15 Feb Why is The World so Broken? Genesis 3:1-24
– So the question we’re dealing with today, is why is the world so broken? And it totally, completely is. If we learned anything the last two years, it’s, number one, that the world is more interconnected and smaller than we anticipated, and everything is just broken. And it doesn’t matter what we do, it doesn’t get any better. And so, as we deal with this painful reality, we come to Genesis 3. The Bible is the most important book ever written. Genesis 3 is one of its most significant chapters. And as we look at the world and the brokenness, what happens is, people have one of three responses. There is the hopeful optimist. You people are adorable. We find you cute. You’re like, oh, it’s gonna be awesome, just wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait here. Six feet, jab, mask, election, it’s all gonna be better. No, it’s not. And its not, it’s not any better. Then there’s the hopeless pessimistic. “It’s terrible, it’s awful. We’re all gonna die. Tell your kids. There’s no hope.” And you are the depressed, kind of angry, frustrated people, you’re like, “It’s just terrible and getting worse.” And then there is a third option, that’s the Christian way. And that is, as we get into Genesis 3, that we broke the world and so there’s not hope in the world, but there’s hope for the world, for the God who rules over the world can fix the mess that we’ve made. And we looked in Genesis 1 and 2, and God said, everything that he made was good and everyone that he made was very good. And now we’re on page 3. It only took us 3 pages to ruin everything. Good job. But now the good news is, once we know the problem then we can figure out the solution. Once we realize that we are the problem, we realize that we cannot be the solution. In Genesis 1 and 2, God made it very simple. He said, okay, here’s two trees, life, death, pick one. Which one did we pick? Death. We look at Adam and Eve, we’re like, you’re so stupid. Why would you do that? We do the same thing every single day. Every day God says, obey in life, disobey in death. And were like, “I’ll take the death.” And we do this all the time. And the question is, is there any hope for us? Yes, there is hope for us. But ultimately, if we are the problem, we need him to come down to be the solution. And that sets the stage for Genesis 3. So the scene is this, it’s in a garden in Eden. So God made everything good, made everyone very good. Adam and Eve are perfect. They just got married. They’re still on their honeymoon. And they blow everything. And ultimately they’re gonna meet with God. And then Satan shows up and an angel is there. And this is the connecting point between heaven and earth, the seen and the unseen realm, which you’re gonna see in a moment, explains why Eve doesn’t freak out when there’s a talking dragon. Most women would be like, “Talking dragon.” She’s like, “Howdy.” So it’s just because this is a normal place where the unseen and the seen realms, heaven and earth come together. All right, that being said, hell comes to earth. Genesis 3:1-5. “Now the serpent”, that is Satan in other scriptures, “was more crafty” He went to college. He’s got a degree in marketing. He’s got a PR firm. He understands social media platforms, search engine optimization, click bait and keywords. He’s probably throttling me right now. “than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.” So he’s gonna go have a conversation with the woman. “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” Well, that’s not exactly what God said. “And the woman said to the serpent,” Ladies, did she have to have this conversation? No. No. Just walk away. And if you’re single, the dragon has sons. You don’t need to talk to them, just walk away. “And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it.’ That’s not what he said. ‘lest you die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.'” God’s lying to you. “‘for God knows when you eat of it your eyes will be opened. You’ll be woke and you will be like, God.'” Slip it in there. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So all of a sudden there’s Adam and Eve and God and then Satan shows up. You need to know that your relationship with God includes God’s enemy and your enemy. Satan shows up. And here, we learn earlier in the Bible, or I should say later in the Bible in Revelation 12, that Satan was an angel. He was a created being. He was prideful, not humble. He wanted to rule, not be ruled over. He wanted to be independent of God, not dependent on God. So he declared war on God. And some of the angels joined him. They lost that war. They were cast down to the earth. And here they continue their recruiting. They’re trying to recruit men and women to join them in their rebellion against God. That’s exactly what is happening. That being said, the reason that he is referred to here as a serpent or a dragon is that there is the unseen and the seen realm. And in the seen realm, in the physical world, we have dangerous, deadly beasts and the same is true in the spiritual world of the unseen. And so sometimes God will use the language of what we know in the natural to explain that which we may not know in the supernatural. So Satan is called a serpent, a dragon, and a lion. Demons who are with him throughout scripture are called pythons, goats, ostriches, bulls, hyenas, birds, scorpions. And evil people who work with Satan by demonic power are called vipers, serpents, goats, cows, dogs, wolves, leeches, donkeys, and evil beasts. And so all of a sudden here comes chaos into order. Here comes rebellion into creation. And Satan’s attack begins on our identity. And the key is this, once you know who you are, you know what to do. Once you forget who you are, you forget what to do. This is why there is always a debate over how to identify ourselves, and this leads to something today called identity politics. And it is how do we define ourselves? How do we understand ourselves? We are defined not by our achievement, but rather by God’s declaration that he made us male and female in his image and likeness. That’s our identity. Male and female made in the image and likeness of God. Our identity is not achieved, it is received. It’s not something that we create. It’s something that God created us for. And the big idea is this, you don’t