Extend the Olive Branch

I love when I read things and see symbolism and comparisons in text that I am reading.  For example, I read that when Noah was on the ark he “sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth.”

I bet you are thinking, ‘big deal’?  Well, it is a big deal.  Don’t you see it?  Take a peek back at the beginning of the book of Genesis Chapter 1 and the second half of verse number 2.  It states, “…and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Now, look at the book of Matthew chapter 3  and the second half of verse 16, “..and he saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and landing on him (Jesus).”

So back to Noah, you see the dove hovering over the water looking for a place to land and you see at creation the spirit of God hovering over the waters.  Then you see in Matthew the spirit of God being described as a dove.  I mean, Noah could have sent out a pigeon.  Why the dove?  And when the dove finally did find something, what did it find?  It found an olive leaf.  Again, big deal, right?  Yes, it is !  Think about what an olive leaf or an olive branch represents – peace.  Ever hear of the saying, “extend the olive branch to your enemy?”  Well, it is a symbol here in the Bible as if the time of punishment or war with mankind is over and now God’s anger has been appeased and He is extending the olive branch for the future of mankind.  He seals this with the institution of the rainbow stating He will never again flood the earth.  4EBA9169-5340-4A22-ADB8-F11FD2C603F5

I think that over and over and over in the Bible God is continually pointing us to Himself. These are not just stories for history that are recorded. I think that God inspired the writing of the Bible, and within the writing He is continually reminding us of His sovereignty. We just need to open our eyes and our minds to see what is right in front of our face.

No Time to Build a Ladder

The story of Noah’s ark is one of the most known Biblical accounts, similar to the familiarity of the story of Adam and Eve.  I wonder how many of us missed the symbolism within this story that points to another coming destruction?  While the story of the Great Flood shows the destruction of physical man for his wickedness on the earth, the story also has an underlying parallel for the coming destruction of spiritual man for his wickedness in the end times.

In the account of Noah, we see that Noah was 500 years old when he began the ark and 600 years old when he completed it.  That means that God allowed one hundred years to pass before he pronounced judgement.  That gave one hundred years for man and woman to come and witness “the crazy man who was building a ship in the desert.”  One hundred years to ask questions to Noah and to seek God and inquire as to why this was going on. One hundred years to look upon themselves and their moral condition.  But not one of them realized that during that one hundred years there was a patient God waiting for them to repent.  One hundred long years – in which none, not even one of them changed from their wicked ways. And we all know the outcome – they drowned and perished for their wickedness that had, for a long time, brought God grief and caused Him to bring about this worldwide flood.  Those people are remembered no more, and they were eternally separated from God.

But I have stop to think about how this scene could have occurred.  The waters had to rise quickly from the ground as well as pour out heavily from the skies.  It would have had to be a quick destruction because Noah wasn’t the only one with a boat.  After all, there were fishermen.  They would have had boats.  There were carpenters.  They could have made a boat or a raft or even a ladder to climb up on Noah’s boat.  No, this wasn’t a slow flood.  This was a quick and immediate destruction.  So quick that there was no time for them to do anything to save themselves.  Their time for salvation had passed.  They had one hundred years to change their destiny.  They used those hundred years to scorn and laugh at Noah.  But they were not laughing when the flood came – the flood he had been telling them about for one hundred years.  No, they weren’t laughing.

5E8C77B8-FD3E-4D81-BC45-8C0400F1FBA8Can you imagine the panic and the terror?  People running around, crying and screaming.  Mother’s grabbing their babies and small children in an attempt to protect them – maybe by running to a higher ground.  People running to the area where Noah had been faithfully building the ark.  And those cries and screams  would have certainly carried in the air to the ears of Noah.  I can almost imagine him and his family inside the ark as it is being lifted off the ground, listening to what was happening on the outside of the ark.  But the Bible tells us that “God shut the door” to the ark.  It was not to be opened until the time in which God directed Noah to do so.  And for those people who were perishing in a watery grave, it was a punishment that didn’t have to be.  They had time – one hundred years to be exact – time to turn away from their wickedness.  Time to turn and beg a holy God for forgiveness.  But they didn’t, and so God fulfilled his decree of wiping them from the face of the earth.

