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Genesis 3

What has gone wrong with the world?

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We study through books of the Bible here at the Village Chapel and this week we continue our study of the Book of Genesis, which means beginnings. And for the past few weeks we’ve enjoyed a feast as we’ve walked through Chapter one, and Chapter two, which has showed the glory of God in full display, His creative activity, His generous gifts of life, of beauty, of good food, of companionship, of good, meaningful work, of purpose in bearing His image. It’s been fantastic and I’m not an art expert, but I love this painting by Renaissance painter, Tintoretto. It’s called The Creation of the Animals, painted in the early 16th century. Look at the forward moving motion, the night and the day, the abundance of creation pay special attention to that, especially with the fish and the birds. I think it captures so well the glory of God’s creative work and the generosity and the goodness of His character. 

Last week we studied, if you remember, the commissioning of the first family of Adam and Eve to be fruitful and to multiply. They were given dignity and responsibility to bear God’s image as they tend the garden, as they continue His creative activity in the world. I heard Pastor Thabiti 

Anyabwile, he’s a pastor in Washington D.C. He described Chapter one and two like this, “A portrait of the good life.” And the first time I heard that I thought the good life in my head, a caricature that culture has given me is like big houses, big cars, but I think he’s onto something there. Chapter one and two, it ends, if you remember with the man and the woman, they were naked and they were unashamed. A portrait of shalom, perfect peace between God and humanity, humanity and the rest of creation. This creative activity continuing as they tend the garden, the good life. 

Love that. Now today we come to Chapter 3 of Genesis, and many of us are familiar with this story, believers and non-believers alike, at least with the thrust, the general structure of the story. What happens in Chapter 3 is often described as the fall of humanity, the rebellion of humanity, or the ‘jump’ as Pastor Jim would say, of humanity. The fall, it is at once tragic, it’s sobering, but it’s also instructive and it’s full of hope. In fact, I would say it’s overflowing, it’s brimming with hope, as we’ll see as we’ll read today in Chapter 3. And because of our limited time, of course, we can’t put a microscope to every single layer of this textured story here today. So as we get started, I want to give you three observations to consider as we read through this text. Number one, Genesis 3 reveals to us at least these three things. 

Number one, the absurdity of sin. The absurdity of sin. Sin is irrational, it’s illogical. It’s almost as if a builder disregards an architect’s design and he puts the roof where the foundation is supposed to be and he puts the foundation where the roof is supposed to be. Sin, it doesn’t comport with reality, it doesn’t square with reality. And we’ll see that here as we read this text. So number one, the absurdity of sin. Number two, Genesis 3 reveals to us the disintegration of sin. If you remember in Chapter one of Genesis, it said the earth was formless and void, and then it goes on to show us how God created form. And He filled that form. He gave good, created order, good structure, good design. We see night and day, we see land and sea. 

We see animals, birds, and fish. We see man and woman, and as soon as sin enters the picture as we’ll read today, we start to see this integrated hole that God has so lovingly put together out of His abundance, we see the integrated hole starting to disintegrate, the disintegration of

relationships between the man and the woman, between God and humanity. So number one, the absurdity of sin. Look for that as we read this text. Number two, we can observe the disintegration of sin. But number three, we can observe the hope of restoration from sin. Chapter 3 is rightly viewed, as I already said, as a tragic account. It’s sobering, it’s sad. It’s a cosmic rebellion against a good creator who said you can have everything in the garden and had one prohibition against this one tree. But God, God and His good purpose is what’s central to this story. What’s central to the whole story of the Bible, God and his good purpose. And we’ll see hope, we’ll see mercy set amidst this absurdity, set amidst this disintegration, we’ll see grace, we’ll see the kindness. 

So one, the absurdity of sin. Two, the disintegration of sin. And three, we’re going to see the hope of restoration from sin. So before we begin, though, I’d want you to turn to Chapter 3, verse 1, and I’m going to pray for us and then we’ll get started. Would you pray with me? 

