Sunday Gathering – Genesis – Disaster in Eden – Roland Panek
Roland continues our new series on Genesis. This week he is speaking on Genesis 3:1-24. His topic is "Disaster in Eden"
Amen. Good morning everyone. What a wonderful title, disaster in Eden. Before we get to
the disaster, quick recap of what we've already heard in Genesis 1, we told that in the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth. God spoke into being creation. It brought in that
sense of time and space. We're told that each day there is an account of what God did
in creation. It's interesting to note that on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and the 6th day, what
God did, he summarized in these words and God saw that it was good. It was good. By God's
standards, it was good. On the 6th day, we also read in Genesis 1, verse 26, then God said,
let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule. In Genesis 1, 27, it says this,
so God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him, male and female,
he created them. And at the end of day 6 of creation, it says this, God saw all he had made
and it was very good. When he created man in his own image, we were uniquely made, created.
We heard last week that God breathed his breath into us, into Adam and into Eve, imparted something
of the life of God. We are unique in terms of, we are different to other animals and creatures
that have been created. We are the pinnacle of creation. Creation, all these other things
that he made was good. That was good. But then when he saw that he brought forth man in his own
image, in his own likeness, he said, this is very good. And it's interesting that he put Adam,
he made Adam to be above, to rule, to have dominion over all that he created, over all the animals
and over the earth. Last week, Erika very clearly put forward that we are God's masterpiece.
We are special and unique. It struck me that, you know, all the other people that she mentioned,
the artists and people who have a masterpiece, it's one. Yeah, he started with one, but actually,
we are God's masterpiece. It's not just for Adam and Eve, but it's to all of us. Now, we are God's
masterpiece. We are unique. And you might look at me and say, thank goodness, Roland, there's only one of you.
We are made in the image of God. We have that spiritual capacity.
Unlike all the animals that have been created, we have the ability to relate to God in a personal
way. We have that ability to know his direct love and concern and provision for our lives.
I just want to read a couple of chapters in Genesis 2,
verse 1 and 1 to 3, and it says this. Thus, the heavens and the earth were completed in all
their vast array. By the seventh day, God had finished the work he had been doing. So, on the
seventh day, he rested from all his work and God blessed the seventh day and made it holy
because on it, he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Creation was planned. There were no overruns. There were no slippages in the timescales. There
were no unexpected issues. There was no need for extensions or extra time. God was in control.
He had a clear plan. So, when you get to the seventh day, it wasn't a case that God was tired.
He'd kind of been exhausted through all of this creation. No, he'd completed what he set out to do.
I also think that there is a principle there for us, even today, that we need a day of rest.
It's good for us. It's good that we work and that we work diligently. But also, we do need to have a rest
to set the day apart. In a sentence, I just felt, as I was reading that, that on that seventh day,
it's as though God said, it is finished. Have you heard those words before?
It is finished. It's completed. It's perfect.
If we move to Genesis chapter 2, further on, verse 8 and 9, it says this,
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east in Eden, and there he put the man he had
formed, and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground, trees that were pleasing
to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil. Verse 15 to 17 says this, The Lord God took the man and put him
in the garden of Eden to work it and to take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man,
you are free to eat from any tree in the garden, 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 then in verse 25 it simply says this, The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.
Life was perfect. It was complete. There was complete harmony between God and man
and creation, just as God had planned. And everything, as they say, was rose in the garden.
But things were about to change. We come to chapter 3. In my Bible it's headed up the fall of man.
The title of this talk is Disaster in Eden. The subtitle is Whoops, it's all gomper shaped.
Genesis 3 is about the fall. It's all about the deception, the lies of the enemy, the defeat that
came in and the ultimately death came in. So if we read some verses from Genesis chapter 3,
it says this. 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?
He's a twister. He's a manipulator. He is manipulating. He knows full well what God said,
but it's just kind of, it's trying to introduce an element of doubt.
The woman said to the serpent, 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. So she knew in a spirit, she knew what was right, what was wrong.
And again, this is where the enemy Satan comes in and he says, you will not surely die.
The serpent said to the woman, for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
First of all, it's a blatant lie. Surely you will not surely die. God was clear,
Adam was clear about it, Eve was clear about it and she told the devil that was the case.
So then he goes to a blatant lie and then he throws in an accusation that God doesn't want
them to have this knowledge of good and evil, that in some way having this knowledge of good and evil
and not having the knowledge keeps them down. He says, if you do eat of it, you will become
like God. The deception here is that created man could become like God the Creator.
There is a relationship between Adam and Eve and God. They were created in his likeness
in his image to be in aspects of spiritual beings and he was suggesting that, well, actually,
if you had this knowledge of good and evil, you don't need God. You can make up your own minds
what to do. You can create your own version of what is right and what is wrong. In fact, he planted
a seed of rebellion. He was saying, you can live on your own terms outside of a relationship
with God, the God of creation. Verse 6 says this, 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 knew, in a spirit, she knew she should not do this.