And that is how I think it will be in the end times.  I think that God has been giving us time – Time since the creation of the world – Time since the garden of Eden when he pronounced the judgement on the serpent and also foreshadowed the coming Savior within that very punishment.  Centuries and centuries of time have been given.  I think the story of Noah is a foreshadowing of how the end will be.  God will make his final judgement quick and without any more warning.  The screaming and crying will waft upward, but that will not change the situation. Man will be destroyed for his wickedness.  Man will suffer the ultimate punishment, which is the eternal separation from a Holy God.  And I believe this is what is overlooked in the story of Noah.  It wasn’t just about a physical destruction of man.  It was also about a spiritual destruction and a foreshadowing of the ultimate coming destruction.

 

(Don’t forget to check out our latest video, The Plan is Redemption, on our website, https://marysfingerprint.com/a-chat-with-mom/  )

 

 

The Reason God HAD to save Noah

I find the account of Noah fascinating for one amazing reason and that reason is not that he built a mammoth ark and housed all the animals in it, etc.  While those facts are fascinating in their own right, the reason I am fascinated by that story is because I realize that God HAD to save Noah.  Yes, you read that right.  God had to save Noah becasue God could not wipe out all mankind as He wanted to do.  And for many years, I never really understood the purpose behind God saving Noah and his family.

We all know the story about the ark, the animals coming two by two, and the great flood.  But how many of us take a moment to realize that when God said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air, -for I am grieved that I have made them,”  that God HAD to save Noah.  Yes, that is true, and this account of Noah is in the Bible to show us more than just ‘God saw a good man in Noah and saved him and the animals.’

To understand why God had to save Noah, you need to go back to Genesis Chapter 3 verse 15.  Here is where God punished the serpent because he had tricked Eve into eating the fruit and disobeying God’s direct command for her and Adam not to eat the fruit.  And the punishment ends with these words, “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.”  So what does that mean exactly and what does it have to do with Noah many generations later?  To start with, this punishment held within it a promise of God for the future redemption of man.  The redemption or “purchasing back” of man had to occur because, when Adam and Eve sinned, God could no longer walk with them in the Garden, as He had been doing,  because God is Holy, meaning He is without sin, and Adam and Eve had now brought sin into what was a sinless world, so God couldn’t fellowship with them any longer in the same way that He had been before.   So He punished them and the Serpent, but inside that punishment also made a way for man to fellowship with God in the future, and this redemption would come thru Jesus Christ.  So the enmity spoken of in the punishment of the Serpent is speaking of the coming of Jesus Christ, the offspring of the woman.

While on the Earth, Satan would attempt to “strike his heal” by organizing and propitiating Christ’s death on the earth.  And while Satan was successful in that event, what he was not smart enough to know was that the very death of Jesus Christ would be the very way Jesus would “crush his (Satan’s) head”.  Because Jesus’ death was the final perfect offering, for the sin of man, to pay for man’s redemption, so that man would be again able to fellowship with a Holy God for eternity.

So when God wanted to wipe out all mankind, He had to save a man and a woman in order to again propagate the earth in order to fulfill his promise in the Garden of Eden.  Noah fit the bill because he was a righteous man on the earth during a time when there was so much sin that “every inclination of man’s heart was mostly evil all the time.”  And so, by saving Noah and his family, God fulfilled a promise (because a holy God cannot lie), and thru the line of Noah, Jesus Christ would eventually be born in order to die to save the creation that God loved.

E3BF2419-B914-4E03-B47D-80924AD8DA37

 

Only one righteous man?

Have you ever given thought to verse 5 in Genesis chapter 6 that states “ …every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time….” referring to the status of the inhabitant’s on the earth during the time right before the Great Flood?

I have to stop there and really ask myself the question, ‘How can EVERY inclination be ONLY evil?’  How could there not be any good thought, at one time or another, in ANY of these people?  What had occurred on the earth to cause such a degeneration of society to this degree?  We know from the genealogy in Chapter 5 that thousands of years had passed since the Creation of man and the Garden of Eden.  So what exactly happened?  Were there no good people on the earth besides Noah?  I pause to ask you to think of our country, America.  Can you imagine within our population there being only ONE good person that God finds favor with enough to spare that person from destruction while pronouncing judgment on all the rest?  It is almost an inconceivable thought.  Yet this is what is written in the Bible.