Lord, today as we come to a text like this that touches us so viscerally today, we can sense, we can tangibly feel the disintegration that sin causes all of us. Lord, we need the illumination of your spirit. We need your spirit to apply what we read here today to our hearts, that we might turn to you, that we might turn to you in faith. Lord, give us hope as we read a sad text like this. Remind us this side of the cross of the hope that you’ve given to us in Jesus Christ. In Jesus name, we said amen. 

All right, so if you would turn to Chapter 3, verse 1, and I’ll be reading from the English Standard Version today. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.” I’ll stop there for just a second. Just note right here that the serpent was more crafty and it said that the Lord God had made this serpent. So we’re talking about creation. The rest of the created order now is starting to creep up in this story and it’s not the way that it’s supposed to be and we’ll see that as we continue to read. So we have a created being here, the serpent. We’ll continue reading, “And he said to the woman,” that is the serpent, “did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” 

First question in the Bible, did God actually say? The thrust of this text, the way that language is written, it’s almost a mockery. It’s almost like this serpent is wanting to make Eve and Adam who’s near here, laugh. Did God actually say? And of course it’s the first question in the Bible, it’s also the first lie. It’s a little bit of truth mixed in with a little bit of error. You shall not eat of any tree in the garden, the question. I’ll continue to read verse 2, “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden.'” Okay, so she corrects the serpent her. “But God said,” this is Eve still talking, “But God said, you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” 

Interesting here, she rightly corrects a serpent, but then the seeds of doubt, the twisting of the truth that the serpent provoked starts to take root. And we can see that immediately in her response. Yes, she corrects, but she starts to exaggerate. She says, “Neither shall you touch it lest you die.” God never said that. We’re starting to see that twisting of God’s word erode at her trust in His goodness, making Him stricter, harsher than God really is. Interesting. So we’ll keep

on reading, verse 4, “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.'” Blatant lie. Verse 5, “For God knows,” the serpent continues to say, “For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

So what’s going on here? Well, it’s important to get a sense of the flow. Again, if you remember Chapter two, the chapter we read last week, it ends with, “And the man and woman were in the garden and they were naked and they were unashamed.” There was no fear, there was no shame, there was shalom. And all of a sudden here in Chapter 3, we start to see something that’s not quite right. You see there’s a good order in place. We have God, the sovereign creator of all things who puts humanity, Adam and Eve in the midst of the garden to oversee, to be His vice regions over the rest of creation to see that it thrives, to see that it grows, to see that it flourishes. 

So we have God and humanity and the rest of creation. And right at the beginning of Chapter 3, we see a whole reversal of this and now we see the rest of creation at the top, and the rest of creation in the serpent here and the serpent’s word trying to assert power over humanity and over God’s word itself. So it started with God and humanity and the rest of creation. We see this great reversal. The rest of creation, now, is asserting itself over humanity and over God. The great reversal, the narrative has turned towards the absurd. Animals do not talk, animals do not talk. We have entered into absurdity and the serpent of course is indeed crafty and the carefully chosen words put into question the very character of God, the very nature of who God is by twisting His words, twisting His words. Indeed, God did not say that. 

In fact, if you recall, if you go back to Genesis 2:16, this is what God said actually, “You may surely eat of every tree in the garden.” This is what God said, “You may surely eat of every tree in the garden but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” So a single tree prohibition set along aside an entire forest, look at the abundance, the generosity there. You can eat from any tree in the garden. That’s what God said. This is not a stingy God who haphazardly doles out dribs and drabs, just the opposite. And He gives one boundary, that they, humanity, might prove their trust in this good God. The serpent starts if you notice, not with a direct assault, he doesn’t question is God real? Does He exist? 

