THE FALL – Part 2
Genesis 3:8-15 (NIV)
Judgment on Man
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, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
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?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
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.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 And 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.”
FOR YOUR STUDY
Impact of the Fall. FOUNDATION OF THE KINGDOM
3:15 The Gospel’s First Proclamation. MESSIAH’S COMING. This verse contains the first proclamation of the gospel. All of the richness, the mercy, the sorrow, and the glory of God’s redeeming work with man is here in miniature. God promises to bring a Redeemer from the Seed of the woman; He will be completely human yet divinely begotten. "That old serpent, called the Devil." would war with the Seed (see Rev. 12) and would smite Him. But even as the Serpent struck at the Redeemer’s heel, His foot would descend crushing the Serpent’s head. In Christ’s life and death this scripture was fulfilled. Divinely begotten, yet fully human by his death and resurrection Christ has defeated and made a public spectacle of the powers of hell (Col.2: 15). This first messianic promise is one of the most succinct statements of the gospel to be found anywhere.
Responsibility Under God. BIBLICAL MANHOOD. Along with man’s role as God’s appointed leader in society comes responsibility. In v.16 we are told that man is to "rule over" the woman. This does not imply dominion in the sense of authoritarian or dictatorial rule but rather responsibility in the sense of providing care and protection. Although this decree was given as a consequence of man’s rebellion against God, it should not be understood primarily in a negative sense. Understood properly, we see the restoring grace of God’s adopting a plan for an orderly society.
At least three areas of responsibility are woven into the social fabric of biblical manhood:
1. Material provision, which includes food, clothing, and shelter;
2. Emotional provision, which involves love, security, and understanding; and
3. Spiritual provision, which stresses guidance, maturity, and sensitivity (Eph. 5:23, 25-27; 1 Tim. 5:8)
If hurtful and chaotic conditions are to be avoided in our world, man must take seriously his essential role of responsibility.
UMAN WORTH. The sin of one human, Adam, corrupted the world. The continued sinfulness of mankind caused the Flood (6:12, 13). In contrast, the obedience of one Man, Jesus Christ brought justification and righteousness to man (Rom. 5:18, 19). If redeemed man walked in the justification and righteousness, could not man cause the world to bloom and blossom? God wants to reveal His truth and beauty to the world only through redeemed mankind. Each believer has strategic significance in his own sphere. He or she must strive to maximize the impact of the good and encourage others to do the same.
3:8 Sinners have always hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, as they will continue to do: "Hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne" (Rev. 6:16).
3:9 The Lord God was not asking out of ignorance, but rather as a parent would demand knowingly of a disobedient child: "What have you been doing now?"
3:12,13 Another human frailty appears for the first time: the man blamed his wife and God. The woman, too, tried to shift the blame.
3:14, 15 Thou art cursed carries the idea of coming under God’s judgment. Although the exact meaning of the serpent’s being cursed above the rest of the animal kingdom is unclear. Paul later reinforces the idea that all creation was affected by the Fall (Rom.8: 20-22). Upon thy belly shalt thou go does not insist that the serpent previously had legs; it is equally likely to be poetic language supporting the fact that the animal kingdom will not be able to reverse it post-Fall condition on its own. Dust shalt thou eat is also figurative for extreme humiliation.
NT allusions to v.15 (Rom.16: 20; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 12) seem to indicate that the curse to the serpent has a broader application. Interpreted messianically, enmity represents the conflict between Satan (thy seed) and God’s people, especially Jesus Christ (her seed). It shall bruise thy head…thou shalt bruise his heel depicts the long struggle between good and evil, with God ultimately winning through Jesus Christ, the last Adam. V.15 is often referred to as the first messianic prophecy in the OT, the Protoevangelium. …to be cont’d
Playwright Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts