Beautiful Brokenness (Genesis 3)

Beautiful Brokenness, Gen 3 (May 15 2011)

¨      Our first week of moving in to 1BR apt in TN about 500sqft. There was a Kitchen/DineRoom/LiveRoom/Foyer; and there was a Bedroom/Bathroom. Close living quarters made for close contact, no escape and even more few items – yet bathroom was filled with stuff, woman stuff! Shampoos, Conditioners, body washes, lotions, fruity fragrances, items I knew and items I didn’t!

  • Marriage is more than a wedding and an extended date; it’s a full length mirror revealing all the good and all the bad!
  • Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriagewrites:
    • “One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse. Had there been a card attached, it would have said ‘Here’s to helping you discover what you’re really like!”[1]
  • “Husbands, you are married to a fallen woman in a broken world. Wives, you are married to a sinful man in a sinful world. It is guaranteed that your spouse will sin against you, disappoint you, and have physical limitations that will frustrate and sadden you. He may come home with the best intentions and still lose his temper. She may have all of the desire but none of the energy. This is a fallen world… You will never find a spouse who is not affected in some way by the reality of the Fall.” (p. 69)

¨        So far in Genesis 1-2 we see a good, even very good creation inclusive of man, woman and marriage. They are equal complementary partners made for the good of each other (uniquely shaped for unity “one flesh”) and the glory of God.

  • Naked and unashamed – perfect intimacy with each other and God… until Genesis 3

EXAMINE

Genesis 3 describes “The Fall” of humanity and how mankind has never been the same since. God’s idea for marriage and family life was perfect peace and harmony between himself and his people. However, the freedom of human choice altered those plans. Adam & Eve lost their innocence as we all did in one single act. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). People often fail to realize the power & consequences of their actions, even in the little things. We must see the eternal importance of our decisions. We must also see the God’s promise of forgiveness for when we fall.

3 Consequences of the Fall (and how to avoid them):

We are broken from doubt of God’s plan (3:1-6).

A serpent is introduced. He is cunning and deceitful. The serpent is also known in Scripture as the Devil, Satan (Revelation 12:9, 20:2). Another Scripture in Ezekiel 28 provides a characterization of him:

“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every kind of precious stone covered you: carnelian, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and emerald. Your mountings and settings were crafted in gold; they were prepared on the day you were created. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub, for I had appointed you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15 From the day you were created you were blameless in your ways until wickedness was found in you. 16 Through the abundance of your trade, you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I expelled you in disgrace from the mountain of God, and banished you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. 17 Your heart became proud because of your beauty; For the sake of your splendor you corrupted your wisdom. So I threw you down to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. 18 You profaned your sanctuaries by the magnitude of your iniquities in your dishonest trade. So I sent out fire from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of everyone watching you.” Ezek 28:12-18

Originally created to beautify God but did so for self, he became an adversary. He is not appalling but attractive (2Cor 11:14 “angel of light”). He approaches this married couple in like manner to bring doubt about God, promising to please failing to fulfill.

–         Satan challenges God’s charge by approaching Eve. God charged Adam with the role and responsibility to carry out God’s commands (Genesis 2:15-16; 3:9). Yet, Satan goes to Eve to counter God.

  • Eve wasn’t alone. Adam was “with her” (3:6) but apathetically silent, sinning by omission as Eve’s commission.

–         Satan changes God’s commands by altering words. God said they could eat from every tree of the garden except one. Yet, Satan alters the wording every so slightly, “Did God actually say you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”. The idea was to identify God as restrictive rather than the display of God’s character in Genesis 1-2 as good and giving.

  • Eve similarly begins to change God’s words by adding to them – “neither shall you touch it” (3:3)

–         Satan contradicts God’s consequences avoiding punishment. God said when they eat of the one tree they would surely die. Yet, Satan challenges the certainty of consequential punishment.

  • God (nor Satan) isn’t responsible for human sin. Eve/Adam seduced by lie and succumbed to temptation of own desire.
  • James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown brings forth death.”
    • Satan’s lies are clothed in our own selfish desires.
    • The tree of knowledge of good & evil was in the middle of the garden. Likewise, most temptation to sin is planted in the middle of our lives. We know what is sinful and righteous, this is God’s common grace of morality and conviction.

ð      Foundational Question: Do you believe God is good, giving freedom and life or do you believe the lie that God is unkind, unfair and life is better without Him?