know who you are unless you’re dependent on God. The two most important things that we learn, is first and foremost, who God is. And the second is, who we are. Our identity is in relation to God. What Satan is saying here, is you need to be independent of God to really have true freedom and to understand who you are. And we tend to think of freedom as freedom from, and it’s not. Freedom is freedom to. Freedom is not living independent of God, freedom is living dependent on God. There is no freedom apart from God. There is no right living or understanding of the human being apart from God. That’s why Jesus says, that he has come to set us free. And when the Son sets you free, you’re free indeed. You’re free from living independent of God, free to living dependent on God. Satan does the opposite. He says, if you want true freedom, live independent of God. That’s not freedom, that’s death. And he attacks their identity. And what he says is, first and foremost, God is not that good. He’s restricting your full potential. You can’t evolve and achieve all that you could be. He’s restricting and limiting you. In addition, not only is God not that good, you’re not that bad. And if you will live independent of God and rebellious against God, you will be like God. Well, God already told them that he made them in his image and likeness. God said, I made you in my likeness. And Satan promises something that he can’t deliver because he is a liar. And the big idea is this, who is God, who are you? The attack always starts in those two places. And then Satan uses the Word of God to seek to undermine the truth of God. The Bible says that this is in fact a sword and it’s used for battle and slaying dragons. And there are 3 ways here that we see that Satan will misuse, twist, manipulate, abuse the Word of God. There is addition, subtraction, and rejection. The subtraction is where it begins. God told them they could eat what trees in the garden? All of them, except for one. This is like a parent taking a kid into the kitchen, saying, okay, here’s the fridge, you can eat all of this. Here’s the pantry, you can eat all of that. They’re the cupboards, eat whatever you like. That’s the sink, underneath there’s a bottle, it says bleach on it. That’s not to be consumed. God said, everything except for one thing. Satan comes along and he says, you know what? He’s restricting you. He’s saying no. He’s forbidding you. He is keeping from you something that is going to be good for you. And the truth is, it’s going to kill you. No one ever sinned against God and improved their condition. And ultimately he subtracts, Satan does, all of the provision that God provides. And he says, well, did God say you can’t eat of any tree? No, no, no. In fact, God said every tree except for one. So what he does, he edits God’s Word. He subtracts from God’s Word. This still happens. Thomas Jefferson did this when he was our president. He took the New Testament and a razorblade. He sat down at the Oval Office at the White House and he cut everything out of the New Testament that he felt shouldn’t be there. He ended up with something called “The Philosophy of Jesus Christ”. We still do this. There are times that we come to the scripture, “I don’t like what that says.” “I don’t believe that.” “I don’t believe that’s right.” And let me tell you, I think it’s fine to teach subjects, but I tend to go through books of the Bible ’cause it forces us to deal with everything that God said and not skip anything. Otherwise, like, “Oh, they’re gonna get offended.” “They’re gonna get upset.” “They’re gonna get, they’re gonna get…” You know what? Ultimately, his Word is his authority. It’s good for his people. It comes with his power and it unleashes his newness of life. And so Satan has subtraction and then Eve has addition. God said, don’t eat of any tree, and Eve adds, and don’t touch it. God didn’t say that. She’s adding to it. We add to God’s Word, sometimes formally, with other religions. Cults like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons will say, well, you can have the Bible, we got some other books we wanna put over it. That’s adding to it. This can be religious tradition. This could be your cultural heritage. This can be your preferences. And ultimately, it says in Proverbs 35 and 36, that the Word of God is flawless and proves true. It says, don’t add to his word or he’ll rebuke you and prove you to be a liar. The point is this, we don’t take anything out of God’s Word, we don’t add anything to God’s Word. So ultimately, the third play here by Satan is, he just rejects God’s Word. He says, you know what, God told you that if you sin against him you’ll die. You won’t. You’ll evolve to a higher level of consciousness. Your eyes will be opened. You will be woke. You’ll be awakened to the restrictions and the limitations that God has placed on you. And then you’ll be like, God. You won’t need God. You’ll be your own God. You won’t need to be dependent. You’ll be independent. You won’t need to be under authority. You’ll be your own authority. We call this self-esteem, self-love, self-actualization, and it’s self deception. The timing here, Satan doesn’t even show up until after the wedding and the honeymoon. If you were here last week, Genesis 2, it’s pretty awesome. They’re both naked. They get married. They consummate their covenant. And it’s sunny out. That’s a great day. Like in Scottsdale, that’s what we’re all shooting for everyday right there. Naked, sunny day. Everything’s perfect. Now, Satan didn’t even show up until, notice the timing, before or after the wedding? After. Here’s the big idea, after the wedding comes the war. Some of you are single. You think you’re struggling . “Oh, it’s so hard being single. I’m just so tempted. I feel like the enemy’s tempting me. I just can’t wait till I’m married and then… Oh gosh, it would be so much better.” On your registry you should put a helmet and a cup and a mouthpiece, ’cause it’s coming. Satan doesn’t even show up until you’re married. How many of you are married and you’re like…? See, one brave woman said, oh yeah. Her husband didn’t, ’cause he’s a wise man. He’s like, well, I was thinking it, but I wasn’t gonna say anything. And here’s the big idea, Satan hates love, and relationship, and unity, and family, and legacy. And so he waits until there’s a covenant and then he attacks it. And he wants to destroy marriage. He always is attacking married couples. And I’ll tell you this, Grace and I, this year, we will celebrate 30 years of faithful marriage. I love Grace with all my heart. I do. But I will tell you this, your spouse is not your enemy, but you and your spouse have an enemy. And he wants you to think that your spouse is your enemy. They’re not. They’re not. They are your beloved and with them, you need to stand against your enemy. Well, Satan shows up. After the wedding comes the war. And then we read of the fall of it all in Genesis 3:6-9. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” We don’t know if it was an apple. Everybody says apple. I don’t know why, apple. It’s probably the apple marketing people. “And she also gave some to her husband who was” A Gentlemen? What was he doing? Nothing. Okay. Let’s talk about that in a minute. “and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew there were naked.” That’s the Texas standard translation. Naked. “And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord, God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” God comes to have a walk with them. This is where they did that regularly. “and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to” Oh, that’s curious. The man or the woman? Oh, we’ll talk about that too. “and said to him,” First question in human history: “where are you?” This is the beginning of temptation. Temptation is spoken of categorically in 1 John 2:16, as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. Here, all three happened. The lust of the flesh: it would taste good, it would be comforting, it would feel good, the body would enjoy that. Lust of the eyes: looks good to me. And the boastful pride of life: this will make me wise. This will improve me. This will give me strategic advantage. You and I are still tempted in those ways. It feels good, it looks good, it tells me it’ll be good. All of which is deception. And now Eve partakes. Now Paul comments on this in 2 Timothy 2:13 and 14. And he says, that though Adam and Eve gave into the temptation, externally, what they were doing was sinful but internally, their processing was a little unique. I’ll read it to you. It says, “And Adam was formed first” And here Paul’s argument is for leadership. That Adam was formed first, he was to be in first position leading his family. And then it goes on to say, “then Eve,” And here’s the deal. Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived. The point is this, Adam saw what was happening and he knew what was happening. And he just decided, you know what? I’m just gonna let this play out. I’m not gonna say anything, not gonna do anything. I know what’s happening and I’m gonna let that happen. And then Eve, it says, she was deceived. Paul says this on another occasion regarding Eve. This’ll be offensive. Ladies, she thought she was helping. Oftentimes, when there is a passive, weak, cowardly man, the woman thinks, well, I’m supposed to be a helper, so I will help. She thought she was helping. It wasn’t malicious. She was wrong. But her intentions were much better than her actions. And let me say this. Ultimately, it was his passivity that caused her to try and fill a gap. Well, he’s not saying anything, I’ll say something. He’s not doing anything, so I’ll do something. Well, we have a crisis and I can’t just wait for him to get activated ’cause he just doesn’t say or do anything so I need to say or do something. And she means well, but she does not do well. She is deceived. Now the reason she was deceived is, I’ll give you an analogy or an example. How many of you have been to another country where they speak a different language that is your native language, but that is not your native language? Have you ever been to Mexico? And you’re like, I know a little bit of Spanish, I can get a burrito and a restroom. That’s it. That’s all I got. Beyond that, I don’t know. Now, imagine you got arrested in that country. And now they’re interrogating you and they put you on trial and you don’t know Spanish, just a couple of words, you are going to lose. See, Jesus says in John 8:44, that Satan is the father of lies and that lying is, quote, his native language. When you and I enter into dishonesty, covert behavior, lying, manipulating, rewriting of facts and history. We are now speaking in the enemy’s native language, and this is a foreign language to us. He’s lying, so she’s trying to outargue him. And he is much better at lying than she is. How many of you have started with the lie and you realize that’s a portal into the demonic and things only get worse? She is deceived. And so what happens is, they both sin, but they sin in different ways. And these are the two categories of sin: omission and commission. Her sin is commission. God says, don’t eat that tree, she eats that tree. That’s committing sin. That’s a sin of commission. His sin is a sin of omission. We tend to think of sin as just commission not omission. Sin is not just doing the wrong thing. Sometimes sin is doing nothing. There’s an old Puritan proverb that says, when Adam was away, he fell astray. That’s not the way this went down. It says that he watched the whole thing, but she sinned and then handed it to him and he was literally right there, saying nothing, doing nothing. Just a prototypical, passive, cowardly, weak, indifferent, man who should buy a ticket to his own life because he’s a spectator. And many men are like their father. Adam was supposed to be the leader. The Bible says that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. The Bible doesn’t say Christ is the head of the church unless of course the church votes otherwise. And the husband is the head of the wife unless of course the wife doesn’t like that. The question is not, is the man the head, the question is, is he a good or a bad head? And to be the head does not mean you’re the boss or the bully. It means that you are to be like Jesus to the church is how you are to be to your wife. And your wife should say, yeah, when I look at my husband he reminds me a lot of Jesus. And if you’re quoting all the verses on, she should do what you say, you’re probably not like Jesus, ’cause if you were like Jesus, you wouldn’t need to quote all those verses. I’m gonna say whatever I think and you can do whatever you want with it, but at the end of the day, Adam was the leader. That’s why though she sins first, who does God come looking for? Adam. Because he was firstly responsible. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But he had a couple of options. Number one, he could have just taken Eve’s hand and said, I don’t know who this is. They’re saying that God’s a liar. We’re out. He could have left. Is it okay sometimes to just exit the conversation? Like I’m not dealing… Logging off. Blocking you. We’re done. Not having this conversation. Honey, I don’t know what’s going on here. We’re out. The other thing he could have done, he could have said, oh, wait a minute, you’re coming at my wife. That’s my wife. Honey, I love you. You go, I’m gonna do a little dragon slaying today. I’m gonna get in the middle. I’m gonna get in the middle. There are times as a husband, you’re just like, you know, what I’m getting in the middle. You can’t say that to my wife. Can’t do that to my wife. You gotta get through me to get through her. And the point is, sometimes a man needs to be an offensive lineman, not a Walmart greeter. The third thing he could have done if he didn’t know what to do, he could have called out for help. Help. We see that God shows up. He goes there regularly. Just to ask for God. I don’t know what to do. I fell dragon 101. I don’t know what to do. Help. Instead, what he says and does is nothing. He says and does nothing. Well, the result is that shame comes. When sin comes, shame comes. Now we live in a culture that says, oh, shame is a negative emotion. Nobody should ever be ashamed. You should be proud. And that’s what Satan wants you to believe because underlying all sin is pride. And the truth is there are things that we say and do that we should be ashamed of ’cause they’re shameful. But if you’re like, “I don’t wanna live with that.” Well then repent of it. So when we sin, it brings shame. Shame causes us to feel about our sin the way God does. Say, I don’t like this. This doesn’t feel good. God’s like, that’s right. That’s why you repent. And that’s why Jesus died. Not only to forgive sin, but to take shame. The Bible says that he endured the cross scorning its shame. So when sin happens and shame comes, you need to acknowledge that, but you don’t need to live with that. You can give that to Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing. And what happens when we sin, we get shame. And intimacy is replaced with hiding. Intimacy means intimacy. So they’re naked without shame. Now they sin and there’s lots of shame. And they cover themselves with fig leaves and they hide from God. Now, how many of you have realized that when people sin they get stupid. Right? They do some stupid things. I had a brother. I won’t tell you which one. But you got a 50% shot. When he was little and he would do something wrong he thought if he closed his eyes he was invisible. So you’d hear something break in the other room. My parents would walk in. He’d be like. To him it made perfect sense. Here’s what happens. When we sin we have all kinds of fig leaves, lying, and hiding, and manipulating, and controlling. Oh, gosh, I’m just gonna disappear. I’m not gonna be with God’s people. I’m not gonna be in God’s presence. Nobody’s gonna find out. And it’s like no, no. Because here’s the big idea. When people sin and they have shame then they do stupid things and we see it, but we don’t see it when we do the same thing. Here they’re hiding. Let me ask you this, can God see around a tree? Yes or no? Yeah. Here’s Adam. Adam’s like, He’ll never find us. I think he will. He’s all knowing. He sees you. And the point is this, when we sin and we have shame, not only do we forget who we are, we forget who God is. The first two important things to learn. See, because Jesus comes and tells a story some years later about a good dad with a bad kid. It’s the story of the prodigal son. And the prodigal son, he sins, and he’s ashamed and he’s hiding. And he decides, you know what, I need to get back to my dad. So he starts the journey home. And he’s wondering, what kind of response will I get? Is he gonna punish me? Is he gonna disown me? The father sees him, what does the father do? Runs. Because the heart of the father is, I can’t bear another second without my son. And he embraces him. And the kid is in a horrible condition. And he cleans him up and he honors him and he throws a party and he pours out blessing and grace on him. And that’s the heart of God. And sometimes when we sin and we have shame, we think, you know what, I can’t go back to church. I can’t go back to my Christian friends. I can’t go back to the Lord. What is he gonna do? Hug you and clean you up and forgive you and throw you a party. That’s the grace of God. So let me say that what we get from here is the beginning of our understanding of gender and marriage. So Adam and Eve, both sin, right? And Eve is held responsible. We’ll deal with this in a moment, for her sin. Adam is held responsible for his sin, but Adam is also held responsible for her sin. To be the head means you take responsibility for others. That’s what Jesus did for me on the cross. He took responsibility for me. That’s what it means to be the head. Again, to be the head is not to be the bully. It’s not to be the boss. It’s not to be the king. It’s to be the humble servant like Jesus. But Adam, as the head, bears an additional responsibility in addition to Eve, that’s why we read in Romans 5:12. Sin came into the world through one man, Adam, and death through sin. So death spread to all men. The point is this, you’re either under Adam or under Jesus Christ as your head. And what a lot of men think is if I say and do nothing, then I’m not guilty or failing. I’ll give you an analogy. Some years ago I was in a counseling session. There was a young woman in our church. She in her dating years got tangled up with a really bad guy, violent, abusive, selfish, dangerous, dangerous. Very bad young man. Her dad knew about this. He didn’t do anything. He didn’t say anything. And she told him, she’s like, dad, here’s what he did to me. And it was criminal. He didn’t activate. Sometimes it’s like, there’s always women and children and just like, at what point is he gonna activate? Well, apparently Satan can show up and he’s still on the couch. So she got really traumatized. And