I am more inclined to believe that the idea here that is being conveyed was that man’s moral compass had degenerated to such a degree and they had no remorse for their sins or the sins of their generation, nor did they consider God in anything they did.  God was a non-existent entity for them at that time.   Very similar to what is happening in our country and countries around the world today.  What exactly do I mean?

Take a simple example when I was in high school during the 80’s.  A pregnant girl was considered shameful and you thought of her with less than good thoughts.  You simply didn’t hang around with her.  In the same way, there was a certain respect that you had for parents and teachers and adults.  To attend church was a common practice and sin was considered exactly that – sin.  You simply didn’t have torture and murder as a commonplace news item.  Today, we accept pregnant teens as “normal” and disrespect to others as “common”.  Most people don’t attend church or attempt to help those less fortunate.  Videotaping torture is something people enjoy posting to social media.  We live in a very morally sick society.  Our moral compass today has degenerated drastically from even what it was even during my own short lifetime.  So it is not difficult to believe that after thousands of years since the Creation, it is more of a moral degeneration of society that is being described here than it is that man sat around and only thought of evil thoughts.  I believe this is the idea behind the “thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” idea.  I can back up this thought process by looking at verse 11, “now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.  God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.”   And, in contrast,  God looked at Noah’s heart and realized he still had a good moral compass, and that out of all the inhabitants on the earth, Noah still had a heart for God and wanted to please God and do right – which is why Noah is written about as a righteous man.  However, even Noah had his faults and he could not have been perfectly good because we know that just shortly after the ark landing his sons find him drunk.  And while drunkenness was not a becoming quality, it was not a disqualifying character quality to condemn him to a watery grave as the others were condemned to. B48F10BA-5CB6-486A-A6EF-F798FCA3C5CB

But more so than any of this, I see in this passage how God hints to us as Noah being a pre-cursive type of savior to the preservation of the human race on the earth, just as Jesus Christ would be, but only Jesus Christ would be the perfect righteous man to save the human race for eternal salvation.

Coincidental Genealogy ?

In continuing my study in Genesis Chapter 4, I stopped to ponder the genealogyE529EA72-830F-41DA-9943-AAD0E2A3305A mentioned at the end of Chapter 4 and the beginning of Chapter 5 of Genesis.  I wonder if I just have a curious mind or if anyone else notices the incredible similarities between the names in the genealogy of Cain and the genealogy of Seth. They were brothers, but we know Cain was sent away for murdering his other brother, Abel.  So they didn’t live near each other.  And in describing the genealogy, the Bible does something very interesting, and I just couldn’t resist writing about it.

So first off, let me give you an initial visual before I show the oddities:

 

Cain’s descendants                                    Seth’s descendants

Enoch.                                                         Enosh

Irad.                                                              Kenan

Mehujael.                                                    Mahalel

Methushael.                                                Jared

Lamech.                                                       Enoch

.                                                                      Methusela

.                                                                       Lamech

.                                                                        Noah

So first I thought it was odd that the writer of Genesis goes into great detail to show how old Seth and his descendants were at the time they had a son, but does not indicated how much time elapsed between Cain and his descendants.  I also noticed the similarities in the names.  We see Cain had Enoch, Seth had Enosh – different by only one letter.  Then in Cain’s line we see Mehujael, while Seth’s line had Mahalel – close isn’t it?  Then we see on Cain’s side Methushael and on Seth’s side Methusela – again very close.  Both sides had a Lamech.  So of course my curious brain kept wondering.

As I continued to look, I couldn’t help but wonder if the writer of Genesis got it correct.  The spellings are so incredibly close that it is either a huge coincidence, error, or God wants us to see something.   But the oddities didn’t stop there.

