Tag Archive: Bible Study


Trusting God

Genesis 15: 6-10

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.  He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”  But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”  So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”  Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.

Élias

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A Bit of Clarification…

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my post Time’s Fast Running Out, I had the scripture from 2 Peter 3:8. However, as I was composing the remainder, I totally forgot the reason for putting it there.

As we become more aware of what’s going on in the world, those who are attuned to Bible prophesy recognize the signs too many miss that herald the coming of Christ. This passage came to my mind one day, and although I knew it was in the Bible, I wasn’t sure where it was. Not long after, I came across the exact Scripture and knew what had been revealed to me:

2 Peter 3:8

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.

It’s been close to 2 thousand years since Christ was crucified. Remember…He rose at dawn on the third day.

We have entered into the dawn of that third day!

Dear people! Open your hearts to Christ! Do not lean onto your own understanding! No one knows the exact date, but if you pay attention to what’s going on in the world and listen to those who study Bible prophesy, you will see. Many ministries who evangelize and reach out to the ends of the earth have covered the globe with the Gospel, preaching it, planting churches, giving out Bibles and study materials, and others through media such as the internet and satellite dishes.  Because of this, the Church is reaching more and more people every day who have not heard the Good News, but the numbers are getting smaller all the time!

Wake up! Stand up! Look up! We are going up! (quote from Pastor John Hagee).

God wants everyone..EVERYONE…to accept Christ. But He gave us free will, so it’s OUR decision.

CHOOSE LIFE!

Acts 9

1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

10And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

19And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

20And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

21But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

22But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

23And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:

24But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.

25Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

26And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

27But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

28And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.

29And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

30Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. (Acts 9:1-31, King James Version)

This chapter of Acts recounts the dramatic conversion of Saul of Tarsus by Jesus Christ Himself.

I chose the King James Version of this event, because newer translations, like the NIV and NLT, leave out Christ’s comment about it being hard for Saul to ‘kick against the pricks’, and more importantly, Saul’s first question after learning Who this ‘vision’ was:  “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

Saul, possibly the most dogged and tenacious persecutor of the the early Christians, a Pharisee, obedient to the Law of Moses his entire life, has been hand-picked by our Lord and Saviour to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles.

Saul, the man who was present at the stoning of Stephen, Christianity’s first martyr, who had documentation in hand to bring anyone, man or woman who professed to follow The Way back to Jerusalem, trembled in fear and astonishment. Here was the very Man who had been crucified, ALIVE, shining with a glorious blinding light and speaking to him. The Man whose followers he had vowed to eradicate.

And his very first communication to Him was a question:

“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”

His conversion was instantanious. He didn’t ask “Why me, of all people?”  Or “Are you serious??”

His first act, with those words, was to hand his life over to Christ.

As we see later in the chapter, he received the Holy Ghost when Ananias healed his blindness. Today, believers receive the Holy Spirit when they truly believe and confess their sins and ask God for forgiveness. Here, in this passage, Saul, the most ardent of persecutors of the early Christians believed the instant Christ identified himself. And, without hesitation, gave himself over to Christ’s guidance.

Many people believe that Saul, renamed by Christ to Paul, is possibly the greatest of the apostles. I certainly do, though I do want to clarify that I don’t put him before Christ. No, it is my opinion that Paul epitomizes what a Christian should be. Devoted completely to Christ, living his life in God’s will, and gladly evangelizing the Gospel every chance he got.

Of course, we, as mere humans, flawed as we are, can find living one’s life entirely for Christ quite daunting. And too many do not even try to do even simple evangelizing. Certainly, we can’t all travel to the end’s of the earth, preaching the Good News. But we don’t even try to talk to people we know about Christ. Fear of embarrassment, or rejection, or some other reason gets in the way of the Great Commission.

My prayer is that we all, including myself, ask God for guidance and courage to speak to others about Christ and spread the News as He commanded. The Apostle Paul set the standard for us. We should do no less than to follow his example

Unquestioning Faith

   
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38, New King James Version)

The Annunciation.
That magnificent interlude where Archangel Gabriel announced to a poor Jewish teenager that she would bear the Son of the Living God. I’ve chosen this for closer study as I felt the Lord led me to it. I opened my Bible to the first page of Luke and while reading the first chapter, the last verse stood out for me.

