And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? — Genesis 3:9
Some time ago my husband and I decided to travel to Ontario, Oregon, to visit my nephew. We had never been in that part of the state before, so I sat down at our home computer and pulled up driving directions. The starting point in mapping out our trip was to fill in our home address. Then I inserted my nephew’s address in the destination field and clicked on the button marked “Get Directions.” Within seconds, I had a clearly defined route, along with the information that our trip would take us five hours and fifty-six minutes, and that we would be driving 367.99 miles.
While the ease of plotting a trip electronically intrigues me, I realize that ancient and modern travelers alike have used inventions to assist them in their travel planning. Such inventions include maps, compasses, sextants, and global positioning systems (GPS). With any and all of these devices, our starting location is critical in determining direction or a course of action. Even if we have a destination in mind, until we know our starting point, we cannot determine the way to get there.
This is also true in spiritual matters. In our focus verse, God asked Adam a question (to which He already had the answer) so that Adam would consider his spiritual location. After his admission of being fearful and hiding, God asked other questions. All were aimed at helping Adam know where he was spiritually.
Like Adam, we also need to determine our location in relation to God. While we may know that we want Heaven to be our final destination, determining how to get there must begin with a starting point. God has given us the Bible as a map, compass, and spiritual positioning system. Once we understand our spiritual location, we are in a position to receive directions toward an eternity in Heaven with Him.
Those who realize they are lost and separated from God can be “found” through salvation because God’s offer to cover sins with the shed Blood of Jesus is made to all. God is also willing and eager to direct believers who long to walk closer to Him in their journey of faith. After salvation, He offers sanctification and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Day by day, He is near, ready to give His people direction.
Where are we today in our spiritual journey? If there is uncertainty in our hearts about how to answer that question, God will help us pinpoint the answer. While He likely will not give us specific information about how long our trip will take or how many “miles” we will need to cover, He is more than willing to give us very clear instructions about how to reach our spiritual goal. We can look to Him to help us establish our spiritual location, and then purpose to follow His directions until we reach it!
Today’s portion of text describes the Fall of Man, as the beauty of the Creation account related in the first two chapters of Genesis was marred by disobedience, guilt, punishment, and eventually, physical and spiritual death.
The chapter begins with an account of how Satan, in the form of a serpent, beguiled Eve. Note that the woman was tempted from without, by the devil’s insinuation, rather than from within. Satan preyed upon her natural, God-given desires (physical hunger, appeal of beauty, desire for knowledge) which were pure desires as long as they were governed by subjection to God. By sowing doubt as to the truth of God’s words and maligning His character and motives, Satan deceived the woman and she disobeyed God. Her husband chose to do likewise.
Sin brought shame, fear, and guilt. Up to that moment, Adam and Eve had experienced intimacy with God and had only known good. While given free choice regarding their actions, humankind did not originally possess a sinful nature. Adam and Eve’s disobedience introduced sin, resulting in immediate spiritual separation from their Creator — an event that theologians refer to as the “Fall of Man.” After choosing to disobey God, the inherent nature of human beings changed from holy to carnal, and this sinful nature (also referred to as the “carnal nature,” the “Adamic nature,” or the “root of sin”) was passed on to all successive generations.
Verses 14-19 detail the response of God, relating the punishments that were meted out to the serpent, the woman, and the man, along with the impact on all of creation. Verse 15 is the first Messianic prophecy in the Bible — the initial glimmer of the hope of restoration offered by a loving and merciful Creator. “The seed of the woman” is a reference to Jesus Christ, who would ultimately “bruise” Satan’s head. The Hebrew word translated bruise actually means “to grind, crush, and destroy.” Thus, the Son of God would deliver a death-blow to Satan by providing a plan of salvation for all of humanity that would destroy the works of the devil. However, in so doing, the Son of God would suffer a “bruised heel” at Calvary. Commentators point out that a bruise on the heel does not bring death, but a crushing blow on the head does.
The final verses of the chapter outline the expulsion of man from the Garden. In this segment, Adam named his companion “Eve” (which means “life”), seemingly as an indication of his faith in God’s promise that she would continue to live physically, and that from her would come posterity that would include a Savior. God gave Adam and Eve clothing made from skins. The fact that innocent animals had to be slain to cover them may have been an introduction to the concept of animal sacrifice, although the text does not specifically say this. Likewise, it is considered by theologians to be a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The early history of the human race
B. The fall of man (3:1-24)
1. The temptation in the garden (3:1-5)
2. The results of the temptation (3:6-13)
a. Disobedience (3:6)
b. Shame (3:7)
c. Fear (3:8-10)
d. Evasion of responsibility (3:11-13)
3. The judgment of God (3:14-19)
a. On the serpent (3:14-15)
b. On the woman (3:16)
c. On the man (3:17-19)
4. The grace of God (3:20-24)
a. The naming of Eve (3:20)
b. The coverings of skin (3:21)
c. The separation from the garden (3:22-24)
As we acknowledge our need, God is faithful to give us spiritual direction.