Get the Concept!
I have officially taken over the Math part of Julie’s homeschooling this week. It has been rewarding to say the least. We’ve had hardships but nothing rewarding comes easy.
Today we were discussing the goal of me teaching her math. She constantly wants to answer the problems correctly, because if she does, then she thinks she’s finished. WRONG!!! I kept having to tell her that I don’t care if she can answer the problem in her workbook correctly. I want her to learn the concept. If she masters the concept, then the answer to the problem is easy.
How easy it is to forget that in our Christian walk and even in daily life. Our lives are not dependent on God to tell us how to solve every little problem. Israel’s religious leaders decided to give the people enough rules so that when a situation arose, they could look up the solution and fix it that way.
Christ came to guide us towards the spirit of the law. He said it came down to two things, “Love God, Love others.” We forget sometimes that we are not expected to fulfill this perfectly, Jesus did that for us. It does however give us direction to the concept that God wanted us to live by, “Love others as I have loved you.” – John 13:34
That’s the concept to live by. We look to Jesus as the one who fulfilled the law and did it perfectly; no blemish or spot. He sent his spirit to walk with us daily and by having a relationship with the Father, we can resolve any problem this life throws our way!
Adam Before the Fall
The story of Adam and Eve has always intrigued me; especially the part of their lives before the fall. I often wonder how their lives were different from my own, besides being naked and OK with it.
Gen. 1:26 – God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
We are made in God’s image! Do you ever ponder the enormity of that statement? God of the universe who managed to create everything in 6 days, decides to make us in His own image. I believe God’s image is that of a trinity, having flesh, spirit and soul.
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
Not only are we made in God’s image but we are made to rule. And not even things we’ve made, but what God has created.
27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God does what he says he’s going to do.
28 – God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
Notice God was talking to both of them. This was a call for them to be in agreement with each other.
2:8 – Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
Notice this is exactly what Eve saw in the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
2:16 – the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man,
Just 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.”
Life comes from God and Jesus came to give us live more abundantly. When we live life apart from God, we start to die. Notice God said not to eat of it. Eve will give a different description of what God says later on.
2:25 – the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
God had brought the man and woman together and they both were dependent on God for everything. Thus if God had not given them a reason to feel shame, then they didn’t. Hebrews talks of Jesus feeling the shame of the cross in chap. 12 v. 2. Think about Jesus and his entire life of relationship with the father. You live 33 years in a father’s love and then near the end you are disconnected from that father. I sure that Jesus felt shame because we was clouded from seeing his father as he had so often done before. Plus I’m sure he was naked on the cross at that time as well.
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’?”
Just a thought, but I wonder if Adam and Eve were able to talk to all the animals. Satan started by asking a question that we know is wrong
3:2 – 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,
Which he did say
And you must not touch it
Which he didn’t say. Kinda leads me to believe that Adam may have slipped that last part in there to protect Eve.
Or you will die.
3:4 – “You will not surely die, “The serpent said to the woman.
Here’s the lie
3:5 – “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
By joe, he’s right. The Devil actually told a truth. God even confirms this fact after finding out what they did. However, this incomplete truth is still a lie. He seems to keep this same pattern up for a while too.
3:6 – When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye,
God had created it this way (2:9) which was the truth
and also desirable for gaining wisdom,
Which was also true but God still commanded them not to eat from it.
She took some and ate it.
I wonder if she doubted what she had been told after touching it. I can only assume that if she believed that if she touched the fruit and would die, then when she actually grabbed it off the tree and didn’t die, she probably thought it would be ok to eat it too. The fruit had to actually be ingested into their system. This is reminiscent of the Lord’s Supper as well. We must actually eat of his flesh in order to have eternal life. Being sprinkled, like the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, wasn’t good enough.
She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Oh, I crave some details here. I looked at the Hebrew text and it looks to me like there is no language of, “who was with her.” I know that in I Tim. 2:14 it says that the woman was deceived and specifically says, “the man was not”. However, there is a distinct break in the dialogue between the serpent and the woman, and the woman and the man eating the fruit. Thus, it could very well be possible that the woman spoke to the serpent alone and then met Adam at the tree and they both ate. I wonder if Eve took Adam to the tree without saying anything, grabbed a piece and took a bite without talking about it. Then seeing that she was okay, she gave it to Adam and he ate. Like I said, I wish I had some insight into what Adam was thinking when he took a bite.
3:7 – Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
I like the vision that is cast here when it says that their eyes were opened. We usually think of living in sin as darkness. I totally agree that it is but there is also an eye opening experience when you live life apart from God. Just as God and Satan stated, they will know good and evil. When you know, you’re eyes are opened. You start seeing the reality of things and how they pertain to you. When you have the knowledge of good and evil, you start deciding things for yourself. Thus Adam and Eve now realized that they were naked. They had been naked all along. Nothing changed physically, at least we aren’t told that it did. But when their eyes were “opened” they could now perceive nakedness and thus were then able to feel how they wanted to feel; shame.
