Tag Archives: Genesis 3

Pole Smashing

On the way home from my daughter’s track meet, we got to see a town square pole get uprooted and smashed by a big freight truck. It was something I’ve never seen before, but it was also a teachable moment that I took advantage of when it was available. The reason the truck driver could not navigate the turn is because someone else disobeyed the traffic signs and pulled over a car length ahead of the line to stop. The truck driver had no room. Even when the lady in the car reversed as far as the car behind her permitted, it was not enough for the truck driver. Then it was a chain reaction. Truck 1. Pole 0.

My daughter was upset. She was concerned that someone would have to pay for the pole, and that someone would have to put the new pole in place. She didn’t understand why the lady did what she did, and she thought that she should be punished for putting the truck in an impossible situation to navigate. At the same time, she wondered if the truck driver would be punished because he did drive up on the curb and tear down the pole. This is where my teachable moment came into play.

We can easily agree that the lady should have stopped where the law says she should stop. We can easily agree that no one should be driving on curbs, though as a truck driver daughter, I understand why it had to go down that way. If the lady would not have pulled up so far, then the truck driver likely would not have driven on the curb. Nonetheless, this is a situation where we can argue that both parties did something wrong. Just because the one party caused the other person to do something wrong, doesn’t make the other person’s wrong any better.

Consider now, the topic of sin. Sometimes we do something that is bad, and then we place that blame on someone else “making” us do it. No one makes you do it, but somehow it seems like they do when we do something wrong. Why is that? We don’t like to be wrong. We don’t like to be found guilty. We don’t want to look like the bad guy. The other person made us do it. When we say this, it makes us feel better. It takes away our responsibility. It makes us feel like our dirty hands are not-so-dirty. But it is a façade. The truth is, wrong is wrong and right is right. If you lose your temper and act in anger because someone sinned against you, then your hands are dirty. You are guilty. There is no, “she made me do it,” that will change your guilt.

What can we do knowing that we cannot push off blame? Accept responsibility for your actions. Confess. Repent. When you do this, you accept the forgiveness our merciful God offers. This will result in something much better than blaming another could ever achieve. Forgiveness. Spiritual Growth. Integrity.

“People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13 [NLT]

“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’  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 3:12-13 [ESV]

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Self-Exaltation

We often hear people talk about others being “all about themselves”—proud, living in a “me-world” and thinking of themselves first. The truth is that since the very beginning of mankind we have been trying to exalt ourselves. God alone should be exalted but we seem to want some of the glory or all of the glory.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve got off to a bad start that we continue today. The “more clever” serpent lied to Eve. Adam was by her side but he never stepped in to take on the leadership position God gave him. The serpent promised that if the fruit was eaten, Eve would be “just like God, knowing everything.” Boom. Self-exaltation. She couldn’t resist. Adam went right along with it too.

In Genesis 11, it is clear that mankind did not learn from these previous actions. They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let’s make ourselves famous.” Once again, they were trying to exalt themselves. They wanted to be famous. They wanted to be great. They thought they could just go to Heaven.

Today we still try to get some of the glory that is never ours. Glory is to God and Him alone. He deserves all honor, glory and praise. Not us. But everywhere we look, we see someone patting themselves on the back. We see athletes showboating. We see people pretending that they have achieved something great and worthy of praise. The reality may be hard to swallow—anything we accomplish is nothing in comparison to the glory of God. He is above all. He is the beginning and the end. No one can steal His glory. Let us remember to give Him all the glory. Let us remember that everything we do should be for the glory of God.


I have been reading The Message 100: The Story of God in Sequence by Eugene Peterson. I am grateful for the opportunity to review this new release from NavPress. I received this Bible free for review thanks to Tyndale House Publishers. I have read The Message (NavPress) twice and I have read the NLT Chronological Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale) as well, so I was eager to dig into the Message 100 to read this new version.

I am enjoying the chronological layout with the trusted paraphrase from Eugene Peterson. Reading in this order allows for a deeper understanding of the Bible, but written at a level that builds bridges for any reading level. It is a pure pleasure being able to sit and read God’s Word in the evening. During a recent message I preached, I recommended this new Bible, because I know that the Message paraphrase is a great translation to read along with a daily reading Bible. I always recommend having a few different translations to read for a deeper understanding. A chronological Bible is a blessing because it helps the reader to see things in an order that is not easy to understand when not in sequence.

