study Notes)

Text: Genesis 1-2

Summary:

God created the sky, seas, and land. He created the plants, animals, fish, and birds. But he created human beings in his own image. We can be certain of our dignity and worth (Indeed, all human lives are special and even sacred, to a point) because we have been created imago Dei, in the image of God.

Words You Should Know:

God

(Heb. pl. ’elohim) (1:1, 26; Deuteronomy 7:9; Is. 45:18) Strong’s #430: The standard Hebrew term for God. The basic meaning is probably “Mighty” or “the Almighty.”

create

(Heb. baraˊ) (Genesis 1:27; 6:7; Isaiah 45:18; 65:17) H1254: God alone has the power to create everything out of nothing, whether it’s “the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), people (Genesis 1:27), or everything in between. Of course, God also has the power to destroy, as happens during the Flood (Genesis 6:7). The book of Isaiah is filled with references to the creative power of God (Isaiah 40:26; 41:20; 42:5; 43:1, 7; 45:8, 12), emphasizing His uniqueness and superiority over all earthly gods.

man

(Heb. ˊadam) (Genesis 2:7; 3:8; 4:1) H0120: Although man was created before woman, and although the word sometimes refers distinctly to men, ˊadam is most often used to refer to all humans (Genesis 5:2). As if to emphasize his status as someone created by God, ˊadam was made out of ˊadamah (“the ground”). Nevertheless, ˊadam was made in God’s image, exalted above all other creatures, and made to “have dominion over” all creation (Genesis 1:28). The word also refers to the first man, Adam, father of Cain and Abel (Genesis 3:8; 4:1).

yom

Yom means day, the Hebrew day lasting from one evening to the next (Gn 1:5). Yom describes a working day (Exodus 20:9) or day of the month (Zechariah 1:7). It indicates a time (Proverbs 24:10) or occasion (Numbers 10:10). In the day often appears as when (Zechariah 8:9). The plural can represent age (Job 32:7), lifetime (Joshua 24:31), or reign (Isaiah 1:1). The plural denotes a number of days (Nehemiah 1:4), a time period (Leviticus 25:8), some time (Genesis 40:4), a year (Leviticus 25:29), or years (Exodus 2:11). With the definite article yom suggests today (Deuteronomy 4:39), now (Neh 1:6), whenever (1Sm 1:4), one day (Jb 1:6), or by day (Nehemiah 4:22). Yom could characterize a particular event such as the day of Jezreel (Hosea 1:11). Similarly, the Day/day of Yahweh, or the Lord, is a time or day that belongs to the Lord in a special way (Zephaniah 1:14).”

The 6 Days of Creation: It should be noted that Exploring the Truth hold to Young Earth Creationism and 6 literal days of creation.

Creation Day 1 (Genesis 1:1-5)

God created the heavens and the earth. “The heavens” refers to everything beyond the earth i.e. wha we call outer space. The earth is made but not formed in any specific way, although water is present (the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the deep). God then speaks light into existence and, from His Divine Power, it is so. He then separates the light from the dark and names the light “day” and the dark “night.”

So there was evening and morning, the first day.

Creation Day 2 (Genesis 1:6-8)

God creates the sky. The sky forms a barrier between water upon the surface and the moisture in the air. This is the point where the atmosphere begins. From the creation of the atmosphere, life is now possible.

There was evening and morning, the second day. 

Creation Day 3 (Genesis 1:9-13)

God creates dry land. Continents and islands are above the water. The large bodies of water are named “seas” and the ground is named “land.” God declares that all this is good.

God creates all plant life both large and small. He creates this life to be self-sustaining; plants have the ability to reproduce, showing us that a foundational proof of life is the ability to reproduce after it’s own kind. The plants were created in great diversity (many kinds). The earth was green and teeming with plant life.

“and God saw that it was good And the evening and the morning were the third day.”

Creation Day 4 (Genesis 1:14-19)

God creates all the stars and heavenly bodies. Two great heavenly bodies are made in relation to the earth. The first is the sun which is the primary source of light and the moon which reflects the light of the sun. The movement of these bodies will distinguish day from night.

“and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

Creation Day 5 (Genesis 1:20-23)

God creates sea life. Any life of any kind that lives in the water is made at this point. God also makes all the birds. The language allows that this may be the time God made flying insects as well (or, if not, they were made on day six). As with the plant life, all creatures made this day are endowed with the ability to reproduce after their own kind.  In verse 22, we see that the creatures made on Day 5 are the first creatures blessed by God.

Again, the account ends with God seeing that the creation was good.

Creation Day 6 (Genesis 1:24-31)

God creates all the creatures that live on dry land. This includes every type of creature not included on previous days and man. God declares this work good.

When God was creating man, He took counsel with Himself, “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26).

There is some dispute regarding the use of “us;” some suggest that God is taking counsel with the Heavenly Court while others suggest that God is using the “plural of majesty.” I find it better to simply take the text on its face and say that God is taking counsel with Himself, which would be a very early allusion to the Trinity.

God makes man, and man is made in the image of God (men and women both bear this image) and is special above all other creatures. Notice that it is only said of man that God formed him; for all of the other creations, God simply spoke and it was so. For man, though, God “rolled up His sleeves” to form His magnum opus. God blesses man and commands him to reproduce, fill the earth and subdue it (bring it under the rightful stewardship of man as authorized by God). The culmination of being made in God’s image is the impartation of Divine Authority. Man, and his mate, as the personal representatives of the LORD God are given dominion over the earth.

At the culmination of the sixth day, all of the created order has been made and God declares that it was good.

Creation Day 7 (Genesis 2:1-3)

God takes a day of rest. There is nothing in the text that implies weariness or that God is somehow made less by the acts of creating. Rather, He stops so that He might enjoy the fruit of His own labors and to set an example for man.

What is Christ’s role in creation?

All of creation was made by Christ (John 1:1-3). Jesus Christ, the 2nd Person of the Godhead is, Himself, the very God who created all things. Revelation 4:11 tells us that He has created all things and has created them for His pleasure. It pleased Him to create a glorious world and then to make man as sons and daughters to enjoy the wonders of His creation.

Discussion Questions

  1. Since God is the Creator of all things, what does this fact imply about His authority over that creation?
  2. The Westminster Shorter Catechism says man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. What can we learn from the creation account about how to enjoy God?
  3. When you think about being made in God’s image, what is the text of Scripture trying to communicate to you about how God feels about you?
  4. Since we are made in the image of God, what does the text imply about how we are to relate to each other?

Final thought:

Because we are made in the image of God, we enjoy both a special relationship to the created order and to the Creator Himself. The whole of the Bible is the amazing history of  creation, how the world became the way it is, and how the Creator, Himself, will, very soon, complete His redemption of the earth and restore all things.

Categories

Search the Bible

Lookup a word or passage in the Bible


BibleGateway.com
Include this form on your page

Daily Dose of Bible

Reformed Bible Teaching