3:8 – Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
The sound of walking … We know that God is a spirit, but spirit’s don’t walk. Thus we can assume that God took the form of a man to walk next to the man he created. This seems to be a foreshadowing of future events.
And they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
I find it interesting when God asks questions. There are several instances of Jesus asking questions in the gospels. My favorite is after the woman touches the hem of his garment. Jesus seems to be asking a sincere question since the following verses talk of Peter saying that everyone was touching him and it also states that the woman brought herself forward when she saw that she couldn’t go unnoticed. I personally believe that God has the power to deny himself knowledge while in human form. We are told that Jesus grew in wisdom. You can’t grow if you’ve got it all. Thus, I think when God calls out to Adam, He is sincerely asking for knowledge.
3:11 – And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
More questions from God. Obviously, God knew that he hadn’t told Adam he was naked, thus by power of deduction, God asks the most logical of questions.
3:12 – The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
In one sentence, Adam blamed the only two people he knew.
3:13 – Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The blame game continues
3:21 – The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
We are not told this animal was a lamb but you can certainly draw the logical conclusion that it was.
3:22 – And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.
Just confirmation from God that what the serpent said was true. Adam and Eve now knew good and evil. Up until now, everything was good. Even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good. God used the same word for when he spoke of the days and what had been created and said that it all was good. The fact that Adam and Eve were naked was good. Adam and Eve were the first people to know that being naked was something shameful. But they did not receive this knowledge from God; they knew it for themselves. When we are left to ourselves to decide what’s good and what’s evil, the world becomes distorted. We were made to rely on God for this knowledge. Jesus Christ came to renew this relationship. When he changes our hearts, we yearn for God to teach us what is good and what is evil. Adam and Eve knew what good was before the fall; subduing the earth and eating the plants and seeds. Adam and Eve knew what was evil before the fall; eating of the tree they were commanded not to.
He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” :23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
I never realized this before, but being banished from the Garden was more of a consequence of the fall, not punishment. God still cared for his creation and knew that if they were to eat of the tree of life in their current state, the relationship he longed for would be broken forever.
3:24 – After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Notice the cherubim did not guard the tree but the way to the tree. My good friend Chuck Ross suggested that the lamb that was slain to give Adam and Eve their clothes was the way to the tree of life. The other references to this would be the Ark of the Covenant in which two cherubim continually hovered over the mercy seat and also in the tomb of Jesus, where the two cherubim hovered over the spot where Jesus had been laid. Jesus continually calls himself the way and even refers to himself as the gate.
In conclusion, I have a better understanding of what it was like for Adam. Since I have been crucified with Christ and he now lives in me, I spend the vast majority of my day asking God for guidance and direction. This is essentially the kind of relationship God had with Adam. Adam was given immense freedom and very little limitation. Even when you think about wearing clothes today. The reason God asks us to be modest in our dress is for the benefit of others. Because we now have the ability to choose good and evil for ourselves we can lust after the bodies of others. Thus our clothes are there to protect others.
Jesus Christ, being the second Adam, is an amazing person. God knew that had he given the chance to another normal human, they would have made the same mistakes as well. Thus, God came to us in the flesh. Jesus Christ had a body just like yours and mine. He was hungry, thirsty, tired, etc. However, Christ had the mind of his father. He didn’t presume anything because he was totally dependent on the father for what to say and what to do. When His father didn’t give him knowledge, he didn’t have it. Sometimes he was able to discern men’s hearts and other times he was left to ask questions for information. Jesus was surprised at the centurion’s faith. You can’t be surprised if you know it all. This gives us an enormous sense of encouragement knowing that we too can rely on the Father for the knowledge of good and evil.
Blessings Beyond Number
I was walking home the other day thinking about the phrase, “All in God’s timing.” I know I am guilty of using this phrase as a way to deal with frustrations in my life. Then I started thinking about the Blessings in my life that God’s timing has already happened.
I have a gorgeous wife whom I adore and love with everything that I can. She completes me and helps me through this life more than any other person has or will. She is in God’s timing. God has blessed me with her already and I am reaping the benefits of this blessing now.
I have three absolutely amazing children. Some days I forget that and turn into the daddy-monster. Then I realize that there are people out there who don’t have the opportunity to raise even one child. I praise God for his blessing of these children in my life.
We don’t have gobs of money or fancy cars or the nicest house. That’s all in God’s timing. =) But we do have things that other people only wish for. The most important being able to enter the throne room of God with confidence, bowing before him in humble adoration and being picked up and set in his lap and talking to him as a child to a father. We are blessed that Jesus has come to us already and for that, I am super grateful for God’s timing.
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