Example lies today are   

–         Greed says “God is unfair”. Personal rights fulfilled at any cost; lying, cheating, manipulation, inconsiderate of others

–         Pleasure says “God is unbeautiful”. Fulfillment and satisfaction in things, people, etc. Job, Sex, Drugs, Alcohol make happiness. That’s why addicts, people abusers all have repeating patterns – it’s not behavior but beliefs that make change.

–         Spirituality says “God is me”. I can achieve and earn divinity, righteousness and heaven in works.

Turning from lies to truth

ð      James 1:16-17 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will be brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

ð      Psalm 16, 119

We are broken from distance of God’s relationships (3:7-13).

After Adam & Eve sinned their immediate response was shame and separation. They covered their shame by sewing fig leaves together for loincloths, and they experienced separation from each other and with God by hiding. The one flesh intimacy they shared would turn to conflict and blame shifting. Even more, God’s presence became distant; not because of Him as He still pursues but because of their own choosing as they sinned and hid.

The issues of this marriage relationship were not “incompatibility” or “irreconcilable differences” but infringement against a holy God. Every relationship problem can be summed up into one word: sin. Sin is a realization of what is not. God intended beauty, perfection and goodness yet mankind chose all of that from the wrong source – themselves, which in turn was the first sin. The middle of the word is the root of the problem – “ I “. You and I have rejected God and ever since we look at the world and say, “it’s not supposed to be this way.”[2] Creation and humanity has deep and profound lostness, darkness, hostility, violence, hurt, pain and even death. Everything is broken and waiting to be made right (Romans 8:18-24).

–         Sin is broken relationship with God.

  • God pursues Adam “Where are you?”
  • John MacArthur writes, “So he hides among the trees of the garden. Trees given for his joy now hide his sadness; the trees a source of life to him, are now hiding him from death. How ironic. It is God’s garden. How can fallen man hide from God in God’s own garden? Well, for that matter, how can fallen man hide from God in God’s own universe?”

–         Sin is broken relationship with each other.

  • Adam blames God “The woman YOU GAVE me”
  • Adam blames Eve “The woman…she gave me fruit and I ate”
  • Eve blames Serpent {i.e. “It’s not my fault. I’m just a result of my environment.}

 

ð      Find wholeness by confessing truth not concealing (hiding).

  • What ‘fig leaves’ are you hiding behind?             Busyness, Expensive cars/houses, Pills/Bottles, Superficiality…
  • Failing to accept responsibility for sin leads to relational separation with God and others.
    “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins and he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

 

We are broken from division of God’s life (3:14-24).

God could not let Adam & Eve’s sin go unpunished. He promised they would die (2:17); and the curse of death was introduced in Genesis 3. Man became separated from the life God desired for them in the Garden of Eden. Rather than experience the ideal life, they would experience pain, strife and eventually death.

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

–         Ecological Consequence: Serpent’s curse among all animals, decay and death among animals.

–         Biological Consequence: Women’s pain in childbirth – producing a worshiping community now will be difficult (Gen 1:28)

–         Sociological Consequence: Gender conflict – desire for competing (ruling) rather than complementing; Man’s pain in work – gardens will need difficult gardening, work is sweatingly difficult.

–         Physiological Consequence: Physical death (“for you are dust and to dust you shall return” 3:19)

–         Spiritual Consequence: hidden from God (“therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden” 3:23)

–         Psychological Consequence: Emotional shame, guilt now requires garments of skin and clothing

–         Epistemological Consequence: Knowledge of life/truth no longer plain sight but needs revealed (1Cor 2:10-16; 2Cor 4:3-4)

APPLY/THINK

In concluding this passage draw your attention to beauty in brokenness. God promises to redeem and reconcile His creation and humanity through a promise:

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring/seed and her offspring/seed; he [her offspring] shall bruise your [Satan] head, and you [Satan] shall bruise his [her offspring] heel.”

 

Theologians calls this the “protoevangelium” (beginning gospel). It is a clear hint and promise about Jesus Christ and His crushing, victorious blow to Satan from the cross and resurrection.

–         “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:18-19)”

–         “Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life!” Romans 5:18 (MSG)

–         Tree of life is restored (Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-5)

Revelation 21:1-4 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

 

Revelation 22:1-5 1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.


[1] Gary and Betsy Ricucci, quote found in Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, p.89.

[2] See further Cornelius Plantinga Jr., “Sin: Not The Way It’s Supposed To Be”.

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