Genesis 3:6 | Wisdom of Fools

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Sometimes I am tempted to think I am smarter and cleverer than my ancestors. I have multiple degrees. If there is any project that I want to accomplish I have information and resources to accomplish that project. I am basically a good person. I have it all together. When I read about how Satan smoothly sold Eve on eating from the tree of knowledge I shake my head as if I have not done the same and even worse.

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 gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6 ESV

The truth is that I am not any smarter and I am not any less a sinner than Eve was. Fact is that I am even worse off because I should know better yet here I am buying the same lies. Genesis states that Eve desired the fruit of the tree so that she could be wise. Just like Eve I spend time learning wisdom at Satan’s footstool. The world calls to all of us. The world says sex should be unfettered. The world says you got to take what is yours and not let others get in your way. The world says do what makes you happy. The world says you can have it all. People in our capitalistic society are referred to as consumers. Satan sold Eve, the first consumer, on a way that she could be wise like God. There is just one problem with all of our ambition and the lie that the world is selling. It is not true knowledge of any worth.

14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. James 3:14-16 ESV

Eve found that knowledge the world sells and became wise in “earthly, unspiritual, demonic” ways. Our first parents unleashed disorder after their selfish desire for wisdom was complete. Knowing good and evil is one thing but securing wisdom from God himself comes in a different way.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalms 32:8 ESV

Eve missed a fundamental when she tried to short cut her way to wisdom. She missed the fact that wisdom comes from a relationship with God and she already had that. God was instructing her. God was teaching her. And God was providing his wisdom a perfect wisdom to her in their daily interactions. But she discounted that source and went for the cheap knockoff.

People today are not any smarter or cleverer than our ancestors because we want wisdom but seek it apart from God. We eat of the fruit that the world offers and our lives are destroyed. We are wise in jealousy, manipulation, lies, selfish ambition, and demonic perversions. Yes we love our perversions.

2 To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; … 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:2-3;7 ESV

If you want true wisdom. Wisdom that comes from the Creator of this universe then the beginning of that knowledge is a respectful fear and submission to God that very same God who created us to have a relationship. Jesus is our point of contact. Turn to him for real truth and wisdom. Or continue to buy the fake knockoff that Satan sells when you want wisdom without God. God gives you that choice, but he will not hide you from the consequences.

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

 

Genesis 2:18 | Significant Other

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My wife went out of town on a trip with our daughter to New York. It was an out of character trip for our family dynamic but it was a trip that would benefit our daughter to see the world up close from a big city perspective. I could not make the trip so I was left at home without my wife’s company. We have been married for a long time and I realized what a complete and total disaster I am when she is not around. I did not eat well. I did not go to bed at a decent hour. I missed her presence and conversation. And I was reminded that I am much better off in this life because of her.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 ESV

I love my wife and our life together is more than what I would have been apart from her. However our life together is messy and hard work. When one of us makes a mistake, it impacts both of us. And both of us are sinners who make mistakes every single day. Adam and Eve experienced that flaw in a real way as well.

Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 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.” Genesis 3:11-13 ESV

God made Eve to be a “helper” and Adam needed a helper. He liked the helper God had provided but Adam and Eve were together helping each other to rebel and disobey God. Partners in crime. Being created in God’s image was not enough to take on God’s perfection. Ultimately because of their sin they were unable to help themselves. The word used when God said he would make a helper for Adam is “ezer” עֵזֶר and only twice in the bible is it used to refer to Eve and both times were before their fall. Everywhere else this word ezer is used to refer to the only helper who can truly help and that is God himself.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalms 121:1-2 ESV

After Adam and Eve sinned they were together in the fallen world. She is still his helper but they are equal before God as sinners who have broken the relationship of mankind and his creator. In the fallen world she is in the same boat and so the meaning of helper changes going forward. Because of the curse a new world that is no longer “good” comes forward and God is the only helper. God is the only help. Adam and Eve must look to him for salvation and help.

God never fails and God does not abandon his creation. When Adam and Eve became helpless God provided a new helper. That is where Jesus comes in and here he is making a promise that we may all take hold of.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17 ESV

Whatever limitations Adam and Eve had are eliminated with this new helper that Jesus sends. This helper is not a limited image of God. This helper is God’s very own spirit. This helper is equal to God and part of the trinity that makes up God. The Holy Spirit is the helper we need to live life holy before God. This helper will be with us forever for those who receive him. True help comes only from the Lord. Turn to him and yield to his ways. Accept Christ for salvation and a relationship with the creator.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28 ESV

Genesis 5:1 | Our Family Tree

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Some people love genealogies and they will tell stories they have found about great great grand relatives that lived in a certain place or migrated from some other country. They tell stories about family that fought in wars or worked in some trade. Genesis chapter five is the patriarchal family tree from Adam, the first man, to Noah the most direct relative of everyone living today. This genealogy tells more stories than one might think at first glance and it also tells a major story that is relevant to everyone living today.

However before jumping into the big story of this genealogy we need to explore a few fun facts and details. The first thing to tackle and the thing that jumps out right away about this genealogy is the age of each person. Most of these men are stated to have lived into the 900 year range. It seems impossible that anyone could have lived that long and much effort has been spent by theologians and amateur detectives to determine what the ages really mean or what they actually were. The intent of the original author, likely Noah, of this chapter in Genesis is that these were the actual ages of these men and they should be taken as actual ages. Any attempt to adjust the ages to fit what is “normal” for people in this contemporary age will ultimately not be satisfying or accurate. I would encourage everyone to take the original author at his word that these were indeed how old they lived because the author was witness to the fact and the fact that this is what God wanted recorded.