He doesn’t even go right at it and say, is God good? Is He really good? No, he’s too clever for that. He starts his temptation by exaggerating, by distorting, by planting a seed of doubt with just a little bit of truth mixed in with just a little bit of error and it starts to erode, disintegrate, trust in this good God, this abundant God who gives so generously. Look at the abundance in Chapter one and two. So as the seed of doubt takes root and we see that erosion, we see it right away in Eve’s response. She does correct. Yes, we can eat from the tree, but he said we couldn’t touch the fruit, and God never said that. He never said that. So this prohibition against touching the fruit is an exaggeration and look at the progression that the seed of doubt, the seed of the opposite of faith and trust, it starts to take root and grow and the serpent seed grows and it becomes… Or she starts to believe the lie that God is withholding something good.

God is keeping something from her, from the rest of humanity and it progresses the lie that boundaries aren’t for my good, they’re for my oppression. Boundaries are restrictive to my freedom. They keep me from the good life, if we’re to use that language. And it continues to progress. Come to think of it, it must follow that God doesn’t actually love me if He’s restrictive, if He’s trying to squash me, if He’s trying to crush me, God must not love me, God must not be good. And it continues to progress. In fact, I know what’s good for me. I really don’t enjoy this garden anyway. I know what a flourishing life is and it must include this fruit that God is withholding from me. 

I love what Paul Tripp says here,

“There are two lies that tempt each of us somehow, some way… The first is the lie of autonomy. This lie says that you are an independent human being with the right to live as you wish… The second lie is the lie of self-sufficiency, which tells me that I have everything I need within myself to be what I was created to be and to do what I was designed to do. The fact is that God is the only self-sufficient being in the universe. We were created for dependency, first on God and then on one another in loving community… Human self-sufficiency is a lie.”

Paul Tripp, New Morning Mercies

Although we aren’t told where this serpent comes from or even why evil finds its way into the garden in the first place, we do know from other texts in the Bible who’s behind this serpent. That is Satan who stands behind this serpent and Jesus Himself has this to say about Satan. 

In John 8:44 read this,


meaning Satan,

“…was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

John 8:44b (ESV)

Jesus well acquainted with Satan and his devices, the father of lies. We see it right here in Genesis three, the first lie, the first question in the Bible is a lie. 

Friends, it’s so easy in our day to caricature Satan, our adversary, the accuser, and I think that he delights in it. He delights in the fact that especially in our day and age, we think of him as quaint, fairytale, a funny character in a commercial if you’ve seen that commercial lately, but friends, there really is an adversary. Limited in power by a sovereign God, but shrewd, nonetheless, provoking you, provoking me and seeks to devour you. Not for you, not for me, he seeks to destroy you and me and he delights and the fact that we disregard, we consider him a quaint fairytale. Church, keep your ear tuned to the word of God. 

There are a million voices vying for our attention, vying for us to listen to their word. Keep your ear tuned to the word of God, not the word of another, no word at all. Psalm 1:19 King David says, “I store up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” And we know King David, a man well acquainted with the absurdity and disintegration, the consequences of sin. “I store up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Not to oppress or constrict, but for freedom. For freedom. May that be on my lips as well. Let’s continue to read verse 6. “So 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 some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin clothes. Here we see shame. 

Remember how Chapter two ended? They were naked and unashamed and here is the great reversal. They knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together. The first bit of religiosity that we see in the scriptures, the first attempt at self salvation, self-sufficiency. I can make something to cover up my moral choice to go against God. The first recorded attempt at self-salvation brings shame. Where’s, by the way, where’s the serpent now, where’s the serpent now? What about the promise that if I took the fruit, meaning Eve, if I took the fruit and I ate it, would make me like God, where’s the serpent now? That was the promise given to me. What was sold to me was that God is oppressing me, He’s constricting me, He’s limiting my options and that I had the power within me to create a flourishing life for myself. Where’s the fruit of that promise? Where’s the payoff of that promise? Doesn’t exist. Instead, we have shame. If we’re to look at this through the philosophical lens, and Jim mentioned this last week, we see here the difference between poiesis and mimesis. 

