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118 The Broken-hearted Creator Gen. 3

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

As our series in Genesis continues we look at chapter 3 where the story takes a sudden twist. Adam and Eve transition from following God to following Satan and the tragic consequences that come as a result. How this sad turn of events must have broken God's heart as His children, his creation, have been deceived and no longer understand and trust Him. He has a problem to which Jesus is the answer. What Good News He was when He arrived and revealed the true character of God once again.

118 The Broken-hearted Creator
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The Heart-broken Creator

Genesis 3. Adam and Eve sin.

Chapter 1 shows that the transcendent God created this world. Chapter 2 recounts the immanent, intimate God personally forming animals and man by hand and breathing life into them.

3:1 Serpent was the shrewdest of wild animals. Not true today. Could be because the devil used the serpent (Revelation 12:9). Engages Eve with a suggestive question about God’s advice about the beautiful fruit. Eve shows no surprise that an animal is talking to her. Was this kind of communication part of the management of the creation (1:16). Balaam shows no surprise at his donkey speaking either (Numbers 22:28-30). Moses shows no surprise at the burning bush speaking to him (Exodus 3:4).

Serpent commences his dialogue with a question about eating from the trees.

3:2 locates the tree of good and evil in the middle of the garden. How shall we explain the presence of this tree when God is all good? (1 John 1:5) Job chapter one might be the best explanation since here the Satan accuses Job of worshipping God out of self-interest (Job 1). The tree became the center of the conflict between good and evil as the devil is allowed access to Adam and Eve at this one point in the garden.

3:3 The report Eve gives of what God said is overdone. God never addressed what touching might result in. This exaggeration betrays her fear and fascination with God’s words. What will happen if she touches it, as the serpent is touching the fruit? This dialogue has history in the mind of Eve. Law people try and protect themselves with prohibitions against getting near temptation.

3:4 Was the eating the fruit of the tree symbolic of rebellion against God? Was there a DNA transforming agent injected into it by the devil which would cause death?

3.5 You be like God, knowing good and evil.

3.6 The tree was beautiful. The fruit looked delicious. There was wisdom to be gained. It was a powerful, multi-facetted temptation. Jesus would face three temptations in the wilderness after his baptism (Matthew 4:1-11). Stones to bread—fruit was delicious, temple jump off—beautiful solution to his predicted rejection, avoiding suffering and death by worship—wisdom.

3:7 The consequence of this disloyal act was death. Adam and Eve instantly lost their innocence and died emotionally/relationally and spiritually/morally. This resulted in shame expressed as physical nakedness. Shame is imposed by others. Guilt is self-imposed. Physical death would follow almost a millennium later.

3:8-11 The LORD comes looking for them. It has been true ever since. Religion is man looking for God. In the correct understanding of the divine-human relationship it is the LORD who searches for man. Jesus would repeat this situation by the parables he told of the good shepherd looking for his sheep (Luke 15; John 10).

“Who told you that you were naked?” is the LORD’s question. This is because shame is induced by another. It is not self-inflicted. Children are happy naked until some adult tells them it is wrong. The implication here is that once they had sinned the serpent informed them, they were now an embarrassment to themselves and others.

3:12 Adam blames the woman for giving him the fruit. He also blames the LORD for giving him the woman. He acknowledges that he succumbed and ate the fruit. He had died relationally.

3:13 The woman states that she was deceived by the serpent. She also acknowledges that she ate the fruit. Because of the deception, or the misrepresentation of God, the problem can only be solved if God is represented accurately. This is who Jesus is, the perfect representation of God. Man has concluded that man must change and solve the problem by transformation. Man has misdiagnosed the problem and suffers the frustration of trying to solve God’s problem which causes added frustration.

3:14-15 Curse means consequence in our language.

3:16 Pain in childbirth? Some woman enjoy birth. Desire to control husband is mutual. 3:17-19

3:20 “Eve” sounds like the Hebrew term which means to give life.

3:21 Westminister Leningrad Codex (Oldest complete Hebrew Old Testament. 1000 AD)

And made Yahweh God for Adam and his wife tunics of skin and clothed them.

Aleppo Greek Codex (Older than Leningrad Codex but not complete)

And made the LORD God to Adam and his wife garments of skins and he clothed them.