The Message can be understood by any type of reader. This new Bible displays the verse numbers so you can look to your daily reading Bible for further study. As well, there is a guide to show where the books can be found as the order is chronological. The 100 readings are designed for a great progression through the books, without any loss to the message of the Gospel. The Bible allows for anyone to encounter Jesus and be moved by how He reveals Himself to us through His Word. There is plenty of room to write in the margins of this Bible as the Spirit leads.

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What is Truth

Matthew 27 / Mark 15 / Luke 23 / John 18-19

 Pontius Pilate – Roman Governor –Procurator.

  • He was in charge of appointing the high priest and controlling the Temple and funds.
  • He had full control of the province.
  • He had full powers of life and death as he could reverse capital sentences passed by Sanhedrin.
  • He had a bad reputation with Jews and Samaritans.
  • He was guilty of slander, robbery, violence and murder – and at least twice was called to account by the Roman imperial authority.
  • Because people threatened Pilate, that they would inform the emperor that Pilate hadn’t eliminated a rebel against Rome, Pilate went against what he knew was right. He didn’t do the right thing.
  • He was later removed from his office for unnecessary and brutal treatment of his subjects.
  • Pagan historians only mention Pilate when mentioning his authorization of the death of Jesus (Tacitus).
  • Historians documented that Pilate was forced to commit suicide during reign of Gaius (AD 37-41).

 1) DISCOVER THE TRUTH – What is Truth?

Jesus told Pilate, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” John 18:37 (NIV). The question that Pilate and many others have asked is “what is truth?” (v. 38 NIV). The Bible mentions the word “truth” over two hundred times. God revealed truth to us through Jesus. Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is “the way and the truth and the life” (NIV).

I believe absolute truth is God’s truth. The Bible is God’s Word and God’s Word is Truth. The Bible says that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), which therefore means that He speaks only what is true. The Psalmist writes “Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth” (Psalm 86:11a NLT). God is the source of all truth. I believe Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” and I believe that Jesus is infinite, living Truth.

When we read the garden scene in Genesis 3, it is quite clear that God presents absolute truth with regard to this tree of knowledge of good and evil to Adam and Eve. Satan challenges God’s truth, and deceives Adam and Eve into questioning what God says as well. Even today, Satan attempts to get us to challenge God’s Truth, to ask “did God really say” when we encounter His Truth. God’s Truth does not change; though we may attempt to misrepresent or skew His Truth, it still remains as Truth, as absolute reality. We can choose to accept His Truth and live by it, or to deny it and live as a fool, lost and wandering in search for another alternative which just is not there.

Some people believe that there is truth and it can be found through science and logic. Anything claimed of God that has no scientific or logically basis is not seen as being true. Other people reject the idea of absolute truth and believe that what may be true for one person is not necessarily what is true for another person. Truth is what we make it to be and we each will find our own truth. That means one person can claim God to be God and that is seen as Truth for that person. Another person may claim that there are three gods and that is truth for that particular person.

Many people will spend their lives asking the same question as Pilate, and will never get the true answer because they are seeking for answers in the wrong place. I cling to the promise found in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (NIV). Only through a relationship with God, as a result of Christ’s redemption and the working of the Holy Spirit are we able to understand Truth. If only Pilate realized that he was speaking to the Truth, he would have seen the answer was right before him.

Truth is God’s Truth

Jesus is God’s Truth – John 1 says Jesus is full of grace and TRUTH.

God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17) – We find truth when we read & study the Bible. We need the belt of Truth in place (Ephesians 6:14)

We are to correctly handle/explain God’s Truth (2 Timothy 2:15)

To be a disciple of Christ, you must continue in His Word and you will KNOW the truth and the truth will SET YOU FREE. (John 8:32)

 Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true. – John 18:37 [NLT]

Every child of God knows the truth as Jesus, and is on the side of truth, and stands by it.

