The Parties Arraigned and Sentenced: Part 1 of 9 (series: Lessons on Genesis)

by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

August 2, 2013

The Book of Genesis
By: Tom Lowe

Lesson I.B.5: The Parties Arraigned and Sentenced.

Gen. 3.8-21 (KJV)
8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

GOD ARRAIGNS ADAM AND EVE
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
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.

THE SERPENT IS CURSED ABOVE ALL BEASTS
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:
15 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 PUNISHMENT GOD PROMISES FOR MANKIND
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Commentary

8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:
There are at least two interpretations for the phrase IN THE COOL OF THE DAY. One opinion is that the literal meaning is “the breeze of the day," the evening. The divine Being appears on the scene as if He had been out for an evening stroll; uttering the well-known expressions of kindness that Adam and Eve loved to hear, walking in some visible form (not running, as one would who was motivated by angry feelings; nor can he be, as it says in Isaiah 27.4, “Fury is not in me.”). It is supposed by some that he came in a human shape, and that he was none other than the One who shall judge the world on the Great Day. He came in a manner that would appear fearsome only to those with guilty consciences. How beautifully expressive are these words of the informal and friendly manner in which He had so far interacted with the first pair. The other opinion is that what they actually heard was “the sound or voice of the LORD God as He passes through the Garden, as the ‘Spirit of the day.’” COOL is the Hebrew word for spirit. God was coming to them in judgment for their disobedience. A better rendering of the word VOICE is “sound,” which is how it appears in Theophanies in the Old Testament—“The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals” (Psalms 18:13; NLT). His voice was a proper accompaniment for the flames of godly vengeance. How will men bear to hear it on the Great Day when it proclaims their doom, and He sends them to the Lake of Fire? It is no wonder that when they heard the sound of the LORD GOD passing through the garden looking for them, that they HID THEMSELVES from His presence!

The term

VOICE is appropriately applied here, since God is an infinite Spirit, and cannot be confined to any form, so he can have no personal appearance, unless He should decide to appear in a particular form. It is very likely that God used to converse with them in the garden, and that the usual time for them to come together was in the evening, ‏in the evening breeze; and probably this was the time that our first parents devoted themselves to religious worship, and God was always present. The time worship has arrived, and God is in his place; but Adam and Eve have sinned, and therefore, instead of being in the place of worship, they are hidden among the trees!

and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Guilt was an emotion unknown to our first parents, but immediately following the act of sinning their eyes of conscience are opened and their intimate fellowship with God was broken. Guilt produces fear, and fear makes us want to run and hide. The knowledge they now have judges everything from a false standpoint; it sees from a perverted position. Previously they were naked (2:25), but they were not ashamed. CONSCIENCE is a person’s inner awareness of conforming to the will of God or departing from it, resulting in either a sense of approval or condemnation.

Their own consciences accused them; they felt responsible for their wrongdoing, remorse because they could not undo their error, and fear because God would know what they had done.
Ordinarily, Adam and Eve would have run to meet God, but they had become sinners. Sinners cannot cover their sins by their own works, nor can they hide from God. Shame, remorse, fear -- a sense of guilt—feelings to which they had up till now been strangers confused their minds and led them to hide from Him whose approach they used to welcome. They wanted to hide themselves from God; AND ADAM AND HIS WIFE HID THEMSELVES FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD GOD—what a sad change! Before they had sinned, if they had heard the voice of the Lord God coming towards them, they would have run to meet him, and with a humble joy welcomed his gracious visits

GOD ARRAIGNS ADAM AND EVE
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

And the LORD God called unto Adam,
We have here the arraignment of these traitors before the righteous Judge of heaven and earth, who, though he dies not have to observe formalities, treats them with all possible fairness, so that he may be justified when he speaks. The Father sought the lost sinners, as Jesus did when He was on earth—“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10; KJV). If this was the chief objective of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it should surely loom large in our own set of priorities. Today, the Holy Spirit is the One doing the seeking, but He uses His people to present the gospel to “that which was lost.” We have a wonderful example of this method in our Bibles—“Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth." So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, PREACHED JESUS TO HIM. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, ‘I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD.’" (Acts 8:29-38; NKJV). God wants to use us to call men and women to salvation—“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 (NKJV).

Sin will separate you from God—and Adam is lost. Adam is lost, and it is God seeking him and not man seeking God.

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