If I take off the first four names on Seth’s side and start with Enoch and match up both sides like that, it gets even weirder.  You have this:

Cain’s side                    Seth’s side

Enoch                         Enoch

Irad                            Methusela

Methushael              Lamech

Lamech

If I eliminate Irad from Cain’s side then we have:

Enoch.                        Enoch

Methushael.             Methusela

Lamech.                     Lamech

Furthermore, in Cain’s geneology after Lamech it states Lamech had three sons and one daughter.  Odd, isn’t it that they list the daughter?  Her name was Naamah and guess what the name of the descendant on Seth’s side from Lamech was?  Noah.  So here we have:

Enoch.                       Enoch

Methushael.             Methusela

Lamech.                    Lamech

Naamah.                  Noah

So, since the writer did not mention the time lapse on Cain’s side, we have no idea if the time lines match up or not, but the oddity is too much for me to overlook.   Why are the names on both sides so similar?  Why did the writer include a time line for one and not the other? Why did they mention the daughter?  What was her importance? They did not consider women as heirs,  so why list her?  She obviously was well known for something or she would not have made it to the Bible. But, we do know that Noah, the last in our list here for Seth’s descendants, would go on to save the animals and a few human beings from the flood.

So in conclusion, this could all be coincidence or it could have a greater importance that God wants us to examine.  I just know one thing, the Bible is amazing and every time I think that there is nothing new there, I see something like this!

Lamech’s arrogance

Lamech, a fifth generation of Cain’s dependents, (if I have counted correctly) follows the same pattern of ungodliness as Cain did.  There is so much to discover about Lamech that the six verses he is mentioned in the Bible almost make him seem like a “passover reading”, so to speak. But his fifteen minutes of fame have a lot to show us.

Genesis chapter 4 verse 19 begins with the phrase, “Lamech married two women…”. Okay, let’s start there because it caused me to wonder when did the marrying of multiple women come into existence?  It wasn’t as though one of his wives had died and the other was the second wife – verse 23 disputes that fact.  So it is stated as if the marrying of more than one woman had been a practice for a while because the writer of Genesis never comments on it other than to say “Lamech married two women” – sort of nonchalantly.   So logically,  somewhere between Cain “laying with his wife (singular)” in verse 17 and Lamech being married to two women in verse 19, life on the earth had changed quite drastically from God’s original plan of one man and one woman, as in Adam and Eve.  Now this “marrying of more than one woman” might not have been the practice every where on earth at the time, but it was certainly the practice in the Cainite civilization and the city of Enoch, which Cain had built.

And so we see that Lamech called his wives together in verse 23 and explains to them that he, like his ancestor Cain, is also a murderer.  He states, “I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.”  The Bible doesn’t tell us what type of “wound” it was.  Maybe it was a territorial argument and a physical fight.  Maybe it was a financial wound in that the “young man” stole a piece of property owned by Lamech, like a sheep or something.  The two important things here are that the man was “young” and Lamech had a foul temper – a temper so foul that instead of dealing with a situation as an adult, he resorted to murder and hatred for another human being – very similar to Cain.  And was the young man a teenager?  The writer made special note that it was a young man not an adult man.  Was the penalty for killing a “young man” different during those times?  I don’t know.

It is also important to make you aware that he told his wives about it.  Doesn’t it make you wonder why?  Men during those days did not value a woman’s opinion, nor were women treated like anything other than property and baby machines.  So isn’t it curious that he tells his wives about his crime? It is almost as if he is running or hiding in a way, like, “Quick come here, I have to tell you this before anyone else shows up or finds out.”  Was he expecting his wives to cover for him in some way?  Was he going to run away and he needed to tell them before he left?  We can only wonder.

But it is his arrogance in the next verse, verse 24, that I find incredible.  He states, “If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.”  So first off, we are aware that God had placed a mark on Cain after Cain had killed Abel and God was sending him away so that if anyone attempted to kill Cain, then they would suffer vengeance seven times over – a vengeance decreed from Almighty God.  But at this point in the Bible when Lamech makes his statement, we are unaware of anyone who attempted to harm Cain, and furthermore, the knowledge of this “vengeance” had been passed down through multiple generations because Lamech knew of it.  Maybe the noticeable mark on Cain was a physical marking that somehow set him apart from the others and so when people talked about why Cain was different it became known what he had done to his brother Abel and the vengeance decreed against anyone who tried to “avenge” Abel’s blood.   Again, we do not know.  All we know is that Lamech knows about the vengeance if anyone were to harm Cain because Lamech mentions it in his statement to his wives. B124624A-3D36-45A7-9CE8-43E4CE051902

But here Lamech thinks that his own sin of murder isn’t possibly as bad as Cain’s and therefore he (Lamech) should have more vengeance if someone tries to harm him because of his sin.  Basically, he is saying, “Listen my wives.  While it is true I did something bad, it wasn’t nearly as bad as what Cain did.  I was JUSTIFIED because that man injured me, whereas Cain killed Abel when Abel did nothing to him to deserve it.  The man I killed deserved it.”  Doesn’t it amaze you how he tries to justify his sin of murder and make himself out to be the victim in the situation? And doesn’t it amaze you how he feels that he is worthy to pass judgement on anyone who tries to harm him because of his sin?