Pilate avoided the truth:

  1. Tried to get out of the situation?                             Sent Jesus to Herod (Luke 23:6-17)
  2. Tried to get someone to side with him?
  3. Tried to put responsibility on someone else – Told Jews “judge by your own law” – a mockery (John 18:31)
  4. Tried to escape – offer to release “criminal” (John 18:39)
  5. Tried to washed his hands – though it didn’t cancel guilt (Matthew 27:24)
  6. Tried to compromise – Had Jesus flogged (John 19:1-3)
  7. Tried to appeal to sympathy – Shall I kill your King? (John 19:15)

All this despite Pilate never having doubt of Jesus’ innocence – 3 x’s said NOT GUILTY!

2) DOING THE RIGHT THING EVEN WHEN IT COSTS EVERYTHING

When you know the Truth – then you must make a choice – what will you do with the Truth?

James 1:23-24 speaks about person who stares in the mirror and walks away, forgetting what he looks like. The mirror becomes useless after you walk away from it. James was saying that if we simply hear the word but don’t act, it’s useless just like the mirror.

St. Augustine said, “Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it.”

Right choice could mean

          Social Rejection / Career Loss / Public Ridicule

“Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live according to your truth” (Psalm 86:11a NLT).

Here’s my heart, Lord

Speak what is true

Here’s my life, Lord

Speak what is true

Spider Versus Ninja Warrior

This time of year the mornings are a bit darker. I make note of the spiders beginning webs on my evening walk with the dogs. My hope is to duck each web on the morning walk. I cannot stand the feeling that follows when you walk through a spider web. Instantly you become a ninja warrior, arms flailing in all directions trying to remove the sticky, gross web. Then you feel like something has to be crawling on you somewhere so you continue to move your hands and arms to search. Minutes later you are still feeling on edge. What if there is a spider on me? Do you see a spider on me?

Some mornings I underestimate the spider. I think by ducking a certain amount or by moving in a certain direction that I will miss the web. That spider won’t get me. But I am wrong. The spider’s web was bigger than imagined. Then the “definitely not a black belt” part of me takes action. Sadly, we also many times underestimate the devil. Flailing arms do no good when that happens.

In Genesis, we are told that the serpent was “MORE CRAFTY than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made” (3:1 ESV). Now if the devil is more crafty than all others, it is therefore important that we protect ourselves and put on our full armor of God. We cannot duck and dodge. We need to be armored up—protected with each piece of armor. One piece won’t work. A few pieces won’t cover us. We need to be fully armored. Today, armor up. Tomorrow, armor up. Each day, armor up.

“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.  Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” – Ephesians 6:10-18 [MSG]

Garments of Mercy

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They went against what the Lord commanded. They were deceived by the serpent and sin entered the world. Things were no longer the same. The serpent, who was “more crafty than any other,” got the couple to question, “Did God really say?” Suddenly they realized their nakedness and hid from the Lord.

With sin comes punishment. The Lord punished man, woman and the serpent. As we continue reading though, the Bible says that God made clothing for Adam and Eve. Despite what they had done, despite how they had disobeyed, God had mercy for them.

God is rich mercy. Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (2:4-7 ESV). He made garments of mercy for Adam and Eve long ago, and He continued to pour out His mercy by wrapping us in garments of mercy through Christ Jesus.

“And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” – Genesis 3:21 [ESV]

Bad Additions

When it comes to adding to the word of God, any addition is a bad addition. In Proverbs 30, it states, “Don’t add to His words, or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar” (v. 6 HCSB). In Revelation 22:19, Jesus even says that if you take away from the Word, you will lose your portion of the tree of life. The bottom line is the Word of God is just that—the Word of God.

This means that we accept His Word as Truth and we submit to its original intent. We don’t try to make it mean something else because we like another meaning. Paul states that we should not think beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). From the very beginning we were adding to God’s words and disillusioning ourselves with lies. When the serpent was speaking with Eve, she added to what God said about the tree of life, stating that it couldn’t be touched.

Be very careful when you read God’s Word, that you treat it as that—God’s Word. Don’t try to make it your word. Don’t try to only see what you think it says to you. Love it. Study it. Embrace it. Live by it. Ask God what He means. The Word is alive and active. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And if you don’t understand something, seek some wise assistance but never say what you think God meant if you have no basis for it. Too many people think they know what God thinks when the truth is no one knows.