then as she went into her marriage she realized that this was really affecting her relationship with her husband. She was very frustrated that her dad didn’t say or do anything. So she wanted to meet with her dad. Tell her dad what his passivity, his indifference, his failure had done. So she tells her story. And her dad is there. And I’m there as a witness and a mediator. She is in tears. Dad, here’s what happened to me and here’s the consequence. She pours out her heart, tears in her eyes. I look at her dad and I say, is there anything you would like to say? I’m hoping his first words are, “I’m so sorry. I failed. I’m a son of Adam. Instead he looks at me, he says, I don’t know why she’s so upset. I didn’t do anything. I won’t tell you what I said ’cause I don’t think it was the Holy Spirit. But that’s the problem. See, when men do nothing, Satan still acts. When men say nothing, Satan still speaks. And we think, oh, he’s such a nice guy. A nice guy doesn’t let Satan attack your wife and destroy your kids. See, if you’re always nice, you’re not a good Christian. Sometimes you’ve gotta get in the middle and you gotta defend the people that you love. And so what I wanna talk about here is masculinity. And we’ll hit this a little bit more, real men on Wednesday night. Our culture only sees two kinds of men and the Bible provides a third. So the world only sees men as lions or lambs. And the lions are tough and the lambs are tender. And so the lions become domineering, overbearing, pushy. We call that toxic masculinity. You’ve heard of this. And so the result is masculinity must be toxic. Mark’s got a beard and boots and yells, bear. Thank you. The Bible talks about the spiritual gift of discernment, and you’ve just seen that. So thank you. So the culture overreacts in the other direction and says men are too strong and they’re too aggressive and they’re too loud, so we need men who are passive and quiet. We need woke beta males. And if you’re offended, you’re a woke beta male. And those are the lambs. Those guys are so nice. They would never tell somebody, no. They would never have a fight. They’re just the sweetest guys. They’re so sweet. And the result is, in this story Satan is acting like the lion. Peter is gonna tell us later that he is like a lion. He’s domineering, overbearing, pushy, destructive, and selfish. Adam is a lamb. He’s bad. He just says and does nothing. And our culture says, well, which one? And the answer is, you know what, the promise is gonna be made that Jesus is coming. You’re gonna hear that in a moment in Genesis 3:15. And when he comes, he comes as lion and lamb, not lion or lamb. That Jesus is tough for us, but he’s tender with us. That Jesus comes to have a war with Satan to protect the sheep because he’s a good shepherd. And ultimately, Jesus is both lion and lamb. It says this in Revelation 5:5 and 6, that he is the lion and the lamb. Meaning, the key to being a man is to follow the example of Jesus, the perfect man, the God man, and to ask, okay, is this when I need to be tough or is this when I need to be tender? See, Jesus has fights with religious people who work with Satan and then kids wanna hang out with him. There’s one scene where Jesus whips people. There’s another scene where kids hang out with him. He’s not whipping the children and he’s not hugging the Pharisees. He knows when to be a lion and he knows when to be a lamb. If you’re a man who’s only and always a tough lion, you’re gonna break your family. If you’re a man who’s only and always a tender lamb, you’re gonna let others break your family. I’ll give you an example of what it means to be tough and tender lion and lamb. Some years ago, I know a dad, his daughter was a teenager dating a really bad guy, wrong guy. And the daughter didn’t have the courage to break up with him. So the dad decided that he would. And I’ll just tell you this. A dad breaking up with a teenage boy is a lot easier than a teenage girl breaking up with a boy. Dads don’t cry. We’re not accepting Taylor Swift in our heart to recover. We’re good. So the dad told his daughter like, he’s a bad guy. He’s very bad to you. You wanna get out of this. You’re having a hard time. I’ll break up with him. So he meets with the boy, he says, you’re dumped. You’re dumped. We’re breaking up. We’re done. He goes home, his daughter, this true story. Daughters, how did it go? Dad’s like, went great for me. Daughter is like, but now I’m lonely and who’s gonna date me? Dad said, let’s go on a daddy date. She’s like, really? Yeah, get dressed up. What do you wanna do? You wanna go out to dinner? Wanna go to a play? Wanna go to a movie? You wanna go to shopping? He’s like, if you wanna go on a date, I’ll take you on a date. So he’s tough for her, he’s tender with her. Oh, if you want a guy, I know a guy. See, this is the key to being a man. If you’re always tough, you’re not a good man. If you’re always tender, you’re not a good man. And here we see that Satan is tough and Adam is tender and they need Jesus to come to be tough with Satan and tender for sinners. God speaks to them and he pursues them, and then we see the consequence, the creation is cursed. Genesis 3:10-19. “And he said, Adam.” How many times have we sinned and then we try to explain our way out of it and it only gets worse? We call this the teen years. “Adam says, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden and I was afraid or reduced because I was naked. And I hid myself.’ And he said, ‘Who told you you were naked?'” Good parenting lesson here. When your kids are sinning, just keep asking questions. “Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?” God doesn’t give suggestions, gives commands. The man said, we’ve got to change the subject as quickly as possible. The woman. Ah, boy. The woman. Now that I think about it. “The woman that you gave me.” I didn’t pick this woman. Now I think about it, I’m the victim. I think I married the wrong woman. How many women are there? One. There’s some dude right now, he’s like, I don’t know if I married the right one. If you married her, she’s the one. “She gave me the fruit of the tree and I ate.” I’m pretty much a victim. You know I don’t cook. It’s funny ’cause it’s your marriage. “Then the Lord God said to the woman, what is this you have done? The woman said, the Devil made me do it.” She’s charismatic. She’s gonna blame it on Satan. “The serpent deceived me so I ate.” Let me say, okay, God comes first to Adam. Who sinned first? Eve. Who does God come to first? Adam. Why? ‘Cause he’s firstly responsible. Adam, explain what happened. What he should have done was said, I failed. I’m a coward. I’m weak. I’m a woke beta male. And I’m scared of dragons, right? So he should’ve just owned it. Instead what he says is, I need to shift the blame as quickly as possible. He’s like, okay, God, let’s rewind the tape. Just few days ago, remember, it was just you and me. You said everything was good. It was great. You and I, no problem. Then you send this woman. Lord, you made her. I hope she’s a prototype because there’s still some bugs to work out. And ever since she showed up, she’s literally the dragon lady, you know? Next thing I know, she’s like bossing me around, making decisions, working with Satan. So, you guys, figure it out, you know? So here’s poor Eve standing there. She’s like, thanks. God’s like, okay, what’s your version? She’s like, the devil made me do it. Isn’t it weird. I just thought about it. She doesn’t hold her husband accountable. A lot of women are that way. They make excuses for their husband. I see we read this, we say, oh, is that what happened? That’s what always happens. Then he’s gonna talk to Satan as well. “The Lord God said to the serpent, because you’ve done this cursed are you above all livestock, above all the beasts of the field, on your belly you shall go and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put him enminty” Here’s the promise of Jesus. The first promise of Jesus, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring or seed in her offspring.” That singular not plural, Paul says in Galatians. It’s referring to the coming of Jesus through the nation of Israel. We’ll see that this promise leads to Abraham and Sarah, leads to the nation of Israel and leads ultimately to Jesus Christ. But he’s gonna come as a dragon slayer. “He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel.” Jesus comes for a fight with the dragon. “To the woman he said, I will surely multiply you.” So there are consequences for sin. Satan and creation are curse. The people are not cursed, but we live under the curse. “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing. In pain you shall bring forth children. Let me ask you this, ladies, is childbearing still painful?
– [Congregation] Yes.
– I’ve seen it. Oh my gosh. It’s a thing. A woman gets pregnant and then all the discomfort and then the pushing and the contractions and then the birth. It’s incredible pain. Pain brings forth life. I was there at the birth of all of our five children. It’s still painful. I’m watching my poor wife. I’m like, what are you doing? They’re like, we’re giving her drugs. I was like, I need drugs. Tap me. Just to watch this, I need some drugs. It’s that painful. “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband.” God told him to be one. Jesus said a house divided cannot stand. Division is two visions. You’re gonna disagree a lot. You’re gonna struggle to be one, but he shall rule over you. “And to Adam, he said, because you have listened to the voice of your wife.” She didn’t say what God said. God said one thing, the wife said another. He should have reminded her of what God said. “And have eaten of the tree which I commanded you, you shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you. In pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life, thorns and thistles, it shall bring forth for you. You shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground. For out of it you were taken. For you are dust and to the dust, you shall return.” That’s where we get that Queen’s song, “Another One Bites the Dust”. So let me unpack this a bit for you. First, there’s a leadership lesson about dominion. We tend to think that everybody’s an individual. “And I just get to make all my own decisions.” But the decisions we make affect others. Adam makes a decision and this was written 3,500 years ago and we’re still dealing with the complications and implications of his decision. You are not an isolated individual. If you lead anyone or anything, everything under you is affected by you. We’re gonna see this principally, in legacy in generations with family and the rest of the book is a study in marriage and family systems. In addition, we see here, the differentiation and distinction between isolation and solitude. Solitude is where you run to the Lord. Isolation is where you run from the Lord. The problem that we had the last two years, everybody practiced isolation, nobody knew about solitude. Hey, just avoid people. Well, you better get in God’s presence because ultimately what Adam should have done as soon as he sinned, he should have ran to the Lord. Instead, he runs from the Lord. And so Jesus, we are told, often went through the lonely places to be alone with the Father. That’s solitude. That’s running to God’s presence, not from God’s presence. Somebody’s like, “But I’ve sinned and I’m filled with shame and I’ve made a wreck of my life.” Well, you better get to God’s presence ’cause he’s the only one who can heal and forgive and restore and bless. So, about one day a week, I go for a full day prayer. I take hours when I hike in the mountains. That’s what I like to do. And I talk to the Lord. And I sing to the Lord. And I’m wanting to be in God’s presence. And it’s not that I’m going away from grace. I’m going to the Lord. And when I’m in his presence, guess what? She finds it a lot more enjoyable to be in my presence. There’s a difference. When you sin, don’t run from the Lord, run to the Lord. Don’t stop praying, pray more. Don’t put your Bible down, pick your Bible up. Don’t ignore your friends, invite your friends. Don’t stop going to church, stay for the next service. It’s more, not less when sin and shame come. We also see here the principle of group guilt. Now what they try is what sinners always try, and that’s blame shifting. “Oh, they were involved. It’s their fault, not mine. I’m a victim. Look over there.” We do this in our day. “Oh my culture, systemic problems, bad dad.” Bababababa. My personality.” “Yeah, I did a bad thing, but I’m a victim. It’s not my fault. Look over there. Satan, the devil made me do it.” God comes along and says, Adam, you’re