It is of further curiosity to see how the writer of Genesis leaves the story there.  He mentions it and then nothing further is noted.  Why even mention it?  It had to have some importance if it were to be mentioned and included in the Bible.  I think the lessons here are to show us that civilization had continued to degrade into a downward sinful spiral.  That only five generations removed from the first-born child of Adam and Eve,  man had continued to disregard God and HIS laws.  It also shows us that man had no reverence for God in that man thought he could place himself into the righteous seat of God and invoke a binding punishment on his fellow man.

We never hear from Lamech again, nor do we know what happened to him.  I do know this, however.  Lamech eventually died, whether by the hands of another or by natural causes.  Lamech’s sin will be judged and he will be held to account by the only One who can pronounce judgement – God – and this God sees all and saw the truth to what Lamech had done – just as He does with us.

 

The Mystery of Cain’s Wife

Have you ever wondered where Cain’s wife came from?  Have you, like me, sat thru church services listening to different explanations for her existence but you never quite agreed?  I have given over a month’s time in thought to this.  After studying the Bible passages over and over, I finally think I have come to a conclusion that makes more sense to me than what I have heard before.E0280621-3D8F-4445-8710-754476216464

Chapter 4 of Genesis states that “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. ….Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.”  I believe there is one word here that is the most important word to understanding this mystery.  The word LATER…… ‘LATER she gave birth to his brother Abel.’

We have all been taught to believe that there was ONLY Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel.  But the Bible is not definitive in that assumption.  It is entirely possible that there was a great span of time between Cain and Abel.  The Bible NEVER states that there were no children born between Cain and Abel.  It simply states, Eve had Cain and later she had Abel.  It does not tell us how much LATER that was.  Maybe it was 400 years later. There is no way to know.

What I do know is that even God acknowledged that there were others around when in verse 15 of Chapter 4 He states, “Not so; if ANYONE kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.  And so the Lord put a mark on Cain so that NO ONE who found him would kill him.”  So logic then leads me to believe if there were no other human beings on the earth at that time, this conversation between God and Cain would not have taken place.  The only people around to kill Cain under that assumption would have been his parents, Adam and Eve.  So that simply cannot be the case.  There were others, and the only way for the others to come into existence would have been thru Adam and Eve and then for those offspring to continue to have offspring.  And hence we have a pool of people from which the wife of Cain would come from. So therefore those facts lead me to believe that the wife of Cain was a relative – maybe a sister or a niece or a cousin.

The other way I can justify my reasoning is if I look into Chapter 5 of Genesis and follow the family line of any of the people listed you can see that the Bible only picks out certain individuals at certain times.  For example, Seth was 105 years old when he became the father of Enoch.  Do you honestly believe that Seth didn’t have ANY children prior to being 105 years old?   The Bible is only listing the person in Seth’s line that would eventually lead to the birth of Christ.  Just as the only two “important” children of Adam and Eve that would make it to the Bible were Cain and Abel even though we know from the Bible that there were other children born to them, because it states they had “other sons and daughters”, but you don’t know anything about them because they were not the focus for the information that God wanted to reveal to us thru His word.

So Cain’s wife is not really a mystery.  The bigger mystery to me is who would have agreed to marry him knowing he was a murderer and had some kind of a “mark” that would designate him as such.

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye to Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve, the Father and the Mother of all who live, are best known for their time in the Garden of Eden when they went against God’s command and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and were ultimately banished from the perfect environment which God had created for them.

