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Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there He put the man He had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were two trees, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden to quench the Gardenís thirst. The emerald greens, the colorful flowers, the many varieties of fruits, the splendid scenery together with birds serenading made Eden a garden beyond imagination. This was created so Adam and Eve could enjoy the wonderful provisions of God to the fullest.

The LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Inasmuch as Adam and Eve were bountifully blessed in the Garden of Eden, Satan enters the scene in the shape of a serpent. With captivating questions similar to the ones he uses today to occupy our minds, he said to Eve, "Did God really say, ĎYou must not eat from any tree in the gardení?" As you can observe Satan presents his question with "Did God really..." This word Ďreallyí put doubt and hesitation in the mind of Eve.

If only Eve could have kept Godís Word close to her heart, a simple reply of ĎYes, it is Godís commandmentí would have defeated Satan.

Eve allowed herself to rely on her own human mind and wisdom and to doubt the truthfulness of the LORDís Word. Satan took advantage of Eveís half heartedness and struck a heavy blow and said: "You will not surely die".

The Serpent simulated that if they ate of the fruit of this tree they would not die, this was totally contradictory to Godís command. Eve should have completely obeyed Godís command of "You shall not eat." Not only she did not do so, but she also added to Godís command when repeating it to Satan. Eve stated; God has said, "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." God had said nothing about touching the fruit of the tree. Human beings have no authority to add or deduct from the spoken Word of God. We are called to total obedience of Godís commandments. Anything else is short of the respect owed to Him, for we are His creatures and we dutifully ought to abide by His Word and commandments with no strings or conditions attached.

He who does not trust God may call this a blind obedience, however the believer defines obedience to God as faith. Happy are the ones that obey and woe to the disobedient, for disobedience brings forth doubt and manages to place manís own thoughts between his soul and Godís Word. Often Satan takes advantage of this in order to hold us back from Godís presence and even push us further away from Him.

In order to destroy the womanís faith and trust in God, Satan presents his case as though Godís commandment was not based on love. The serpent says, "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

The Serpent goes on persuading Eve by saying "God does not want you to reach that high and mighty position, Thats why He has commanded you not to eat of its fruit. Satan attempts to bring doubt into our minds about Godís love towards us in this manner each day. We should never doubt Godís endless love and goodness towards us, for He will not withhold any good thing from us. Whatever He withholds or forbids is purely for our own benefit.

Satan knows of the promise of Eternal Life to us through our knowledge of God. Hence he tries his utmost to prevent us from knowing Him. He misrepresents the truth and aids us to see everything upside down, so that we may see the "God of Love" as the oppressor.

The Serpent tells Eve that because God has forbidden her to eat of this particular fruit, He could not possibly love her, therefore causes her to doubt Godís love and prepares the way for her great fall. Having no knowledge of the Almighty God is the beginning and the very foundation of all human suffering.

In Genesis chapter 3:6 we read: "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." In this verse Godís Word is making us aware of three important points. Indeed, they are the three sharp swords that Satan repeatedly uses to defeat man and lead him astray:

1. ĎWhen the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for foodí (Physical Desire)

2. Ďand pleasing to the eyeí (Visual Desire)

3. Ďand also desirable for gaining wisdomí (Desire for Position and Power)

Please observe these three desires and longings; Physical, Visual and Power. They are indeed true representatives of all human desires and passions. Satan has lead us to sin repeatedly on these three longings. If you look carefully, every day of one's life one is trying to obtain (be it legally or illegally): the best edibles, that which is pleasing to the eye, position and power.

Obviously, if in this world we give all our thought and concentration to these unsatiable desires, instead of sheer obedience, utter respect, humility and falling down before Godís throne of grace (that happens to be the best food for our souls), then our destiny will be worse than Adam and Eveís.

Trying to deceive Adam and his wife, Satan cunningly mentions the first part of this sad speech. Of course in a manner pleasing to them both, he said, "and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. He chose not to reveal the other half which is the sad reality, "You will know what good is but you will be incapable of doing it, and you will know evil but you will be unable to avoid it."

Before the fall, Adam and Eve had no need for the knowledge of good and evil. The garden of Eden was filled with goodness and holiness. In the place where the Holy Spirit abided, evil could never reside. Adam and Eve obtained a conscience they were not in need of beforehand -- The knowledge of good and evil. This was the first misery and sorrow that overtook them both as a direct result of eating the fruit of the tree. It bore a bitter fruit. Not only it did not add to their knowledge of their God that was the Good, but they became aware of Evil and hence realized they were naked and became ashamed.

It is a shameful scene when a sinner feels so guilty after committing sin that he tries desperately to cover his shame and nakedness no matter what it takes. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with that which was available. We read that they took fig leaves and made coverings for themselves. Apart from sin exposing the sinful nature, it also makes one fearful. So much so that the very Adam and Eve who used to enjoy face to face communication with God every day, now become afraid and ashamed. They hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Some people believe that through eating of the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve obtained a conscience that was to bring them closer to God. The knowledge of what a sinner is, only leaves one shameful, depressed and discouraged. This resulting ia a fear of what the future holds; instead of conversing with the Almighty and being close to Him one feels further removed from Him. Adam and Eve fled from before The LORD in the same way, putting a tree between themselves and God so that they might hide from His sight. We see that in trying to find a solution for the fear of the LORD, man makes two moves - one to cover his nakedness, and the other to hide behind a tree.

Many people try to hide behind their sin by conducting various good deeds such as going on pilgrimages like visiting the tomb of saints, fasting and prayer, feeding the poor, giving donations or setting up charities. These actions may comfort them for a short while but on the Judgment Day when they come face to face with Holy God, they shall come to know that coverings made by man shall indeed be too short to cover the nakedness of their soul.