responsible for your decision. Eve, you’re responsible for your decision. And Satan, you’re responsible for your decision. You all were participating in this rebellion and you’re all guilty. You’re all morally responsible agents created to give an account. Let me say this. We live in a world where everyone is blaming and no one is repenting. When everyone is making excuses for their failure rather than making plans for their future. And that’s the world we live in. That’s why everybody’s walking around saying, how can I make myself a victim so that I’m entitled to things that I didn’t earn because my behavior is not acceptable, but it’s not as bad as theirs. And it’s group guilt. That’s the principle of group guilt. And what I love here is, God shows up and he gives the first promise of Jesus. The theologians call this the protoevangelium. Proto is first, evangelium is good news. Says, Jesus is coming… Now there’s finally some hope because now we’ve got the man, the woman and the devil. You’re like, “Well, who’s gonna fix it? Not this crew. The hope is not in this world. The hope has gotta come from that world. So the promise is Jesus is coming. And what God says is, Adam, Jesus is coming for you. Eve, Jesus is coming for you. Satan, Jesus is not coming for you. The point is this, there is the possibility of salvation through Jesus Christ for men and women, but not demons. And what I find really interesting is people are like, “I don’t know how God could send people to hell.” I’m like, I don’t know, he could take people to heaven. Have you met people? And there’s people like, well, Jesus is the only way. I think that’s very narrow. That’s so wrong that God has provided one way.” I’m like, that’s more than Satan got. Rather than arguing about the way, I would take the way. And Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There will be zero demons in heaven. There will be zero demons forgiven of sin. Satan and demons will only eternally experience Jesus as lion, no lamb for them. It says that Jesus is coming and he’s coming to defeat the dragon. We also see here that marriage is going to be difficult. Previously, God said, they were to be one. And it says here, that their desires will be contrary, division. And in Genesis 3, if you read carefully, you’re gonna start to see a word that you didn’t see in Genesis 1 and 2, the word I. He’s like, “I, I, I, I, I, I.” All of a sudden, they’ve gone from other centered to self-centered, from God centered to “I” centered. And all of a sudden God has replaced, is replaced, I should say, with the false Trinity of me, myself and I as the centerpiece of human history. “Well, here’s what I think. Here’s what I feel. Here’s what I want. Here’s what I need.” Not, “Lord, what do you say? And beloved, what do you need?” And so marriage is going to constantly be a lot of work. And we live in this day when everybody thinks that marriage should be easy. “Oh, we just fell in love and we stayed in love. And then we fought.” Let me tell you this, marriage takes a lot of effort. It takes a lot of forgiveness ’cause two sinners are going to hurt one another. It takes a lot of grace. It takes a lot of God’s presence. It takes a lot of God’s wisdom. And that marriage ultimately to be, “we” instead of “I” is going to take a lot of energy and effort. The rest of Genesis is playing this principle out. And so Adam and Eve each have two primary things that are going to be complications and difficulties for them. Adam, God says, here’s the two things, son, that are going to be hard for you: work and wife. Other than that… Work, meaning the ground is cursed. Now your work becomes toil. Everything you try to do is gonna try to undo everything you’re trying to do. How many of you have tried to do something, and you’re like argh? It always takes longer. It costs more. Things break. As soon as it comes together, it falls apart. Everything is just always making it so hard to do the things that I’m trying to get done. True or false? So then the Lord would speak over you and say, well, now you know how I feel. See, son, you were supposed to obey me and be under my dominion and you rebel against me, and so everything that’s under your dominion is now rebelling against you. You’ve reaped what you’ve sown. You are now being treated the way you treat me. And this is to humble a man and to cause him to ask, what happened? Well, I sinned. And as a result of my dominion, everything under me is cursed because I have brought cursing instead of blessing. And this is to keep a man humble and dependent on God and repentant. Gosh, man, if life is this hard, I can’t imagine how hard it is for my Father. If everything treats me this way, I wonder how I’m treating him. And it’s supposed to keep a man humble and repentant, dependent on the Holy Spirit. In addition to work, marriage is gonna be hard for him. Just gonna go to work all day and it’s gonna be toil and then he’s gonna come home and it’s gonna be complicated. Because ultimately, it says, that her desire will be for him. It’s the same language that you’re gonna hear next week in Genesis 4. So for both of you who come back, that will be a life-changing sermon. It’s gonna change your life. In Genesis 4, it says that sin wants to rule over Cain. It’s the same language in Genesis 3. That the woman will want to rule over the man. This is where marriage is hard for the man and the woman. Her difficulties will be motherhood and marriage. Having children will be painful. And raising children is more pain. They get hurt, they get sick, they fail, they struggle, they go way word, they go prodigal. There’s a lot of pain in being a mom. And her marriage. Because what it says is, that she will want to be with her husband, but she won’t trust her husband, so she’ll want to rule over her husband. And she’ll want to control and dominate him. Some women do this through just sheer emotion. Some do this through threat or intimidation. Some do this through manipulation and control. And some ladies are just flat out religious and they’ll quote verses and weaponize the Bible. And she’ll want to dominate him. Now the point is this, anytime one person in the marriage is dominating the other, both lose. See, the Lord is supposed to be over, and the husband and wife are supposed to be alongside. God already told them, it’s not good to be