Creation,Fall and the Promise of Redemption


When we read the first 3 chapters of Genesis it is easy to be so taken up with the subject of creation and the fall that we altogether miss the promise of redemption. Chapters 1 and 2 show us the beauty and wonder of  creation, We see God speaking the world into being and creating every thing to be a beautiful and wholesome creation. The whole creation account is brought to a climax with the creation of humankind, here we see that humans are created  in the image of God. We were made to relate to God and to be his stewards of creation.  Mankind is given what is often called the cultural mandate,

      God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
(Genesis 1:28).

Some have asserted that this verse allows mankind to do what he likes in creation and to exploit it, but the context contradicts this a the following verses make it quite clear that vegetation is made not only for man but for all other creatures. This mandate was given before the fall, and we need to remember that although it is still in force, its application has been polluted by human sin. The original creation showed forth the wonder of who God is, and it testified in every way to his existence. Man and beast lived in harmony together enjoying the food God had provided for them.

The Fall: When humankind gave into the temptation of the serpent, the consequences were to be catastrophic for both human and the rest of the created order. Human sin is one of the hardest things to understand because it seems such a stupid thing to do. To abandon listening to God and to listen to the serpent instead just does not make sense. The only explanation is the devil makes sin look attractive.The account in Genesis clearly shows the serpent’s strategy,

  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2   The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
4  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5   “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6  When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7   Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Ge 3:1–7).

The serpent makes the woman first of all doubt God’s word and then makes sin look attractive. Satan tries to make the woman feel that God is depriving her of knowledge, and she wants to have that knowledge. But look at the result instead of a quantum leap in knowledge the first thing they realise is that they are naked, and they then try to make the first clothing.

         Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9       But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10       He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11       And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12       The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13       Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14       So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15       And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16       To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17       To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18       It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19       By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
20       Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.
21       The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22       And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23       So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24       After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Ge 3:8–24).

Notice how fear first enters the created order, it is when Adam and Eve hear the sound of God, the conscious approach of God makes them hide. But when God speaks they start blaming each other,the man blames the woman, and the woman blames the serpent. No one is willing to take responsibility for what they had done. after all Adam did not have to follow Eve, and Eve should not have listened to the serpent. It is in this context that we see that God brings about his righteous judgement upon humankind and the consequences of sin were to affect the whole of the created order, instead of the perfection of the garden there would be weeds and hard work. The woman would experience pain in childbirth and her relationship to her husband would become distorted. YET in the midst of all these horrible consequences of sin, the first promise of salvation is given in these words,

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

As God speaks to the serpent he speaks words of judgement against him which are at the same time a promise that one day  Satan will be crushed by the woman’s seed. This promise was to be fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul in the book of Romans shows how this is now extended to Christians because they are united to Christ,

 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:19–20).

in the book of Revelation it is confirmed that we are right to see the serpent as Satan and the seed being Jesus look at Revelation 12 to see this when we look at the whole vision we see the work of Christ portrayed for us as well as the identity of Satan,

      The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Re 12:9).

This passage is unequivocal about identifying Satan and the serpent, it also clearly spells out that he is a defeated foe.

It is important to remember that at the very point of judgement being proclaimed there is also the first promise of salvation, this promise shows the graciousness of our God and his intention to redeem us from slavery to sin. This we see fulfilled in the life and work of Jesus Christ.

 

About pneumaandlogos

David Rollings was born in Luton in1949 and raised by my Christian parents in the Gospel Standard Strict Baptist denomination( Hyper-Calvinistic} in the sixties I rebelled against this background and got involved in left-wing politics. I became a Christian in 1969 and soon started reading Francis Schaeffer's books and came to embrace a Christian Worldview. I had the privilege of being on the staff of L'Abti Fellowship from1975 - 1979. After L'abri I studied at London School of Theology where I gained my BA.(1983) A few years later I studied for my MA by distance learning with The Nazarene Theological College Manchester (1999) For the last 22 years, I have been an elder of Shoreham-by-Sea Baptist Church. I also regularly attend the Christian Doctrine Study Group of the Tyndale Fellowship.
This entry was posted in creation, culture, faith, God, God's love, grace, Jesus Christ, redemption, sin, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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