The last we hear of Adam actually physically speaking was when he was blaming both God and Eve for his fall from grace.  But we know that Adam was around for a while because the book of Genesis gives us the genealogy of Adam’s line, and it starts when Adam was 130 years old.  This is the time he became the father of Seth.  Seth is the lineage thru which the Messiah would eventually come.  So from creation to the fall, we know of Adam, and then nothing about him is recorded until he was the father of Seth, and then nothing afterward. No other life events are recorded for the first man that was ever created!  However, Adam lived 930 years!  Isn’t it interesting that he is never again mentioned after the birth of Seth?  Surely the very first man to ever be created had more of an impact than just having one son mentioned in the genealogy!  Don’t you think the men and women of that time would have been asking what it was like in the Garden or what it was like to walk and talk with God?  Don’t you think he would have been like the old wise man we see portrayed in movies where people go to seek his wisdom and advice?  But nothing is ever mentioned about him again – this very first man to be created in the image of God!

Eve, on the other hand, we hear speak after her discussion in the Garden with God.  We hear her speak again when she says, “God has granted me another child in the place of Abel, since Cain killed him.”  So we know a few things about her.  We know that Eve knew full well what crime her other son had committed, because she acknowledges it .  And like any mother she would have been mourning and would have been devastated to have lost a child, especially at the hands of the other child.  We know that Cain was sent away from her also and so, in effect, she lost both her sons.  But we never see anything written about her sorrow.  We never see Cain coming back to see his mother while she was living or even at her death.  How sorrowful that must have been for Eve.  But we don’t see that recorded.  We just see that she is happy that she has been given another male child, Seth.  In addition,  the Bible never tells us how long Eve lived.  It never tells us anything else about her except, in the genealogy mentioned in the previous paragraph,  it states that Adam had more sons and daughters.  So the assumption here is that he had them with Eve, but that is not exactly stated.  Eve could have died many years before.  I find it odd also that the mother of all creation is never noted to have contributed anything except to give birth to Cain, Abel, and Seth.  Even her “other sons and daughters” are never mentioned by name.

However, Adam and Eve will always and ever be the only two creations made specifically by the hands of God.  They would be the only two creations to live in the “perfect world”.  The only two creations to hear a creature or creatures speak.  The only two creations  to know what it was like to live with the lions and the lambs together in harmony – an event that would never be again on this earth.   The only two to know exactly what the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life looked like.  The only two to know what it was like living in a sinless world for a time.

04A5FB3C-30E8-4FFB-B9CC-0C323931F314Adam and Eve may not have any further recorded history in the Bible beyond the birth of Seth, and as we say goodbye to them here, we know they contributed so much more to that time period and even into today than is ever spoken of.

 

The Human-Like Presence of God

Most people tend to think of God as some “Father Time” being that is portrayed on television – kind of like an old man with a long white beard, a long white robe, and a staff.   Or sometimes they think of Him as a Spirit type being that is incomprehensible to the human mind.  Regardless of how you picture God, did you know God was very active and physically present in a human type of way in the book of Genesis?

From the very beginning of the book, we see God speaking when He says, “Let there be light.”  And God spoke again when He gave a direct command to Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  His speaking was an audible sound.  Audible enough for Adam to hear it and, in some form of language, to communicate His purpose.  What language did He speak?  Only God knows.  But God had to also physically show the tree to Adam.  How would Adam have known one tree from another?  The Bible says the trees were “pleasing to the eye and desirable for food”, so God had to point out the “bad” tree to Adam in order to help him to understand which one he should stay away from.  God couldn’t hold Adam accountable for something he would not have known.  So I fully believe that there was a taking to and a showing of the tree, which indicates an intimate human type of interaction.

Later in Chapter One and then in Chapter 2, we see God creating and “operating”, so to speak,  on Adam when he takes a rib from him to create Eve.  How did he cause a deep sleep to come upon Adam?  Was it induced by some type of medicinal plant?  Was it supernatural?  The Bible doesn’t tell us.  But it does say, “and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.”  So it is a physical type of surgery.  And it is a surgery that Adam knew about.  He didnt’ just wake up and there was the woman and he went on with his day.  Adam is noted as saying, “she is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.”  Indicating that he knew full well what had occurred.  So either God told Adam ahead of time what He was doing, or after Adam awoke and saw the woman, God must have told him what had occurred.  Either way, God is the “surgeon and creator” here, another intimate type of human- like interaction with His creation.

Then, in Chapter 3, we see God walking in the garden.  We know He was physically walking because the Bible states “the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking.”  In order to hear something, two surfaces must come into contact.  So maybe it was God walking against the brush, or stepping on a twig.  Again the Bible is not clear on how they heard Him, it just says, they “heard him walking in the Garden in the cool of the evening.”  So God was in a physical type of form walking to find Adam to have a personal conversation with him.