She knew that if when they did this, when they were to eat of the fruit, they would die.
And yet the deception had come in.
It was appealing to the eye. I think one of the difficulties we all face is this idea of spirit
and then our minds. And the Scripture makes it very clear that there is a battle for our minds.
We know the truth. As Adam and Eve did, they knew the truth that they shouldn't eat of the tree.
And if so, there were consequences. But nevertheless, it says Eve saw and she saw it was appealing.
It was a nice juicy apple, shall we say, if it was an apple. But there was something in her mind
that said, ooh, ooh, I want that, I want that.
So she took the fruit and ate it.
She also gave some to a husband who was with her and he ate it too.
When the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked and they realized
that they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
So before that, as we'd read at the end of chapter 2, the man and his wife were both naked
and they felt no shame. Something had happened.
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. Something had changed. Something had changed in
that relationship between themselves and God.
Then goes on to say this, 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.
Suddenly, they were in complete harmony and fellowship with God.
They had a role and they knew what their place was and they knew what was expected of them.
But because of this that they did, a simple act, it's all down to a simple act, isn't it?
And now it's different. They were hiding from him.
They felt exposed. They felt really vulnerable. They had them wrong.
But the Lord God called to the man, where are you? Adam, where are you?
And I think even to this day, I believe God is saying that to men and women and children,
where are you? Where are you? And so often people don't realize
what it is that's holding them back in life. They've got no idea that God has destined for
each and every one of us to have that personal relationship with him.
Where are you? Adam answered, I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked,
so I hid. I think there's a kind of a confession there, a confession of what he'd done wrong
and he knew he'd done wrong. He had rebelled against God. He had gone against what God said.
He had effectively taken himself outside of God's loving care and provision.
And the Lord God said, who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I
commanded you not to eat from? He was well and truly caught out, wasn't he? Well and truly caught out
there. The man said, we're into a blame culture now, the man said, the woman you put here with me,
she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it. So the fact that I ate it, Adam says, it's not my
fault, she gave me the fruit to eat. They were trying to avoid any sense of responsibility,
it wasn't my fault. Then the Lord God said to the woman, what is this you have done?
And the woman said, the serpent deceived me and I ate. It wasn't my fault, I was deceived by the
serpent. Again, moving the blame, avoiding responsibility.
Something had happened, actions have consequences. Because of this, Lord God then goes on to speak
about to the serpent, to Adam, to Eve and then to Adam. But I just want to skip towards the end
because this is the consequences of what had happened. It says in verse 20 to 24, Adam named
his wife Eve because she would become the mother of all the living. The Lord God made garments of
skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. That's the first place that we see a light being taken,
blood being shed, to provide a covering for Adam and for Eve. 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.
So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had
been taken. 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.
Adam and Eve had lost everything. They were spiritually, morally and physically bankrupt.
We're told that death and separation has come in. They were banished from the Garden. They were
outside of the presence of God. They became alienated from God their Creator.
There was no way back. It's bad news. There was no way back. They couldn't do anything about it.
And in the same way we, before we Christians, we couldn't do anything about this problem of sin.
No one can do this problem without sin because we are all born with sin. So it says,
for all of sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
This is a disaster. What are we going to do about this? The answer is nothing.
We are completely powerless. We are completely clueless in this. Absolutely.
There is a crisis in the Garden. It's like an
energy crisis, a cost to living crisis. It's the Garden of Eden crisis.
But it was caused by Adam and Eve.
Genesis 3 verse 14 and 15 says this.
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. And I will put emminity, I will tension, opposition, confrontation between your offspring
and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.
There was no crisis for God.
He has a master plan for his masterpiece.
The master plan was already in place before the creation of the world. A plan agreed by God,
Father, Son and Spirit.
Let's just remind you of the words from John 1.
One to five. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and the Word was God.
He was God in the beginning. Through him all things were made. Without him nothing was made
that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the
darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There was a plan. The plan didn't come about
because of a crisis in Eden. God was not thrown by this. It happened before they even started
creation. We've got God the Father. We've got Jesus the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
And before even mentions let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
there was a plan already in place.
What we what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done on our behalf. And if if it's a disaster,
here's the good news. It is really is good news because we were absolutely powerless and absolutely
clueless, but God, but God, but God sent his son Jesus. Romans one one to five simply says this.
Romans five, sorry, Romans five 12 to 15 says this. Therefore just as sin entered the world
through one man and death through sin and in this way death came to all men because all sinned.
That makes it clear? Absolutely. This is where we're at. We were at before, before, before we
encountered Jesus. This is where we were at. Sin and death had come through Adam.
