So Let’s look at Genesis Chapter 3 today.
Let me start with prayer.
Before we begin.
let’s back up a few verses to set the familiar stage.
Genesis chapter 2, beginning with verse 19.
No suitable Helper for Adam is found in all the animals.
Animals are good companions, a man’s best friend is his dog, and all that, but God says they are not enough.
They are not in the image of God.
They are not according to God, they don’t have a Spirit that is breathed out by God.
People often read this passage, and bring to it their own personal ideas of gender roles.
Sometimes, people read the word “helper” and immediately jump to an idea of a somehow lower status.
Like the little boy is following Dad around, holding the tools, while Dad does the important work.
That is not the intended meaning of the text here.
The text here, speaks of more of a partnership-one aiding the other.
One commentator John Walton, after doing an extensive analysis of the two Hebrew words here translated as suitable and helper, concluded that Adam was a suitable helper for Eve.
I asked Lisa to help us demonstrate this idea through Music.
First Lisa if you will play the melody line of a song, for us.
It is still a song, just as each person is still an individual, but it is lacking something, it is incomplete.
It is not good for man to be alone.
Now, you could actually play that same thing on 2 pianos, but it is still just that, the same thing.
Now Lisa play it with the other hand, the harmony line.
See how the Harmony line fills out the song it makes the music more complete.
Either one is not somehow less important than the melody, it is its own unique thing, but together they fill in for one another.
There are several verses in our text that reinforce this idea.
Now we already talked about this but, we see male and female.
Then this whole passage seems to speak that way also.
The y become one flesh.
SO there there they are.
Adam and Eve, they are living in the Garden Greatly blessed-highly favored.
There is no shame, because there is no guilt.
Nothing is wrong.
God, with his images, in relationship with Him.
They, in relationship with one another.
A relationship that is problem free.
No shame, no need to hide their bodies from another.
Abundant food, access to the tree of life, eternal life.
Man and woman together with God, loving one another, no shame.
God’s creation is good, very good.
Life is good .
This life can go on.
There is just that one little rule.
It really is quite small isn’t it.
One tree is all.
Just don’t eat from the one tree.
For if you do you will surely die.
They can eat from all the other tress, the tree of life for instance, just not this one tree.
This rule is in a form that is quite familiar in ancient times, but it may not be familiar to us.
It is in the form of a covenant.
A covenant in basic terms is an agreement between two parties.
The were common in the ancient near east, and they can take many forms and be quite complicated.
To us it is similar to a contract.
But while a contract.
is mostly legal, a covenant is more than that.
There is usually an oath involved, and penalties for violation.
There are a lot of details involved in this covenant that are not for our purposes today, in basic terms it has been sometimes referred to as the Adamic Covenant or the Covenant of works.
This covenant of works is between two parties.
God and man his creation.
God is the Authority.
Man is subordinate because he has been created but God, he owes his very existence to God.
A Royal Covenant (Works)
Parties-God (King) and Adam (Subject)
Terms-Freedom to enjoy the blessings, but don’t eat from one tree
Penalty for violation-Death
The way this agreement works is it is initiated, or started or given from God to man.
Man did not sit down at the negotiating table and say, “I like what you did here God, but I’m going to need to need more vacation time”.
That is not how this thing worked, it’s God’s covenant.
He is the King- He makes the rules, what he says goes.
God has a part in this covenant.
God provides the blessings.
The blessing of living in the garden, having an abundant food supply.
The blessing of eating from any tree of the garden.
God provides the blessing of providing Adam and Eve with work in the garden and dominion over the animals.
God gives them each other for a relationship.
God is in fellowship with his images.
God provides the blessing of the Sabbath rest, and Adam and Eve can eat from the tree of life, and they don’t die.
God agrees to provide those blessings, but for Adam to enjoy the blessings he must not do one thing-eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The penalty for violating the agreement is death.
God wants or God desires that Adam and Eve fulfill the covenant.
It is God’s will that they live in the garden, and enjoy the blessings that God has provided.
This will of God is different than one we talked about two weeks ago in Genesis one.
In Genesis one we saw God’s sovereign or decretive will.
The sovereign will of God is demonstrated when God creates.
God wills it and it happens.
He speaks and the universe comes into existence.
We pointed out that God is good, and right and just, and holy.
Because of that everything that God wills must be consistent with that character.
That is who God is, what he does is consistent with who He is.
So, we said whenever God’s will is followed it is good.
Whenever God’s will is followed it is good.
Today, here, we are talking of a different will of God.
It is called God’s perceptive will, or revealed will.
This is the will of God that focuses on what God desires.
This perceptive will is also called His revealed will.
It is called that because God has revealed His desires to us in word.
He has revealed to Adam that he is supposed to not eat from the tree.
He has revealed to us us the 10 commandments, He has revealed the Gospel to us., and desires that all come to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.
But God gives His images the option of following or not following His revealed will.
God’s revealed will may or may not be followed.