We mentioned this from the work of Charles Taylor. Mimesis is the ancient idea that there is a reality and we must conform ourselves to that reality, like the analogy I gave of the builder who decided to put the roof at the foundation, the foundation where the roof is to go. Mimesis says no, there’s a reality and we’re to conform our life to that reality. Poiesis, something said to be inherited from the 16th century, is the idea that the world doesn’t have given meaning or structure other than what we give it. A dangerous idea to be sure, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t come from the 16th century. I think it comes right here in Genesis 3. 

Instead, we have shame, we have covering up. The promises of sin never payoff. So we continue to read if you would, verse 8, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” And here where it says Lord, this is the personal name of God which was introduced in the last chapter. There’s something here, the personal name of God for this intimate meeting that the Lord had come for. “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves.” Hid themselves from what? From the presence of the Lord. You and I were designed to be in the presence of the Lord. We were created for that. That’s what a flourishing life looks like. “They hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” Isn’t that interesting? Among the abundance of His good gifts, they hide. “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘where are you?'” 

Second question of the Bible, first question from God himself, “Where are you?” Interesting, God seeks while we hide right here in the first bit of the Bible. And verse 10, he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden.” This is Adam talking, “I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid.” The first instance of fear in the Bible. “Because I was naked and I hid myself and he said,” meaning God, “who told you that you were naked?” The second question of God, “What word did you listen to? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? The man said, ‘the woman who you gave to be with me.'” A double blaming there, “The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree and I ate. Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate.'” More blame. 

We’re witness here to the beginnings of the disintegration of family, of relationships, something that touches all of us, each and every one of us. Because sin introduces fear and shame, our instinctive response is blame. God gives humanity the dignity of moral agency, of moral responsibility. We can choose. And you see what blame does here? Do you see what it does here? It tears. It tears at the very fabric of relationship, what we were designed for. Relationship between God and man, man and each other, man and woman in marital union. It is the opposite of self forgetfulness. It is self-preservation, it’s self-sufficiency, self-centeredness, blame tears. It disintegrates relationships. So we have shame and fear which leads to blame, yet there is hope. We hide, but God seeks. 

So let’s continue to read if you would. Verse 14, “The Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field. On your belly, you shall go and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I 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.'” Meaning the offspring of the woman, the offspring of Eve will crush the head of the serpent and the serpent will bruise his heel. First of all, what do we see here? “I will put enmity between you and the woman,” talking to the serpent. He’s breaking up… God and His mercy is breaking up this little toxic relationship that the serpent and Eve have. What a mercy. 

Also in this text we see what early church fathers would call the proto-evangelium, the first gospel, the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent. Such hope in this chapter. We recently studied if you remember, the Book of Revelation. And it describes for us the working out of this promise all throughout the grand narrative of redemptive history. And we see this started right here in the beginning of the Bible and it shouldn’t be lost to us, church, that as soon as sin entered the world, God’s plan for redemption is revealed. His plan for restoration has already begun. God seeks and we hide. 

He does give consequences for this rebellion as we’re reading here. Sin must be taken seriously if He’s a Holy God. But the seeds of the plan of redemption are revealed here and it’s a thread that runs throughout the entirety of the Bible. Read with me if you would, Revelation 12: 9-10,

“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.'”

Revelation 12:9-10 (ESV)

Continue to read with me if you will. 

Verse 16, “To the woman he said,” that is God speaking to the woman, “I will surely multiply your pain and childbearing. In pain, you shall bring forth children.” I’ll pause here for a minute. So this is certainly a consequence, one of the curses here for this rebellion, for this sin, but there’s also mercy here. You remember we spoke about it earlier, Adam and Eve were given a role, a job as vice regents, bearing God’s image and specifically to be fruitful and to multiply, to have dominion or to tend the garden, to see that God’s creative activity continues. And we see here that job, that purpose has not changed. Yes, childbearing will be painful, but Adam and Eve, you are still to be fruitful. You’re still to multiply and tend the garden. So even here in the consequence, we’re seeing mercy, we’re seeing grace. 