Verse 15 says this, but the gift Jesus is not like the trespass, for if many died by the trespass
of one man, that is Adam, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the
one man Jesus Christ overflow to the many? One act brought in that sense of sin and being lost and
alienated from God, but one man Jesus, God's gift completely reversed all of that. Jesus came in
human likeness. He emptied himself of his glory. He lived as a man, an ordinary man. He lived a
pure and spotless life. He lived in relationship to his heavenly Father. He was a man filled with
the Holy Spirit. Read it, read it. Those chapters in Luke is baptism and God the Father speaks
to him upon him, speaks over him and the Holy Spirit comes upon him.
And he lived his life and it was absolutely essential that Jesus came as a man because the
deception, the sin, the death that came through Adam was through a human and only a human could
do it, but no one was pure and spotless. For all I've seen them falling short, I've got the glory
of God. So the plan was that Jesus would empty himself of his glory and live a pure and spotless
life. That plan, as I say, was hatched way before creation. And that just shows you how much God
values us. Now, last week, Erica, you were absolutely right. Some of the things that we are
sharing about and I'm thinking, oh, yes, I know the Bible says that. Is that really me? Do I?
And so often, I don't feel like that. Yeah, that doesn't change the truth. The truth is the truth.
Do you know how you feel about it? That the reality is that Jesus came as a babe to die on a cross.
He's the gift. He's the gift. And his death, his life, his death, his resurrection, his ascension.
We are the direct beneficiaries of all of that. We couldn't do it for ourselves, but God sent Jesus
to do it. And the good news is that through the work of Jesus on the cross, he reversed everything
that had come through Adam and Eve in the garden.
He dealt with sin and death. He brought us into freedom. Freedom in Christ. Yeah, freedom brought
us back into a relationship with God, our Father. And we are the direct beneficiaries of that.
Jesus went back to the Father and the Father poured out, sent his Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
And again, we are the direct beneficiaries of that, that we now have the Holy Spirit who lives within us,
the presence of God inside of us, these pathetic, puny bodies that we've got that increasingly seem
to be falling, failing us as we get older.
And that is available to you today. That's the only way back to the Father. That's the only way
to live life as God has planned. That's the only way, you know, to live for Jesus. It is all about
Jesus. It's all about Jesus. And so often, you know, it's good to have to do something like this
because it makes me sit down and go back to basics. And there is kind of an excitement that
began to come to me, you know. And again,
increasingly I seem to be going back to songs when I was in my childhood and in my early
teens, you know, and things like that. But immediately things like, you know,
all the love that drew salvation's plan. Oh, the grace that brought it down to man.
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary. Grace was there. No, me to admit it. Grace was,
does it? Mercy there was great and grace was free. Pardon there was multiplied to me.
There, my burden soul found liberty at...
That's the truth. It's a simple truth. Sometimes we do make a meal of it, don't we? But it is a simple
simple message of truth. And we need to get old of it. We need to live it. We need to believe it.
And we need to let it impact us. Yeah. Is it another hymn? I'll just one verse.
Lifted up was he to die. It is finished. Was his cry. Now in heaven, exalted high, hallelujah,
what a Savior. Do you know this Savior? I don't think some of you, I'm not quite sure. Do you know
what we were talking about? It's Jesus. You're quite right. The answer is always Jesus.
And also, you know, this idea that worthy is the lamb who was slain from the foundation of the
world. And I just want you to leave you with that, those simple truths. We need to understand the
gravity, the seriousness of what happened back in the garden of Eden. And that is, in a sense,
has plagued mankind through the ages. And the wonderful thing about the book of Genesis is that,
and certainly that verse that there was verse I read out, when Jesus talks to the serpent,
that's known as the, it's kind of the prototype gospel message. You know, so on the cross,
the Satan struck Jesus' heel, as it were, but Jesus crushed him. We have a defeated
enemy. He has limited power. He has limited power. And God is mighty in working in you.
By his Holy Spirit. I want to encourage you. Let's get excited about this. It's not just for people
in the, in the Bible. And the rest of the Bible, it's not a spoiler alert, but the rest of the
Bible is about God working this out with his people. Old Testament, covenants, things like that,
the whole thing about sacrifices, animal sacrifices, of making yourself right before God.
You'd have to do it time and time again, but Jesus came once and for all. And when he said,
it is finished, it is finished. And it don't matter. I mean, the enemy might want to come to you,
say, might want to come to you and say, say, did God say, you just said, yeah, he did.
God said, God said, it is finished on your bike. You know, sometimes, and sometimes we need to
speak to ourselves in those terms. Yeah? When we're confronted with situations and we've got thoughts
and ideas and we're seeing things and what have you, we've got to say, no, no, I'm not going to
do that. I'm not going to look there. I'm choosing to move in the benefit of all that Jesus has
got for me. But what a life. What a savior. Amen.