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01 The Silence Of Adam

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Rev. Paul Nelson

Introduction

This morning we begin a series on marriage.  Recently, there was an international competition in search for the husband of the year award.  Here are the top three finishers:  in third place from Albania a husband who is committed to keeping the home fires burning.  In second place, from Serbia, a very protective husband.  And in first place, from Ireland, this husband is always ready to lend his wife a helping hand (especially since beer is expensive in Ireland!).

Though there are many components that contribute to building a godly marriage, one of the keys is godly leadership by husbands.  Many husbands today lack confidence in their spiritual authority for a number of reasons, chief among them being the aggressive rejection of male leadership by secular and evangelical feminists.

What I want to show you today is that husband leadership is God’s design and that the failure to lead by the husband plunged the human race into sin and death and is the cause of conflict between husbands and wives.  Please turn with me to Genesis 2:7

Adam’s Leadership

The marriage of Adam and Eve really was a marriage made in heaven. It was perfectly planned and perfectly performed by a perfect God. First, God sculpted Adam:

(Genesis 2:7 ESV) 7then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Then God formed Eve:

(Genesis 2:21-22 ESV) 21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

There was an order of authority in their relationship.  Adam was formed first, then Eve, as the Apostle Paul clearly taught:

(1 Timothy 2:13 ESV) 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

Eve was made for Adam, not Adam for Eve, as Paul also pointed out:

(1 Corinthians 11:9 ESV) 9Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

God created Eve to be Adam’s helper:

(Genesis 2:18 ESV) 18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Finally, Adam’s authority was expressed in his naming Eve:

(Genesis 2:23 ESV)   23Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

The Word of God says,

(Genesis 2:25 ESV) 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

It was a relationship of perfect purity and innocence. There was no sin in them. There was no strife between them. They were at peace with God and at peace with each other. But their peace was shattered when Adam failed to lead.

Adam’s Silence

Adam and Eve came face to face with Satan, the archenemy of God.  Using the body of a serpent as his instrument, Satan focused his attack on Eve. Satan used the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as his weapon.  God had placed that tree in the garden to be the symbol of Adam and Eve’s submission to Him:

(Genesis 2:17 ESV)   17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Satan’s first approach with Eve was to question the Word of God.

(Genesis 3:1 ESV)  1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Then Satan flatly denied God’s Word:

(Genesis 3:4 ESV) 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Finally, Satan ridiculed God and distorted His Word:

(Genesis 3:5 ESV) 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan’s assault was successful:

(Genesis 3:6 ESV) 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

The text is clear, Adam was with Eve during this encounter with Satan.  If Adam was there, why didn’t he say something? Why didn’t he tell the serpent to get lost? Why didn’t he correct Eve when she misquoted the command not to eat of the tree? Why didn’t he suggest they go somewhere else to talk about the situation? Why didn’t he stop Eve when she reached for the fruit?

We have no idea why Adam remained silent.  But we do know that he failed her woefully on this occasion. He failed to provide spiritual leadership instead he was led into sin.  In the New Testament, Adam is held responsible for the Fall, not Eve. 

(Romans 5:12 ESV) 12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

This sheds an entirely different light on Adam’s silence.  Adam’s passivity devastated his marriage and his family.  Exactly what God said would happen did happen; Adam and Eve’s spirits died that very moment and their physical bodies began the slow process of decay.

In verse 16 God decreed the consequences of Eve’s sin:

(Genesis 3:16 ESV)   16To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

God’s decree was two-fold.  First, as a mother, Eve, and all women after her, will suffer in relation to their children.  Eve will still be able to bear children.  This is God’s mercy by which He will carry out His death sentence on the Serpent.  But now all women will suffer in childbirth.  This is God’s severity for Eve’s sin.  The new element in Eve’s experience, then, is not childbirth but the pain of childbirth.

Second, as a wife, Eve will suffer in relation to her husband.  God said to Eve:

Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

 Genesis 4:7 helps us understand what this means:

(Genesis 4:7 ESV)   7If you (Cain) do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

In Genesis 4:7, God was warning Cain that sin desired to have its way with him, but that Cain must not allow sin to have its way over him.  Cain needed to rule over sin.  This helps us understand God’s words to Eve.  Just as sin’s desire was to have its way with Cain, God  gave the woman up to a desire to have her way with her husband.  Because she usurped his headship in the temptation, God hands her over to the misery of competition with her rightful head.

In Genesis 3:17-19, God decrees His judgment upon Adam:

(Genesis 3:17-19 ESV)   17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

God gave Adam up to the painful and ultimately futile attempt to eke out a living from the cursed ground.  Work was not Adam’s punishment, just as childbearing was not Eve’s punishment.  The punishment was his pain in working the ground and his ultimate defeat in it.  After a lifetime of survival by the sweat of his brow, the ground from which he was first taken will swallow him up in death.

Conclusion

It was the failure of Adam to lead at the critical moment of attack that allowed sin and death to wreak havoc in our personal lives and in marriage.  The age old tension between husbands and wives can be traced back to Adam’s silence.  And I believe that we husbands continue to struggle with Adam’s silence, failing to speak up and speak out in loving communication and loving leadership in our marriages.  But we can change and we can grow through Jesus Christ.