He continues speaking to the woman, “Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.” Here we see a picture of that animosity, the disintegration of a good relationship, the good created order. Verse 17, “And to Adam, he said,” God speaking to Adam, “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 as the ground because of you. In pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles, it shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the plants of the field.” Again, consequences here but mercy as well, you are still to tend the garden, you are still to bear my image, Adam and Eve. Verse 19, “By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread, until you return to the ground for out of it you were taken for your dust and to dust you shall return.” 

The wages of sin is death. Verse 20, “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.” So apparently Adam has hope that there will be more humans in the future, that there will be a flourishing humanity. Verse 21, “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife, garments of skin and clothed them.” Fig leaves would not do. The self-salvation project that Adam and Eve had started just a bit before will not do. Even here we see a mercy. God’s going to expel them from the garden, that’s true, and He makes these garden garments as protection for them. It even hints of course to the sacrificial system of the Hebrew people that will come later and of course to Jesus Christ who lays down his life so that we might be clothed in His righteousness. 

Even a chapter where we see absurdity, where we see disintegration of sin, we see grace, we see mercy. Verse 22, “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever.’ Therefore, the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man and at the east of the garden of Eden, He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword and turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” Even here in the expulsion from the garden, we see mercy. God does not want Adam and Eve, humanity, his vice regents, his image bearers, to live in sin forever. 

We have much to learn from a text like this. And earlier I mentioned three observations that I wanted us to keep in mind, some handles to grab onto as we read through a textured story like this. So number one, Genesis 3 reveals to us the absurdity of sin, and of course we see that all around. God said in Chapter two, you may surely eat of every tree in the garden. All of this is for you and here’s one tree, one prohibition, so that you might prove your trust in me. In essence, God is saying the overflow of this garden that I’ve made that radiates with my glory, with my presence, it is for you. The fruits and the vegetables, the beauty of the sky, the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the mountains, the rivers, perfect companionship and joy with your wife, with your husband, an intimate relationship with me, the creator. 

All this I give to you, all this I give to you. Such generosity and abundance and then a talking animal. The absurdity of sin, animals don’t talk. And this serpent provokes a seed of doubt in Eve and complicit with her, Adam begin to doubt God’s goodness because they listened to the voice of the serpent, no voice at all. And that doubt starts eroding their trust in God, in His goodness, in His character, and their mind became dark and they could no longer even see the good gifts all around them. 

You and I do this. The character of God was twisted. It was twisted from good and generous into strict and limiting, constraining, crushing. Jesus actually has something to say about this. Matthew 11:28-30,

“Come to me all who labor and our heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, my way of living that leads to life. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

The serpent says God’s yoke is heavy. God’s way of living is restrictive, it’s oppressive. It will crush you. It’ll snuff you out. The real you. Don’t you want more, the serpent says. It’s trying to bear the weight of creating our own reality. That’s what we see here in Chapter 3. The gospel though shows us that the serpent, his offer, his promise is absurd. It is sin that crushes. 

It is trying to bear the weight of creating our own world, our own way of living apart from the creator who designed us to flourish in His ways for our freedom. His burden is light. Sin is absurd indeed. Number two, Genesis 3 reveals to us the disintegration of sin. As soon as the rebellion, as soon as sin entered the scene, we start to see a crumbling of the good garden, of the goodness of creation. Where there was freedom, now there’s fear. Where there was self forgetfulness. The man and woman were naked and unashamed, self forgetful, but now there’s shame. Where there was intimacy, now there’s hiding. Where there was relational bliss, now there is blaming, tearing at the very fabric of relationship. The question of the serpent provokes a choice to turn from God, to turn from His ways. The question, did God say, did God say? The humorous tone, did God say? Mockery. That begins to erode our trust in who God is and His character, His goodness, His abundant generosity. That same question is posed to us today, but God’s first response is, where are you? 