If clothes made from fig leaves were to be enough to cover the nakedness and the shame of Adam and Eve, then it would have given human beings some hope for good deeds to cover their sinfulness today.

When God called to the man, "Where are you?", though Adam had a fig leaf covering made by himself, he fearfully confesses that he is naked. If this covering was sufficient for Adam he would not have feared and hid behind a tree.

The Word of God in 1 John 4:18 says: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."

Surely if Adam did not find his man made covering enough to cover his sin then his descendants try in vain to hide theirs from The Holy LORD. This covering does not even satisfy manís soul, how can we expect it to please the Almighty God.

In 1 John 3:21 Godís Word says: "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God ...."

Adam knew his own guilt and fear facing God. When the sinner comes face to face with God, His anger and wrath become visible.

The prophet Habakkuk in his book chapter 1 Verse 13 writes: "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil."

Through creation Godís might and power became manifested but no one knew of His grace and love. Satanís attempts to deceive Godís creatures in a way became his own downfall.

After Adamís fall in Eden, we read in Genesis 3:9, but The LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" God who is omniscient did not need to ask this question. This proves two points: One, "Where are you? in the sense that man had lost his position and place and was now lost. Second, that the LORD was now seeking the lost and the wondering; so that they might be found. The first part shows the lost Adam and the second part, the Loving God who seeks the lost.

Adamís creation from dust shows Godís power and might. However, seeking the fallen and the lost reveals His grace. As the lost sheep is dear to the Shepherd, the lost coin to the housewife, the prodigal son to the father, so is the sinner to the LORD, so that He may save him and put him on the right path again.

In response to Godís question of "Where are you?" Adam said, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. The LORD said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?"

The man Said, "The Woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.". Here we see that Adam foolishly puts the blame on the woman and indirectly on God although it is obvious that he himself disobeyed Godís command of "You shall not eat.." and in so doing committed sin. What a sad state to be in!

We see that, man having lost his position as the ruler of the earth insofar as status, happiness, holiness, gladness, sinlessness, spiritual wholeness and everything else. He is now a sad being full of fear, shame, being without honor; naked, talking to God while hiding behind a tree. Unfortunately, Adam does not repent. He is busy trying to blame God, through Eve, for what has happened. Sin resulted in Adam and Eve losing their closeness and communion with God. Sin acts as a dividing wall and separates man from God.

In sorrow and hopelessness without any power and ability to save himself, man sees his loving God enter a war with Satan to prepare the way for his and his descendantsí salvation. He heard the LORD God saying to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life and I will put enmity between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel."

"Satan, from the seed of this woman whom you caused to fall, one shall rise that will crush your head, he shall break your power and the chains of death and he shall bring forth salvation for man."

Adam believed Godís Word and promise. He named the woman Eve because she would become the mother of all the living. As one who had committed sin, she should have been named mother of all the dead.

Sin entered the world through Adam and it resulted in death. Through Adam all sinned and fell short, hence death was for all. Many centuries passed and the loving God faithful to His promise to Adam and His Word to the prophets, sent his only loving Son Jesus Christ to this world. He was to die for the sins of the world as the sacrificial lamb without blemish. You and I and all unborn are included in this. It was necessary for him to bear the sin of the world on the cross. On the third day He rose from the dead victorious and full of glory. He is the onlyone who could break the chain of death and bring salvation to human kind. So he crushed the head of the serpent - Satan.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. This was the clothing made of sacrifice and poured blood, a symbol of Jesus Christ. The garments made of fig leaves by man were no longer sufficient. Such clothing can never cover our sin and shame. The only acceptable covering is the one God has sent to us, through belief in him we can find refuge. We are covered under the shadow of his wings.

Adam sinned hence all sinned. Death became contagious throughout the world, however Godís provision of Grace through the acceptable work of Jesus Christ was made available to many.

In Romanís Chapter 5 verse 17-19, Godís Word says, "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive Godís abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life to all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous."

We then read in Genesis 3:22 "He (man) must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live for ever." So the LORD God banished him from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the garden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

The righteous God, after banishing Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, lovingly opened another door for us to enter His presence.

Jesus Christ states, in John 10:9 says, "I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." Later in John 14:6 He says; "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Also, in the book of Revelation 1:17 we read; "I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of Death and Hades." And in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Before ending this chapter let us review and concentrate on 4 main points.

1. When Adam was living in perfect peace in the Garden of Eden and had assurance of Eternal life in his heart, God spoke to him and assured him of something frightful - Death. He told Adam, "For when you eat of it you will surely die."

2. The deceitful Satan who is the enemy of mankind, deceived Eve. He told Eve; "You will not surely die." Unfortunately, Adam and his wife ate of the forbidden fruit. And in accordance with Godís Word which says, "The wages of sin is death," it resulted in death for themselves and their descendants. The unforgiving claws of death victoriously shadowed human beings.

3. Disobedience to God and commitment of sin brings about death in its many forms and shapes for mankind today too. Though sinful man has no trace of hope for redemption in his heart, God (unlike the promise of death to Adam in the garden of Eden) gives us the good news: "Believe in the LORD Jesus, and you will be saved - You and your household." The book of Acts 16:31

4. The same enemy - Satan, tries to deceive us, telling us that our faith will not save us or

give us eternal life. Let us learn of that which happened in the garden of Eden. Let us be obedient to Godís Word and believe the life-giving Word of the Almighty. For the LORD Jesus Christ says in John 5:24, "I tell you the truth, whosoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

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