This graphic tells some interesting stories about these pre flood patriarchs…

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These are the men and women who knew where the Garden of Eden was located (Genesis 3:24). These are men and women who could come before God and meet with Him for conversation in what might have been a uniquely direct way (Genesis 4:4 and 5:22). These are men and women who were almost perfect in every way able to live hundreds of years longer than we who continue on in this post flood fallen world. These men and women lived in a pre-flood world that looks very little like the world we see today.

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. Genesis 7:11 ESV

The Genesis history tells us that when Noah was 600 years old the catastrophic judgment of the earth by water occurred. That information combined with the genealogy in chapter five tells us that from Adam’s creation to the year of the flood was 1,656 years. In the same year, and within months, of Methuselah’s death, who died in the year 1,656, the judgment of God by water was ushered into place. Methuselah’s name depending on the root translation could mean “When He Is Dead It Shall Be Sent”. This is too much of a coincidence to not be interesting and just as interesting is the idea that his father, Enoch, a known prophet may have had a hand in giving him this unusual name almost a thousand years before the judgment of the earth by water.

While all of those are interesting stories about our history the real story is about God’s promise to return, judge, and fix what man had broken. That story is told through Enoch who never died and left a legacy that reaches out to us even thousands of years after his time on earth. Enoch was still a young man by pre flood standards when he was abducted by God and Enoch had a reputation even before this shocking intervention by God.

First Enoch was known as a faithful man who spent time with God.

Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24 ESV

Second Enoch was known as a prophet speaking about repentance and judgment to those who chased after ungodly selfishness.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Jude 1:14 ESV

Those who lived at that time would have heard Enoch’s words from God. They would have heard from Enoch that the “Lord” of all men would be coming with thousands of holy people. They would have known that the “ungodly” way they were living was not God’s plan. While Enoch and those who heard his message would not have had the revelation of Jesus they knew the prophesy given to Eve about her offspring (Genesis 3:15). The promise of eternal life and a presence with God after death had not been articulated, but they knew people could be taken away to be with God as evidenced by Enoch’s life. They knew that God’s anointed one would be coming and he would be bringing judgment with him. Even in the very beginning in the days of Adam God’s future plan for Jesus, salvation, and his return were already being shown to mankind. This genealogy like any family tree contains stories that are relevant to life today. The question is will you be standing today in this moment of grace waiting just like the patriarchs for Jesus and his return or will you be like all those that were destroyed in Noah’s day?

12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. 15 Outside the city are the dogs—the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. Revelations 22:12-15 NLT

Genesis 4:7 | God’s Mercy to a Murderer

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God after the fall continued his fellowship with Adam, Eve, and their Children. I imagine that the relationship was similar to that of the days in the garden where God would be present in some form building a relationship with Adam and Eve. This side of the fall and curse however resulted in need for an offering for sin and an acknowledgment of how one’s sins break the relationship with God. Eve’s first two sons Cain and Abel are recorded providing offerings to God as I would assume Adam and Eve had been doing as well. Their offering may have been modeled after what God did for Adam and Eve after the original sin where God himself killed an animal to provide skin covering for their shame.

21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 ESV

The outcome of these offerings from Cain and Abel should remind all of just how quickly sin escalates in the heart of men and how it impacts their family and God’s relationship with the creation.

6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 4:6-10 ESV

Cain and Abel both provided offerings to God however Abel’s offering was accepted by God and Cain’s offering was not. The acceptance of Abel’s offering resulted in fellowship with God the Creator. In fact the next time this kind of offering is mentioned within the Bible is when God was setting up the regular rules of engagement to Moses and Aaron.

41 The other lamb you shall offer at twilight, and shall offer with it a grain offering and its drink offering, as in the morning, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord. 42 It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. Exodus 29:41-42 ESV

The offering that Abel provided allowed him to meet and speak with God and God accepted the offering. Cain’s offering was rejected but still in God’s mercy and grace he continued the relationship with Cain speaking directly to him to encourage him to do the right thing if he wanted acceptance. Most likely God rejected Cain’s offering because of a heart and motive issue and he warns Cain that sin is “crouching at the door”.

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15 ESV

What Cain should have done is repent of the anger in his heart and turn toward God to do what he knew would be the right thing to do. God clearly indicates that He would have accepted Cain. Even after Cain had killed his own brother God in a display of undeserved mercy gives Cain an opportunity to repent for what had happened, but Cain rejects the grace of that moment by claiming to not know about what happened to Abel. God knew what happened so the questioning from God to Cain is an opportunity for Cain to turn away from the sinful path and to restore the relationship.

God provides that same opportunity for people today. While we are all sinners that deserve death because of our rebellion, God has provided his own substitutionary payment. He provided an offering we could not provide ourselves so that we can be like Abel standing before the Creator accepted and in fellowship. God’s advice to Cain is still true to people today and even more so because God has revealed his saving grace from sin in Christ.

7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him… 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:7-8; 14 ESV