An invitation to repentance, an invitation to turn to God in faith and trust such grace is available to you. It’s available to me today. Where are you? And number three, the hope of restoration from sin. From the moment sin enters the garden, God’s plan of redemption begins to be revealed. The cancer of sin, friends, the cancer of sin will not have the final word. Tim Keller says it so well,

“Think about this,”

he says,

“…Adam and Eve were in a bright sunny garden and God said, ‘Obey me about the tree and you will live,’ and they didn’t. Jesus Christ was in a dark garden and God said, ‘Obey me about the tree and you’ll be crushed,’ and he did, for us. Here’s what he did. He climbed the tree of death and turned that tree of death, the cross, into a tree of life for you and me. There’s the reversal of the tree sin.”

Timothy Keller

We spoke earlier of the great reversal at the beginning of this Chapter 3.

If you remember Chapter one and two, we see God putting Adam and Eve, image bearers, in the middle of the garden to tend it, to see it flourish, to see His creative activity continue. At the beginning of Chapter 3, we see a reversal of that. We see the rest of creation now at the top in the form of the serpent asserting his word over Adam and Eve, over God’s word itself. The gospel though is the greater reversal. As Tim Keller said, “The life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus,” listen to this, “that is the substance.” He is the substance of the hope that we see here in Chapter 2 of Genesis. The seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent. The gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus himself was tempted by Satan in the desert. If you remember, Satan uses God’s word and he twists it just like in the Eden account. 

And friends make no mistake, Satan is a Bible expository. He’s a Bible teacher and he seeks to manipulate God’s word. He knows it well, to manipulate and twist God’s word so that we might turn from God. But the gospel records that Jesus did not bend to temptation, accomplishing what Adam and Eve did not do, accomplishing what you and I cannot do. He lived a perfect, sinless life and laid down His life to bear my shame, to bear your shame, my sin, my rebellion and yours, and begin the work of restoring what has been disintegrated in His resurrection and promises to one day return to decisively crush the head of the serpent. Such hope. The gospel is the greater reversal. Genesis 3 describes for us the problem of sin. That’s what we see here in this chapter, the problem of sin. And the whole rest of the Bible is unpacking His plan of restoration and we see that come to its final end in Revelation. 

He still calls to me and to you, by the way, where are you? He still is asking that question, where are you? He knows where you and I are, but the question invites a response. And isn’t it interesting, that question, where are you, it presupposes that we were created to be with Him, to be in His presence. If you turn back to Chapter 3, verse 8, “And they heard the sound of the Lord,” that’s Adam and Eve, personal name, Yahweh. “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man in his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. And God says, ‘Where are you?'” It’s almost like there was already a daily routine in the bliss of the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve and God in the cool of the day had a walk and they had an intimate talk and God shows up for this appointment and they’re not there. They’re hiding. 

Hiding from the presence of God. And He says, where are you? We were designed to be in His presence. We were created for that intimacy. We were made to commune with God and Christ has made a way, and we see the seeds of that restoration, that redemption here in this chapter. A life free from the burden of striving to define my own reality, to define what it means for me to  be human. A life of flourishing, not free from suffering, don’t hear me say that. There is suffering, we see the consequences of sin here. But as we await his return, it’s a life free from shame, a life free from trying to bear that burden, trying to construct what it means to be human. “Where are you?” He asks. He’s asking you, where are you, He’s asking me. Turn to Him in faith. Stop sewing fig leaves. He does ask the question, where are you? But He also says come to me. Take my yoke upon you. My burden is light. Let’s pray.

Lord, as we study a text like this, we are well aware of our dependence on You. First of all, we thank You that You have made a way, that from the foundations of the world, You had a plan to restore us. I pray for those who are studying with us today, who have not turned in faith to You, Lord, You are calling, where are you? Spirit, I pray that You would prick hearts, that You would  soften hearts, tell hearts that we might hear Your word and we might turn to You in trust. We thank You Lord for who You are and for what You have done. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Edited for Reading)

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