The Parties Arraigned and Sentenced: Page 3 of 9 (series: Lessons on Genesis)
by John Lowe
she gave me of the tree,
Instead of acknowledging the sin and accepting the consequences, Adam lays the blame at the feet of his mate. Those who are willing to take the pleasure and profit of sin are seldom willing to take the blame and shame of it. The excuse Adam offers is, “The woman made me do it! I ate the fruit because I love her and want to please her.”
and I did eat.
Adam could NOT plead not guilty; he was aware that God knew he did it, therefore he decided to “pass the buck.” His confession, I DID EAT, must be interpreted in that light. It is almost a bold challenge. Of course I ate. This WOMAN YOU gave to me persuaded me to eat. But this does not look like a confession at all since even though their guilt was visible in their countenances and testified against them, there is no true confession on Adam’s part. Instead taking the shame on himself, he prefers to downplay the seriousness of his transgression and put the blame on Eve. Like Adam, Eve is also responsible before God
13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?
The question God put to the woman was, WHAT IS THIS THAT THOU HAST DONE? "Will you admit your guilt and confess your sin? And will you agree with me that it was an evil thing you did?’’ This should indicate to us that those who have eaten forbidden fruit, and especially those who have enticed others to eat it, should seriously consider what they have done. By eating forbidden fruit, we have offended our great and gracious God, broken a just and righteous law, violated a sacred and most solemn covenant, and wronged our own precious souls by forfeiting God’s favor and exposing ourselves to his wrath and curse. And when we entice others to eat it, we do the devil’s work, make ourselves guilty of other men’s sins, and become an accessory to their downfall. What is this that WE have done?
Like Adam, Eve shows little or no distress over her guilt and she will pass the buck to the serpent.
And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
When the woman is questioned she lays the blame upon God and the serpent. THE SERPENT BEGUILED ME, AND I DID EAT. You made him much wiser than you made me, and therefore my innocence, simplicity, and ignorance were overcome by his superior wisdom and subtlety; I am not at fault here, the fault is his and yours for making him so wise and me so ignorant. This indicates that, while the eyes of their body were opened to see their degraded state, the eyes of their understanding were closed, so that they could not see the sinfulness of their sin; and at the same time their hearts were hardened because of its deceitfulness. And their posterity has followed their example in this. How few today sincerely confess their own sin! They do not see their guilt. They are continually making excuses for their crimes; they point to the strength and subtlety of the tempter, the natural weakness of their own minds, the unfavorable circumstances in which they were placed, etc. They make excuses for their sins, and therefore the possibility of repentance is prohibited; because until a man admits his sin to himself, until he acknowledges that he alone is guilty, he cannot be humbled, and consequently cannot be saved.
BEGUILED means cajoled by flattering lies. This sin of the first pair was heinous and aggravated -- it was not simply eating an apple, but a love of self, dishonor to God, ingratitude to a benefactor, disobedience to the best of Masters—a preference for the creature over the Creator.
The Apostle Paul was concerned that the Believers in the Corinthian Church my fall to temptation as Eve had: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor 11:3; KJV). Where Eve first gave way, was in mentally harboring for a moment the possibility insinuated by the serpent, of GOD not having her truest interests at heart, and of this "other" professing friend being more concerned for her than God. There are more temptations to sin around today than existed in the Garden. Sin is a brat that nobody is willing to acknowledge, which is a sign that it is a scandalous thing. Those that are willing enough to take the pleasure and profit of sin are reluctant to take the blame and shame of it. Eve’s main object is to shift the blame from herself. She at least acknowledges she had been deceived or BEGUILED as Paul states in II Corinthians 11:3. "The serpent, that subtle creature you made, which you permitted to come into paradise with us, he beguiled me.’’ There
are two things to learn from this:
1. That Satan’s temptations are all beguilings, his arguments are all erroneous, his enticements are all frauds; when he appears sincere, do not believe him. Sin deceives us, and, by deceiving, it cheats us. It is by the deceitfulness of sin that the heart is hardened (See Rom. 7:11; Heb. 3:13).
2. That though Satan’s subtlety drew us into sin, it will not justify our sin: though he is the tempter, we are the sinners; and it is our own lust that draws us aside and entices us—“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14; KJV). Every man is tempted when he allows his own lusts to lead and entice him. There can be no temptation unless something within us causes a sinful desire.
We may be beguiled into it, but that should not lessen our sorrow and humiliation for our sin; but rather it should increase our self-indignation, since we have allowed ourselves to be beguiled by a known cheat and a sworn enemy.
THE SERPENT IS CURSED ABOVE ALL BEASTS
As the result of Adam’s sin God pronounced curses which are referred to as the Adamic Covenant. It establishes the conditions under which fallen man must live—conditions which must remain until the kingdom age, when "… the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21; KJV).
The elements of the Adamic Covenant are:
1. The serpent, Satan's tool, is cursed (v. 14), and becomes God's illustration in nature of the effects of sin—the serpent is transformed from the most beautiful and subtle of creatures to a loathsome reptile!
2. The first promise of a Redeemer is proclaimed (v. 15). Here is where the highway that leads to the Savior of mankind begins—Abel, Seth, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David, Immanuel—Christ: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; KJV).
3. The changed state of the woman (v.16). In three essential ways:
a. Multiplied pain in child birth.
b. Motherhood linked with sorrow.
c. The headship of the man (See Gen 1:26, 27). The entrance of sin, which is turmoil, makes a headship necessary, and it is vested in man—“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim 2:11-14; KJV).
4. The earth cursed (v. 17) for man's sake. It is better for fallen man to battle with a reluctant earth than to live without hard work.
5. The inevitable sorrow of life (v. 17)
6. The carefree occupation of Eden changed to burdensome labor (v. 18, 19).
7. Physical death (v. 19).
Although these curses are severe and inescapable, a wonderful promise of grace was also included in the Adamic Covenant. Genesis 3:15 is often referred to as the “Proto-Gospel” or “First Gospel.” Speaking to Satan, God says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The first reference to the coming of the Savior.
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
And the LORD God said unto the serpent,
The man and woman having been found guilty by their own confession, as well as the personal and infallible knowledge of God, must now face the judgment of God, who immediately proceeds to pass sentence; and, in these verses, he begins (where the sin began) with the serpent. God did not examine the serpent, nor ask him what he had done or why he did it; but immediately sentenced him.
The effects of the Fall reached well beyond the man and woman. Man was appointed to rule over God’s creation; and as a result of man’s Fall, the animals suffered along with man through the Edenic Curse—“God said to Adam, “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread …” (Gen. 3:18–19). The curse of sin came upon man through Adam’s disobedience, but the physical world also came under the curse. “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope” (Rom 8:20; KJV). Vanity means “failure, decay, something that is perishable.” “Not willingly” means not of its own will, but because of Him (God) who subjected man (and animals by virtue of their relationship with man) to the curse.