alone. You need each other and you need help. The woman is made from the side of the man. She’s supposed to be alongside of him. That ultimately the two are supposed to be one. And when one is trying to domineer and control the other, you’ve got dysfunction and brokenness. But we can understand from the woman’s perspective, she’s like, I can’t trust that guy. He’s already failed me and hurt me and disappointed me. He has opportunity and he doesn’t avail himself to it. And I’ve been waiting for him to prove himself and he doesn’t. So for the woman, she wants relationship, but she has fear that leads to control. And for the man, he is going to struggle at work and he’s going to struggle at home. And all of this is to keep us humble, to keep us repentant, to keep us dependent on God, and to check our own heart and ask, how am I doing? And to ask the question that God asked, where am I? Where am I? Where’s my heart in relationship to the Lord and my spouse? Well, the promise is made here, that Jesus Christ would becoming. That ultimately, the hope is not in the man, or the woman, or the dragon, it’s in the Lord coming into human history. So as Jesus comes later, as the fulfillment of this promise and prophecy. He is called in 1 Corinthians 15:45, the last Adam. So let me just summarize this. Adam turned from the Father in the garden. Jesus turned to the Father in the garden. Adam was naked and unashamed. Jesus was nearly naked and bore our shame. Adam’s sin brought us thorns. Jesus wore a crown of thorns. Adam substituted himself for God. Jesus was God substituting himself for us. Adam sinned at a tree. Jesus bore our sin on the tree. Adam died as a sinner. Jesus died for sinners. And Adam came from the dust of the earth and Jesus rose from the dust of the earth. So we’ll conclude with this, that Jesus ultimately is going to come as the dragon slayer. Genesis 3:20-24. “The man called his wife’s name Eve, which means the mother of all living for she is the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife, garments of skin and clothed them.” This may be the first animal sacrifice. We’re not sure. The first human animal sacrifices coming up with Noah. “And then the Lord, God said,” Guys, here’s what is really great. Even when we blow it, God still speaks to us and speaks over us. “The Lord God said, behold, the man has now become like one of us, talking to the angels and the divine beings and the divine council, knowing good and evil. Now lest he reach out his hand and take also the tree of life and eat and live forever.” Just think about this friends, imagine if you were a sinner forever. Imagine if Adolf Hitler was still alive. Imagine if cartel leaders and traffickers and predators could never be stopped, even by the grave. Earth would become hell. The only thing worse than dying is living forever as a sinner. So what God is going to allow is death so he could bring resurrection and complete new life, ’cause God’s intent is not to make the world better, but to make it perfect. “Therefore, the Lord, God sent him out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man. And at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” Cast out. And what it’s saying here is this, the only hope for planet earth is Jesus Christ. That’s the only hope for planet earth. And the people who would say, “Well, give it some time.” If we’re sinners, time only makes it worse. That ultimately the solution is not men or women. It’s not spirituality or demons, it’s Jesus Christ. He is the only hope. Men need Jesus. Women need Jesus. Marriage needs Jesus. Family needs Jesus. Nations need Jesus. Cities need Jesus. Everyone, everything, needs Jesus. And until Jesus shows up, all we have are the problems and none of the solutions. And so in the midst of utter and complete darkness, God speaks the hope of Jesus Christ as the light of the world. And then Jesus ultimately comes to fulfill this promise and prophecy. And he comes to have a battle with the dragon. Early on, Satan shows up and they have a conflict and Jesus perfectly, repeatedly quotes the Word of God. He takes the sword out of the scabbard and he uses it to slay the dragon. Sometime later, the dragon comes to murder Jesus by entering into Judas Iscariot and working through him. And he seeks to kill Jesus Christ, our creator and savior. And as Jesus is dying on the cross in our place for our sins, the dragon does not know and cannot fathom or comprehend that he’s doing something humble, and sacrificial, and loving. And he is becoming the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world by allowing himself to die in our place so that we could receive the one thing that the dragon could not receive, and that is forgiveness and salvation. And then Jesus dies and his body is put in the ground. The same place that the first Adam’s body was taken from. And then three days later Jesus rises from death. And death cannot hold him because there is no sin in him. And then Jesus ascends into heaven. And not only did he cause creation, he is now building a new creation. And the storyline of the Bible is beginning, middle beginning, God’s original intent and divine design was perfect so he doesn’t abandon it. But we undermine it. The first two chapters of the Bible are perfection. The last two are perfection. In the first two and the last two, we’re in the presence of God. And in the first two and the last two, we’re in the presence of God with angels and divine beings. We’re in a garden called Eden. We’re partaking of tree of life. And we’re living with full joy in the presence of God. And the third chapter in there is judgment. And the third chapter from the end is judgment. And when all is said and done, God will bring us back to that original place that he intended and designed and intended for us. So here’s the good news friends, Jesus Christ is alive and well. Jesus Christ has defeated death. Jesus Christ has disarmed the dragon. Jesus Christ is returning and he is going to bring heaven and earth together. He will bring God and humanity together. He will bring the seen and the unseen together. He will restore and reconcile all things. And your dead body will raise from the grave and you will see him with your own eyes and you will sing his praises forever. And until then, the God of all peace will crush Satan under your feet, Romans 16.