Later in Chapter three, we see God making garments for Adam and Eve, which means he had to put to death an animal or two in order to use their skins for clothing.  How did he do that?  Did he physically kill the animal, or simply cause it’s heart to stop beating?  The Bible, again, doesn’t tell us. But God had to kill the animal, skin the animal, dry the skins, in order to use the skins.  He didn’t simply wrap Adam and Eve in the bloody hide of the animal He had just killed.  This was a process.  So here we see God in a laborer type of role.

So, you are probably asking yourself, what is the purpose of these examples?  The examples are here to show the intimate type of relationship that man once had with God, to show that God walked and talked with man.  To also show that God created man for His pleasure, and He desired to be with His creation.  But because of man’s sin, God could no longer physically dwell with him because God cannot be a party to sin.  And so, He sent them away from His perfect creation and put cherubim to guard the entrance so they could not return.  But this was not the original plan of God.  Man had altered that plan and had changed the perfect to the imperfect.  Never again would this type of relationship occur.  But God was not done with man.  God had created another way for man to have an intimate relationship with him.  And that was thru the birth, death, and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ.

 

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime.

As a young child, I remember misbehaving and having my mother pronounce punishment for whatever “crime” I had committed against childhood humanity.  I used to think, at times, that her punishment was unjust and didn’t fit my offense.  And along those same lines, the punishment given to Adam and Eve certainly didn’t fit their offense.

After they had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Bible states that the eyes of both of them were opened – opened to the realities that there were dark forces in the world to counter the goodness they had only known from God.  Opened to their human condition and the world in which they lived.  And opened to the fact that they had disobeyed God, and He would find out. It almost paints a picture of  a childlike existence in the Garden until they had eaten the fruit and their eyes were opened, doesn’t it?

0E047C61-A822-4738-91B6-F07AF6D5AAFCBut because of their disobedience, God pronounces judgement.  He could have simply destroyed them and started over with the creation of human beings.  But God does not do that, even though their disobedience certainly warranted death.  Do you notice that He does not start with the woman who was the first one to disobey Him?  He starts with the serpent.  And the words He uses are, “Because you have done this”, done what you might ask?  The serpent had tempted Eve in her naïveté.  When Satan entered the serpent, he did not go and tempt the man.  The man had the direct command of God and knew exactly what God had told him. However, the woman did not.  She had heard the command from man and when the serpent played on the words, she didn’t know the exact truth.  Therefore, since the serpent went against God’s command for established humanity, God not only changes the physical appearance of the serpent, but He adds to the punishment of the serpent the eternal damnation that would be coming to him in the future.  And the very woman that he tricked would produce generations of people from which Jesus Christ would come.  Notice God says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush you head and you will strike his heel.”  So the descendent of the woman, Jesus Christ, would deal a death blow to Satan and that best that Satan would do would be to organize events to culminate with Christ’s death upon the cross.  But little did he know that very act would bring about salvation for all of mankind whom the serpent had desired to see fall short of God’s grace and enter into eternal damnation with his trickery.

And to the woman, God adds no scolding at the beginning, as He did for the serpent, and as He would do to the man.  He simply pronounces judgement on her and  woman’s punishment speaks of her very function – childbirth.  God increased the pains that she was going to experience and gave her an internal struggle that would always cause her to want to rule over her husband, kind of like she did in the garden.  However, God would never allow woman to rule man again, although there would always be an internal desire to do so.

But for Adam God offers an additional scolding, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it’…God is telling Adam that he should have known better because he had received the direct command from God Himself.  And that no matter what the woman said, Adam should not have listened to her.  So God curses the very function of man – which was labor.  And then He introduced the death factor, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Up to this point there had been no death.  And the very thing which God had told Adam at the beginning was now going to come to pass – “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.” And it wasn’t just man who would die.  Animals were also affected.  The animals that had done nothing wrong were now under the curse because of man’s sin.  And the first to animals to die would be used for their skin to cover the nakedness of the man and the woman.

And so, as in many sins, there were innocent victims. Victims who had done nothing to deserve their punishment and had committed no crime.