Contributor: Peter Folikwe
We have been studying God’s plans and purpose for man, how to identify with His purpose, and how to live a life of purpose by seeking to know his will. We were also taken through the hindrances to knowing His will, how to remain resolutely connected to His will and how the Holy Spirit lead us in different ways to connect to His will and purpose for our lives.
Today we shall be looking at the satan’s plan to thwart God’s plan for our lives through rebellion.
God’s world before Gen 3:
• We read about God and His creations from Gen 1-2. After the creation of man, God noted in Gen 1:31 that everything he had made were very good.
• Incidentally, the account of what happened in Gen 3 fundamentally changed everything about God’s original plan for mankind.
• From then sin entered the world.
Subtle approach of the Enemy - Gen 3:1-3
• The serpent being referred to is the devil himself. The Bible in Rev 12:9 attest to this.
• Satan is described here as the old serpent and a deceiver of the whole world; starting with mummy Eve. One of his subtle weapons is deception.
• Rev 20:2 says “And he (the angel of the Lord) laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,..”
• Above verses attest to the fact that the serpent that deceived Eve was the devil.
• Satan’s subtle question posed to Eve in Gen 3:1 creates a euphoria of doubt in the mind of Eve. He made it look like God is hiding information from them. This naturally made Eve inquisitive.
Eve responded to Satan’s barrage of questions in Gen 3:2-3. Invariably the first error Eve commented was to engage the devil in a conversation.
• Satan is very subtle in his approach. He seeks to contradict the word of God in every way. Finding his victim vulnerable, he goes for a kill. 1Pet 5:8 cautioned us to “be sober, be vigilant: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
The Rebellion: Gen 3:4 - 6
By the time you get to Gen 3:4, Satan had emotionally connected with Eve, boldly confirming to Eve that if she eats the fruit she will not die. In V5, Satan informed Eve that eating the fruit will open their eyes and they will become like God, knowing good and evil.
• Satan was indirectly telling Eve that God wants to keep then inferior and ignorant, with a belief that God was threatened by them. A complete lie from Satan.
• Satan already knows the divine purpose of God for man and became envious of man after his fall. His primary assignment therefore is to thwart God’s purpose for mankind.
At this point Eve and Adam entered into the decision that alterate the forbidden fruit.
Eve’s description of the fruit:
• It was good for food - that is the loss of the flesh.
• It was pleasing to the eyes - the loss of the eyes, and
• Desirable for gaining wisdom - this is the pride of life.
The above are the 3 principal areas the enemy uses to thwart God’s plan for man. Our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil in these 3 categories.
1Jn 2:15-16 warns us “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
• Eve did ate the forbidden fruits, and gave to her husband Adam who ate also.
• There was discussion at a bible study on this same subject where people blamed Eve for all the troubles of the world today.
• Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1Tim 2:14 “And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”
• Eve’s sin was though deception but Adam’s sin was through wilful disobedience.
• As much as we need to be apprehensive of falling prey to the wiles of the devil as Eve did according to Eph. 6:11, we also need to overcome wilful disobedience to the instructions/commandments of God.
The usual Bait of the devil: Power and Influence - Gen 3:7 NIV
• Their eyes of discernment truly popped open and they realized they were naked. Remember that Satan told Eve their eyes will be opened in V5., if they eat the forbidden fruit.
• The greatest lie the devil embellished with some truth was that they will be like God.
• The devil has used and is still using the bait of “man becoming like God” to cajole lot of undiscerning souls into secret cults in quest of power and influence.
• Again we read in Gen3:7 that they realized that they were naked. Meaning they became self-aware (focus on self and not on God). If you and I do a self-examination, we will realize that this is the bedrock of conflict in homes, churches (not RCCG Miracle Land), communities governments, nations and the world at large.
Apostle Paul warns in Gal 5:17-21 NIV
That the flesh works contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit works contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
• To have a continuous communal relationship/fellowship with God the spiritual nature of man must be in tune with that if God. Because God is Spirit.
• But the moment we become self-aware and focus more on our lustful desires of the flesh our spirit man is weakened, just as was the case with Adam and Eve.
Every child born into this world except Jesus, is born with sinful/fleshly desires. A regeneration of our spirit man took effect when we become born again.
Bible passages where we are admonished to stay connected to God:
Col 3:1-2 NIV, Rom 13:14 NIV
You and I can’t afford to be fleshly minded in this carnally minded world.
Besides what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Mar 8:36, Luke 9:25, & Matt 16:26.
Consequence of Sin: Guilt and Shame - Gen 3:8 NIV
• Weight of guilt and shame often wear us out when we fall into sin, because God is Holy & Righteous.
• Whatever man does that may seem covered, it will be revealed by the light of God. Luke 12:2
• Sin always make us run away from God and sometimes justify our actions to gratify our ego. God have mercy.
God never stops calling: How do you respond?
Gen 3:9 - 15
• God is still in the business of calling out to people. Interestingly, He calls those even the world has condemned. For instance Jesus abided in the house of Zacchaeus a tax collector - Luke 19:5-7.
• No one comes to the son except the father draws him - John 6:44.
Adam’s answer in V10 saying he hid himself because he was naked and the follow up question from God attest to what we have reviewed earlier.
• Adam and Eve’s self-centeredness brought guilt and shame as a result of sin.
God further asked if they have eaten of the tree that He commanded them not to eat from and in Gen 3:12, Adam responded with a factual statement that the woman whom God gave him, presented him with the fruit and he ate. The truth remains that he wilfully disobeyed God’s instruction which was an act of rebellion.
Now in Gen 3:13 God turned to the woman and asked the same question.
• Like Adam, she smartly pushed the blame to the serpent. The devil made me do it – she said.
In Gen 3:14-15, unlike Adam and Eve, God did not give the serpent an opportunity to be asked any question.
God pronounced a curses on them in Gen 3:16-19 God reeled out curses on Eve and Adam.
• Besides God’s pronouncement of labour pain for Eve, God made it clear at this point that her desires will be for the husband, clearly instituting the leadership role of the man in the home. Not necessarily for the wife to be a slave to the man.
• By the time we get to V18, Adam had his full dose of curses, to toil before the ground produces food for him and in V19, God pronounce death sentence on man. “For dust you are and dust you will return”.
• I believe a difficult decision God had to take despite His love for man.
• Only Jesus the son of the living God was not born in sin, but took up the sins of the world and also tasted death.
The Loving Nature Of God
In Gen 3:21 God in His loving nature had to present them with a better and more durable covering for their body.
• He gave His only begotten Son – Jesus (the 2nd Adam) to reconcile the world back to Him. Col 1:20-21.
From Gen 3:22 - 24, God reckoned that they are now self-aware and may also reach out to the tree of life to live forever in their sin.
• He therefore banished man form the garden and drove them out of the garden and placed a flashing flaming sword to guard the tree of life.
The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, the 2nd Adam gave us the privilege of a new life of righteousness as was originally planned and purposed by God for us.
We thank God for providing Jesus to reconcile us back to His original purpose for us. However, we need to remain vigilant to avoid being used by the enemy to rebel against God.