My Prayer:
Heavenly Father,
I pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit as I delve into Your Word, to give me greater understanding and insight into Your will for my life and revelation of the mysteries of Your Word I’ve yet to discover. In Christ’s Holy Name, Amen.

As you read this account from the New King James Version, you may wonder why I titled this “Unquestioning Faith”. Indeed, Mary does ask a question. Does this mean her faith was not enough? In my opinion, no.

Mary was obviously a devout Jew, hence her selection by God to bear his Son, Jesus. We see that she knows that Gabriel was a messenger from heaven, and though his appearance was totally unexpected, she didn’t reject it in any way. However, she was perplexed that such an exalted being would manifest itself to her: 

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

For those first few moments, no doubt she wondered at his greeting and why he would be visiting her. But Gabriel gets right to the point, allaying her fears and telling her the reason for coming to her. She would concieve and give birth to the Messiah! The Son of the Lord God Almighty, Who Was and Is and Will Always Be!

Can one imagine this? Mary, undoubtedly had to be astounded by this news. A poor Jewess, betrothed to a poor carpenter, Joseph ben Heli….and now she has a question:

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

People, no matter how devout, still live in this world, a world ruled by satan. Sometimes, even those with great faith, can have questions. Mary, knowing how children are conceived, obviously was thinking along ‘fleshly’ lines. She had never lain with any man, and likely, thinking in somewhat logical terms, probably had the idea that this would be how it would happen; but she was betrothed, not yet married, and sexual relations of any kind only came after the marriage. Obviously, she didn’t entertain any idea of bedding anyone before the ceremony!

In that light, let’s examine a little more closely:

She knew how children were concieved and came into the world.  She obviously understood that this conception would happen very soon, hence her question concerning her virginity. Until THIS conception occurred, no child had ever been born of a virgin. As she stood there before Gabriel, listening to how it would happen, understanding sank in.

She remembered that this was her Lord God, Yahweh, who would father this Child.

And she remembered that with the Lord, her God, nothing was impossible.

And it made perfect sense to her:

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”

I can see her, bowing her head in acceptance of God’s Will for her life. And what a will! She was the vessel, prepared and chosen by God to bring forth the Saviour of the world. In these two sentences, Mary acknowledges that she was on earth by God’s grace, and His service. God not only let her know in no uncertain terms what His will for her life would be, but also sent one of His highest ranking angels to give her this astounding message.

And in accepting God’s Will, her life was changed forever.

The Magnificat:
46 And Mary said:

      “ My soul magnifies the Lord,
       47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
       48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
      For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
       49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
      And holy is His name.
       50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
      From generation to generation.
       51 He has shown strength with His arm;
      He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
       52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
      And exalted the lowly.
       53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
      And the rich He has sent away empty.
       54 He has helped His servant Israel,
      In remembrance of His mercy,
       55 As He spoke to our fathers,
      To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

(Luke 1:46-55, New King James Version)

Where is the man, Pt 2.

In my last post, I talked about Adam’s presence when the serpent tempted Eve into eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

I’m just going to expound on this a bit more. For some reason, the Lord put it upon me to study that incident/chapter. I’d read it countless times before, and that tiny phrase “who was with her”, had escaped my attention. But not this time. It jumped out at me, and I had to study, meditate and reflect on it more.

But just think about it for a moment.

It doesn’t say “who just walked up right then” or “who wandered over when he saw something odd was going on”…..nothing like that.

He was “with her.”

He was there the whole time.

Now remember, this happened in just a few minutes. The serpent asked his leading question, Eve obligingly, unknowingly, answered, and the serpent refuted God’s warning and opened that door to temptation and BOTH Adam and Eve walked through it.

He was there.

He heard every word.

And did NOT ONCE, remind, restrain, or refuse.

He didn’t remind Eve of the warning.

He didn’t restrain her from touching or picking the fruit.

He didn’t refuse to take it when she offered.

I mean, what was he thinking? Was he just waiting, watching as she reached for the fruit to see if she would die just from touching it? 