We would be left in utter despair were it not for the promise God gave in verse 15.  In Genesis 3:15, God spoke judgment against Satan:

(Genesis 3:15 ESV)   15I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

God promised that the seed of the woman, a child born into the human race, would destroy the works of the devil, including the havoc he had made of the home. This is the first biblical prophecy of the Messiah.

True to His Word, God the Father sent God the Son into the world, born of woman, born of the Virgin Mary.  Jesus died and paid the punishment price for all our sin.  His blood is the blood by which our sin is forgiven.  We can be forgiven of our sin and reunited with God if we will believe and receive God’s gift of Jesus as our Savior.

Only God can help us overcome sin’s consequences in our marital relationships. He can give husbands the same tender love and unselfish consideration that Adam had for Eve before they sinned. He can give wives the same encouraging helpfulness and sweet submissiveness that Eve had toward Adam before the Fall. In other words, the honeymoon can begin again. But we must first receive Jesus Christ as Savior from sin. There is no hope for a marital relationship to become all it can be until both husband and wife have the assurance of forgiveness and acceptance by God. That assurance can only be experienced when we have acknowledged our sin and placed our trust in Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice on Calvary for deliverance from the eternal condemnation which our sin deserves.

If you have any doubt, settle it now. In all earnestness and sincerity, pray something like this: “Lord, I acknowledge my sin to you. I believe that Jesus Christ died to deliver me from sin’s guilt, sin’s penalty and sin’s control of my life. I here and now place my trust in Him as my personal Savior from sin and receive Him into my life. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming into my life and forgiving my sin.”

When you have made that decision, the way is clear for God to fill your heart with His tenderness and love, take away your selfishness and stubbornness, and give you a self-sacrificing concern for the needs of your mate. And you may yet enjoy a little taste of paradise.


 

THE  SILENCE OF ADAM


Though there are many components that contribute to building a godly marriage, one of the keys is godly leadership by husbands.  Many husbands today lack confidence in their spiritual authority for a number of reasons, chief among them being the aggressive rejection of male leadership by secular and evangelical feminism.

What I want to show you today is that husband leadership was God’s design and that the failure to lead by the husband plunged the human race into sin and death and was the cause of the conflict between men and women in marriage.

adam’s leadership

God formed __________:

(Genesis 2:7 ESV) 7then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Then God formed __________:

(Genesis 2:21-22 ESV) 21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

From the beginning there was an __________  _____  __________ in their relationship.  Adam was formed first, then Eve, as the Apostle Paul was careful to mention:

(1 Timothy 2:13 ESV) 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve;

And Eve was made for Adam, not Adam for Eve, as Paul also pointed out (1 Cor. 11:9).

(1 Corinthians 11:9 ESV) 9Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

God had created Eve to be Adam’s __________:

(Genesis 2:18 ESV) 18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Finally, Adam’s authority was expressed in his _______________his counterpart:

(Genesis 2:23 ESV)   23Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

adam’s silence

Adam and Eve came face to face with Satan, the archenemy of God.  Using the body of a serpent as his instrument, Satan focused his attack on Eve. Satan used the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to do his sinister work. God had placed that tree in the garden to be the symbol of Adam and Eve’s submission to Him:

(Genesis 2:17 ESV)   17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Satan’s first approach with Eve was to __________ the Word of God.

(Genesis 3:1 ESV)  1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

After he questioned God’s Word, Satan flatly __________ God’s Word:

(Genesis 3:4 ESV) 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

Finally, Satan ridiculed God and _________ His Word:

(Genesis 3:5 ESV) 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

The text is clear, Adam was with Eve during this encounter with Satan.  If Adam was there, then why didn’t he say something? We have no idea why Adam remained silent.  But we do know that he failed Eve woefully on this occasion. In the New Testament, Adam is held responsible for the Fall, not Eve. 

(Romans 5:12 ESV) 12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

This sheds an entirely different light on his silence, his passivity was devastating for his marriage and for his family. 

In verse 16 God decreed the consequences of Eve’s sin:

(Genesis 3:16 ESV)   16To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children.  Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

In Genesis 3:17-19, God decreed His judgment upon Adam:

(Genesis 3:17-19 ESV)   17And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.  19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

conclusion

It was the failure of Adam to lead at the critical moment of attack that allowed sin and death to wreak havoc in our personal lives and in marriage.  The age old tension between husbands and wives can be traced back to Adam’s silence.  And I believe that husbands continue to struggle with Adam’s silence, failing to speak up and speak out in loving communication and loving leadership in their marriages.  But this can change through Jesus Christ.  There is no hope for a marital relationship to become all it can be until both husband and wife have the assurance of forgiveness and acceptance by God. That assurance can only be experienced when we have acknowledged our sin and placed our trust in Jesus Christ’s perfect sacrifice on Calvary for deliverance from the eternal condemnation which our sin deserves.

If you have any doubt, settle it now. In all earnestness and sincerity, pray something like this: “Lord, I acknowledge my sin to you. I believe that Jesus Christ died to deliver me from sin’s guilt, sin’s penalty and sin’s control of my life. I here and now place my trust in Him as my personal Savior from sin and receive Him into my life. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming into my life and forgiving my sin.”

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