The previous study ‘The first sin – disobedience’ was concluded with the text:
… she (Eve) took some (of the fruit) and ate it. She also gave some to her husband (Adam), who was with her, and he ate it.
Eve was tempted by Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) and she and Adam ate of the fruit of the only tree God had forbidden. This had tremendous consequences for creation.
Adam and Eve as God had created them.
God had created Adam and Eve perfect and they lived in an open relationship with Him. They were fixed on Him in their soul and spirit.
God had given them the commission:
- 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)
God had transferred part of His authority over this world to Adam and Eve. They exercised this authority in total obedience to God.
Since He had made a separation between light and darkness, Satan was unable to exercise any influence whatsoever on Adam and Eve’s thinking.
(See the studies: God created the earth, Adam and Eve in paradise, Rebellion in heaven.)
The consequence of the fall.
Satan succeeded in making Eve doubt, via the visible world.
He deluded her:
… when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5)
The apostle Peter writes about listening to false prophets:
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them”. (2 Peter 2:19)
Whereas Eve knew God at close quarters and knew that she was not allowed to eat of the forbidden fruit, she believed Satan’s delusion and became disobedient to God’s command.
Adam followed his wife in doing so.
This is how Satan brought them into slavery under his rule, because they had placed obedience to him above obedience to God.
Consequence for world events.
a. Relationship broken between God and mankind.
By their disobedience to God and by listening to Satan, Adam and Eve broke off their relationship with God.
From that moment on they were under Satan’s rule, under the rule of the kingdom of darkness, and they were separated from the kingdom of Light, separated from God.
Isaiah expressed this as follows:
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
This is represented schematically by the thick black line, which represents the separation between God and man. Since the fall, man is born into an open relationship with the kingdom of Satan.
Why ‘natural man until Golgotha’ is under ‘soul’ in the diagram has to do with the fact that God has not turned His back on mankind, as will become clear in the sequel to this study ‘Spirit, soul and body’.
b. Relationship broken between mankind and God.
Adam and Eve became frightened of God as a result of their disobedience.
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. (Genesis 3:8)
He (Adam) answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Genesis 3:10)
Adam and Eve had lived in an open relationship with their Creator.
During that time their bodies must have shone out God’s glory, like Moses, after he had met God on Mount Sinai.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. (Exodus 34:29-30)
After their disobedience, Adam and Eve saw each other’s bodies as they were, naked, without any covering, because God’s glory had departed from them.
Just as the Israelites did not dare to approach Moses, Adam and Eve no longer dared to meet God.
c. Relationship between Adam and Eve broken.
Adam and Eve had lived in complete harmony with each other.
As a result of their disobedience:
- Adam and Eve were ashamed in each other’s presence.
In the Bible nakedness is the image of natural man.
- Adam and Eve started to blame and accuse each other.
When God asked:
Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? (Genesis 3:11)
Adam denied all personal responsibility, accused Eve and, at the same time, claimed that God was the cause:
The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. (Genesis 3:12)
Eve also denied all personal responsibility:
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
d. Relationship with the earth broken.
The earth over which Adam and Eve ruled under God’s authority was now ruled over by Satan, God’s opponent.
As a result God said:
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labour you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband (and your passion, longing will be for your husband), and he will rule over you (he will control you, have authority over you).” (Genesis 3:16)
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 (the fields, the land) because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food …”
- The earth is cursed because of Adam’s disobedience.
God had given the commandment to Adam before He had created Eve. (Genesis 2:16) Adam, as ‘head’, of his wife, Eve, is responsible for the fact that the earth is cursed, not Eve, who was the first to eat.
- The earth is cursed because Satan now rules over the earth, with the result that the earth will never again produce its full output.
e. Death enters the earth’s stage.
God had said to Adam:
You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
After Adam had contravened this commandment God said:
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. (Genesis 3:17-19)
God made Adam responsible and his disobedience affected Eve and their descendants.
In God’s eyes Adam and Eva died, spiritually speaking, at the moment they became disobedient.
God sees life and death in function of relationships. He was no longer able to have a direct relationship with Adam and Eve after they had pushed obedience to Him aside and followed Satan’s counsel.
They were spiritually ‘dead’ as far as He was concerned, and this was to apply to the whole of the human race that was to descend from them.
Adam and Eve would eventually die physically as well.
This is explained in detail in the studies that follow.
f. Brokenness and death affected the following generation.
Cain, a son of Adam and Eve, became jealous of his younger brother, Abel, with the result:
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and Bhim. (Genesis 4:8)
g. Since then Satan has ruled over the earth.
Adam and Eve had been commanded by God to rule over the earth and the animals.
By listening to Satan they had placed themselves under his authority. Indeed, Satan exercised this authority, as was seen in the desert, when Jesus was tempted by Satan.
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)
Satan had received authority over all the kingdoms of the world. “It has been given to me”, he said.
Jesus did not refute this, but acknowledged the truth thereof.
When reading the Gospels, it is striking that there were so many people ‘under the power of the devil’, as Peter said:
He (Jesus) went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil (tyrannised, oppressed), because God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
To be continued in the study ‘God did not leave His creation in the lurch’.
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