Not one word did he utter until God came looking for him, knowing full well, what had happened.

At least he didn’t lie to God “…I hid because I was naked.”

He was ashamed…as well he should be. He not only went against the Lord’s direct command to him to not eat, nor even touch the fruit of that tree, but he, as the husband of the woman, and therefore, over her, failed to protect her from the treachery of the serpent.

He stood quietly by, hearing every word that was said, watched as Eve plucked the fruit from the tree, tasted it, then offered it to him.

And he took and ate it.

Now, it’s easy at this point, to say that he did so, because he didn’t want to be separated from Eve because of her sin.

Hold on, just a minute. What did I say above? He didn’t remind, restrain, nor refuse her. He did NOTHING AT ALL, until she handed the fruit to him.

In doing NOTHING AT ALL, he was just as culpable as she. Even if he had not eaten or touched the fruit, he had sinned!

How, you say?

God had given him charge over the Garden of Eden. He was the caretaker. God had formed woman from man’s rib, as a helper for him. He, therefore, was her guardian, so to speak, and failed miserably in that capacity.

Poor Adam….his thought might have been ‘What the heck? I’ve already screwed up, so what difference will it make to eat it now?” instead of the more nobler point of view that he didn’t want to be without his wife. If he had really been that noble, he would have put a stop to it before it got too far!!

It’s time we give Adam his just due for his part in the original sin. This isn’t to make light of Eve’s part in all this. No, she knew better just as Adam did. All I’m saying is, she wasn’t alone, and the man was with her the whole time.

Where is the man?

Genesis 3: 6-13 NIV

“6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”


13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Commentary:

Something that isn’t generally discussed or acknowledged is Adam’s presence during this discourse Eve had with the serpent:

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” [emphasis is mine].

He was with her….but said not one word during the exchange! God originally gave this instruction to him, so he knew long before Eve was created that it was forbidden to even touch the fruit of this tree. Yet…he remained silent….did not try to prevent her from taking any fruit nor did he even attempt to refuse the fruit when she offered it to him.

Now there is a lovely view that many have on this: that he loved her so much that the thought of being separated from her through this sin was unbearable, so he accepted it “and he ate it.”

All well and good, I suppose, and a nice endearing thought even. But check out what he says in verse 12 when God questions him:

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Hummmm..bad enough that he blames her for his actions….but also implies that it was God’s fault as well! And then the last part of that statement> “she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Almost as if he were trying to say she forced him to!

Oh how quickly man descended into sin:

First they ate the fruit; then when the eating of it ‘opens their eyes’, and they realize they are naked, they try to hide their nakedness…and then try to hide from God when they hear him in the garden, looking for them (as if he didn’t already know where they were, or what they had done).

Then when God asks Eve what she had done, she follows Adam’s lead:

13….The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Here is the first documented case of ‘passing the buck”! Each of them blames someone or something else for their actions. I’m still amazed at the cheek of Adam to imply that God was somehow to blame!

This is how easy it is for satan to manipulate and decieve man into sin. And it doesn’t take much, either! Just a few words, twisted, distorted and misdirected….and temptation set in. He got Eve to thinking about being ‘like God’, thinking it would be a ‘good thing’, and in the back of her mind, no doubt whispering that God had ‘lied’ and was keeping things from her. Adam, too, of course, was subject to this mind game since he was present during the entire incident. He witnessed all that was said and done and not once did he remind her of God’s command, neither did he try to restrain her from picking any fruit, nor did he refuse to take it when it was offered.

It’s a prime example of the area of battle satan utilizes: Our Minds.

In Ephesians 6: 10-18 , St Paul instructs us to put on the armor of God:

10.Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

11.Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

12.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13.Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

15.and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

16.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

We should apply the armor everyday, to guard our bodies, minds and spirits against anything the evil one tries to throw at us.

1 Cor 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

God is there to help! And always will be; He knows us better than we know ourselves. The more we read and meditate on His Word, the stronger we become in Him.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

As believers, we are no longer ‘of this world’, and Paul instructs us not to conform to this world by the renewal of the mind through prayer, and meditation on God’s word, and seeking His will for our lives. In Philippians 4:6-9 , he goes further:

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

2 Cor 10:3-5 (NRS)
3 Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; 
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments
5 and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God,  and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.