 

“But God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” – Genesis 3:3 [ESV]

The Blame Game

It is very clear that many people today have a problem with accepting blame for their actions. When they make a mistake, they try to cover it up. When they get caught in a lie, they lie some more. When someone is found out, the person tries to pin the blame on someone else. There is a lot of pointing fingers and a lack of integrity in this world.

This was an issue with my kids when they were younger and I’m sure that my sister and I did the same thing when we were young. Rather than accept the consequences, the blame is passed to someone else. I am not sure if it is a fear of punishment or something altogether different, but it happens. It actually has been happening since the very beginning. In Genesis 3, during the Fall, when God speaks with Adam regarding the apple, he points to Eve. When Eve responds to God, she points to the serpent.

If you don’t accept the blame when you are at fault, you become disillusioned. You begin to point to everyone else as the problem when you face consequences for your actions. You never can learn and grow from your mistakes and missteps when you do this, but instead, you will grow bitterness and anger because you think the world is out to get you. To be one of integrity, own up to your mistakes and learn from them. You will make mistakes. You will mess up. Accept this along with the consequences. God has so much more for you. Yes you will be corrected. Yes you will be rebuked. Yes you may pay a price for what you have done. But owning up to something and taking responsibility is important. Don’t play the blame game.

“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’  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 3:12-13 [ESV]

Dressed by God

I speak a lot about the Armor of God and about being clothed in righteousness. We are able to put on this armor and to be clothed in this righteousness only through God’s grace, only through the blood of Christ. From the very beginning, God made sure we were able to be dressed by Him.

When Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, defying the Word of God, they found themselves naked and ashamed. They hid themselves from God. Even before sin entered the world, God had a plan in place. He knew what was going to happen and He prepared a way. Redemption was always on His mind. YOU were always on His mind. His compassion we see as He dressed Adam and Eve with leather clothing He made so that they would no longer feel ashamed.

You don’t have to feel ashamed either. God has made a way for you—His name is Jesus Christ. If you believe in Him and accept His redemptive work on the Cross, it is by His blood that you are cleaned. You are redeemed. No longer should you feel ashamed. If you are still feeling ashamed, you have not given it all to God. Give it all to Him. Allow God to dress you. You have been redeemed. You have been bought with a price. Don’t forget that YOU have been dressed by God.

“God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them.” – Genesis 3:21 [MSG]

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The Same Dirt

God made man from the dirt. It is something that we do not consider very often. We read about it in Genesis and we might hear during a funeral service that to dust we shall return. I think it is fair to say that most people do not consider these facts on a day-to-day basis but it is important to recognize both.

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, they were both tossed out and today’s passage says they were then left “to work the ground, the SAME DIRT out of which they’d been made.” It was not God’s intention. God walked with Adam and Eve. They had a special relationship, a beautiful relationship. This relationship was broken when sin entered the world. By God’s grace we are able to have that relationship restored.

Today consider this same dirt—but more importantly—consider the grace of God. He may command us to work the dirt from which we come but then one day we return home. We do not need return to the same dirt forever. He has something more for us—eternal life with Him.

“So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.”

– Genesis 3:23-24 [MSG]

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The Answer was right in front of Pilate

Jesus told Pilate, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” (John 18:37 NIV). The question that Pilate and many others have asked is “what is truth?” (v. 38 NIV). The Bible mentions the word “truth” over two hundred times. God revealed truth to us through Jesus. Jesus says in John 14:6 that He is “the way and the truth and the life” (NIV).

When we read the garden scene in Genesis 3, it is quite clear that God presents absolute truth with regard to this tree of knowledge of good and evil to Adam and Eve. Satan challenges God’s truth, and deceives Adam and Eve into questioning what God says as well. Even today, Satan attempts to get us to challenge God’s Truth, to ask “did God really say” when we encounter His Truth. God’s Truth does not change; though we may attempt to misrepresent or skew His Truth, it still remains as Truth, as absolute reality. We can choose to accept His Truth and live by it, or to deny it and live as a fool, lost and wandering in search for another alternative which just is not there.

Many people will spend their lives asking the same question as Pilate, and will never get the true answer because they are seeking for answers in the wrong place. I cling to the promise found in John 16:13, “But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (NIV). Only through a relationship with God, as a result of Christ’s redemption and the working of the Holy Spirit are we able to understand Truth. If only Pilate realized that he was speaking to the Truth, he would have seen the answer was right before him.