Crises in Creation (2)
E. L. Lovering, Ilfracombe
CRISES IN CREATION 2.
Sin’s Entry, chs. 3-4
The Genesis record clearly asserts the fall of man as an historical fact, that temptation came from without and that sin was an intruder into the life of man. The serpent is identified as the Devil; see John 8. 44; 2 Cor. 11. 3, 14; Rev. 12. 9; 20. 2.
Doubt. “Yea, hath God said”. The first words of the serpent to Eve, apparently harmless enough, cast doubt upon God’s word. Beware of listening to the wrong voice and to the seemingly innocent phrase “there is no harm in it”.
Denial. “Ye shall not surely die”. He that doubts God’s word is soon blatantly denying it.
Deception. “God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil”, R.V. This was a base hint that God was withholding from them that which was for their good. The devil is a liar from the beginning.
Disobedience. The woman “took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat”. The act of yielding to the devil’s taunt was a deliberate choice to please self and to disobey God. The gods of the present day society are the same as those of Eden’s garden, 3. 6. Note there was:
- appetite - “good for food” - the lust of the flesh;
- amusement - “pleasant to the eyes” - lust of the eyes;
- achievement - “to make one wise” - pride of life.
Degradation. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked”. The first result was shame; instead of making them like God it showed them that they were like beasts. The first sight of their opened eyes was of their shame and degradation.
Dread. “And they heard the voice of the Lord God . . . and Adam and his wife hid themselves . . . And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid”. The presence of the Lord God was no longer welcome, fear had replaced fellowship.
Note the attempts to justify their action:
- To throw title blame on God; “The woman whom thou gavest”, 3. 12.
- To plead the action as a mistake; “The serpent beguiled me”, 3. 13.
- The ultimate confession; “I did eat”, 3.13. All will be brought to own their sinnership.
Note in verses 14 and 15:
- The curse pronounced.
- The conqueror proclaimed.
- the words spoken to the serpent, 3.14:
- the words spoken to the woman, 3. 16;
- the words spoken to Adam, 3. 17.
The work of Christ has laid the basis for the vindication and victory of God over the evil one.
Discord. “So he drove out the man”. Harmony is broken and the guilty pair are excluded from the Paradise of Eden, but not before the mercy of God is seen in the provision of the coats of skins, 3. 21.
Death. “Thou shalt surely die”, 2. 17. This leads on to that solemn repetition in chapter 5 “and he died”. The N.T. says that “sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death” and that “the wages of sin is death”, Jas. 1.15 R.V.; Rom. 6. 23.
Sin separates man from God and man from man. “Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him”, 4. 8. How tragic that the first recorded murder was occasioned by an act of worship. Much blood has since been shed in the name of “religion” and bitter hatred sprung from so-called religious zeal. Sin poisons and corrupts even the best.
3. Man’s Destruction, chs. 5-10
Such has been the development of sin by this time that the Lord said “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth”, 6. 7.
Wickedness. “The wickedness of man was great”, 6. 5.
Corruption. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose . . . The earth also was corrupt before God”, 6. 2, 11.
Violence. “And the earth was filled with violence”, 6. 11. Inward moral corruption soon produces outward violence, for bad men are cruel men.
“And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; . . . And Noah went in . . . and the Lord shut him in”, 7. 1, 7, 16. In wrath God remembers mercy, and His judgments are always discriminative. Noah stood alone in his generations, a righteous and a blameless man; he walked before God and found grace in the eyes of the Lord, 6. 8-9. His only companion was God.
The bond. “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”, 8. 22. One whole year had been a year of judgment (see 7. 11 and 8. 13-14) without seed time and harvest; God now promised that the natural order would abide while the earth remained. The next and final judgment will be by fire, 2 Pet. 3. 7, 12. God binds Himself to His covenant whatever the conduct of man.
The bow. “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth”, 9. 13. God gave the bow in the cloud a new meaning; it was now the visible pledge of God’s promise. God would look upon it and remember, 9. 16. It is God’s bow, “my bow”. Better is the spiritual analogy of the rainbow than its spectrum analysis.
4. Shinar’s Plain, ch. 11
Confederacy. “Let us build us a city and a tower”, 11. 4. They wanted security apart from God and a social order in defiance of divine purpose. In chapter 10 we are given the record of the division and scattering of the nations; in chapter 11 we see man’s efforts to unite them. They sought prestige and self-exaltation, saying, “let us make us a name”, 11. 4.
Confusion. God said, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language ... So the Lord scattered them abroad”, 11. 7, 8. Whenever man rebels against God, the result is confusion and failure.