We are in a spiritual war. Satan tries to hide this from us, decieving us with little whispers constantly in the backs of our minds. We must ‘take every thought captive to obey Christ’ in our efforts to defeat satan’s attempts to lure us away from God. That is his ultimate goal: to destroy mankind, and the best avenue for that is through our minds.

When we become aware of wrong thinking, we need to cast them down, push them out of our minds and set our thoughts on positive, Godly thinking. For if satan rules your mind, he will rule your life. And if he rules your life, the end result is death and eternal seperation from God.

2 Cor 4:16-17 (NIV)

This is the reason we never lose heart. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain.

God is there…always there…to strengthen us, sustain us in our walk with Him. We must keep the faith, stand strong in our armor he has provided to recieve that permanent, glorious, solid and out of all proportion reward!

THAT’S a promise…and God always, always keeps his promises!

Eve and the serpent

In this commentary, I’ve made assumptions based on my meditations and thoughts on this chapter in Genesis. These are purely my own and none others. Eden was meant by God to be the perfect home for humanity, therefore, all things were provided for them, including the food they and the animals would eat. Since the inhabitants of Eden would require certain nutrients for life (as God had made them), all food provided had to have those essential nutrients. The forbidden tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), however, apparently was different.

Bible Study Tools Bible Versions NIVGenesis 3
Genesis 3 (New International Version)

The Fall of Man
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 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.”

20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Commentary:

God made the Garden of Eden to house his creations of plants, animals and humanity. Here, he planned for all of them to live together, in perfect harmony. Food was provided for all; much of this food was likely nothing like what we have today. All of it was created to provide all nutrition for man and animal, therefore, neither had to hunt and kill each other for nourishment; all creatures lived together and were used to each other. Man was the caretaker, so to speak, and the animals were as companions for him.

There must have been some type of communication between the animals and man, that each understood the other, whether through actual speech as we know it, or some other means that enabled them to ‘converse’ and commune with each other. Since God created man and placed him in Eden as caretaker, and since it was intended as a paradise for him, it’s reasonable to assume that communication in some form would be available for man to fulfill his duty. Indeed, in Gen. 3:1, when the serpent spoke to Eve, she was not shocked nor surprised in any way, and replied to his query as though it was a normal conversation.

And it’s this very conversation that would lead to the downfall of all mankind. Satan, in his twisted desire to destroy man, God’s creation, used the serpent to mislead, deceive and bait, the woman. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” he asks, seemingly guileless. Of course, he already knew God had not said such a thing. This was a ploy, a misdirection by which he opens this momentous conversation, and to set into motion his plan for man’s destruction. Innocently, and unknowingly, she responds, …”We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”

And here is the opening, satan was waiting for…”You will not surely die,”, he says (can you picture him, with an incredulous look, and hear the slight sneer in his voice?)
5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And that’s the bait, the deception: the omission of the entire truth that gets her to doubting the Lord’s Word and thinking about disobeying a direct command from Him.

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Misdirection, misleading, deception and bait. All wrapped up in two short sentences, and plenty enough to get mankind right into the position satan wanted him; separated from God and in a world where he rules and calls all the shots (well, enough of them to torment man, anyway). On further thought, there is thievery, too. Satan ‘stole’ mankind from God, in a sense. As punishment, God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden, placing cherubim and a flaming sword to keep them out.

Now they are in the world ruled by the father of all lies…satan, himself. Where before, God had mankind to himself with an intimate, close relationship they both enjoyed, now man is separated from Him, and must toil to keep himself clothed and fed, things that he didn’t have to bother with before. These concerns now keep his mind occupied and away from any relationship with his Creator. And God is occupied with what is going on with man on the earth. The Old Testament is full of his reaching out to man many, many times, being rejected countless times, but all isn’t lost, as there were righteous people such as Abraham, Moses, et al. And through such people, He has a mighty plan for the redemption of mankind and to bring his creation back to Himself, in an even more perfect world. A world totally devoid of any ‘fallen angels’, sin or corruption.

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