There is no mention of “animal” above as some translations have it.

When Jesus feeds the 5,000 we do not suggest that he had to use wheat and catch fish to do so. Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being (Hebrews 1:1-3) and so it is inconsistent to suggest that God would have to kill an animal to get skin when he can make animals. Making skin is much easier that making a living animal.

John and Genesis BySkip Moen, Ph.D.April 17, 2015

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Gen 3:21 NASB

Clothed – Just in case you didn’t realize it, this verse has almost nothing to do with apparel. God’s actions following the first sin reveal an attempt to restore the original intention of Mankind. Davidson’s remark on Genesis 3:21[1] is pertinent. The Hebrew combination of labash (to clothe) and kotnot (garments) appears in other important Hebrew Scriptures. The use in these other verses suggests something quite startling about God’s provision for Adam and his wife; something that we would never imagine for two people who have just disobeyed God’s explicit command. We find the combination of labash and kotnot in Leviticus and Numbers. Leviticus 8:7 NASB Then he put the tunicon [a]Aaron and wrapped his waist with the sash, and clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him; and he wrapped his waist with the

Leviticus 8:13 NASB Next Moses had Aaron’s sons come near, and he clothed them with tunics and wrapped their waists with sashes, and bound [g]caps on them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Numbers 20:28 NASB: After Moses had stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar, Aaron died there on the mountain top. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.

Those verses describe God’s provision of the holy garments for Aaron and his sons. In other words, this phrase is used for those whom God dresses as priests. When God clothed Adam and his wife, He did more than cover their nakedness. He installed them both as the world’s first priest and priestess. The role of Adam and Havvah commissioned by God is not erased by the fall. After their disobedience, Adam and Havvah are still commissioned as a priest and priestess by God Himself. God is the God who restores.

Jump forward a few thousand years. “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”[2] Yeshua’s conversation with Simon Peter is restoration. The role YHVH had in mind for Simon Peter has not changed. What changed is Peter’sself-awareness. Filled with remorse and guilt, he cannot accomplish what God intended. He must be restored after his betrayal. We are back at the Garden. Yeshua must “clothe” Peter in the royal robes of divine commission in order for Peter to take up the assignment. The “skins” of acceptance and love must cover the shame Peter has experienced so that Peter can embrace the task—“Feed my sheep.” Genesis comes to John.

Ian’s comment: Genesis also come to Luke 15 when the prodigal son is clothed to take away his sense of shame and guilt. In this story, crafted by Jesus, an animal is killed but not for its skin but for celebratory food. Jesus was always about relational theology as opposed to transactional theology which sees the skins as the product of the death of an animal necessary to satisfy an affronted God.

You and I are the same, aren’t we? Somewhere along the way, we fell. We disobeyed. We denied. We encountered the shame of humiliation, the agony of abandonment. YHVH didn’t leave us. Neither did His son. But we did. We walked away. We turned our backs. We thought only of ourselves. And now we aren’t sure if we are really worthy of the task ahead. We have returned to fishing—those past behaviors that provide anesthetized comfort in our worlds of hurt. Then God arrives. “Do you love Me?” Are you still willing? If only our shame could be removed. In fact, without asking us for permission, God restores. He places us back on the saddle. He brings us royal robes. He removes oursense of unworthiness. He reinstates our commission.Get up, my friend. God is calling. Go.

  1. Topical Index: clothe, labash, Genesis 3:21, John 21:15, shame

  2. [1] Davidson, The Flame of Yahweh, p. 58.

  3. [2] John 21:15

Clothes in the Scriptures. Clothes for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21) Clothes for Joseph = coat of many colours (Genesis 37:3) Clothes for priests (Exodus 28, 39; Leviticus 8:7, 13; ) Clothes for Jeshua the high priest (Zechariah 3:1-5) Clothes for Jesus Christ—humanity (Galatians 4:4) Clothes for wedding guests—Righteousness of Christ (Matthew 22:1-14). Clothes for prodigal son (Luke 15:22-23) Clothes for Christ’s bride—Righteousness of Christ (Revelation 19:7-8) Non of these clothes required the death of an animal.

Imagine the heart-break God experienced when his precious children turned to become followers of the evil one. This is why Jesus prays for his father in the first half of The LORD’s Prayer.

Ian Hartley, November 2022

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