Genesis is an incredible (and perhaps neglected )book.
Here we find the beginnings of all things that pertain to the human condition ; creation, humanity , marriage and family,the self revelation of God ,Satan and of course sin.
Some interesting points to consider in the first few chapters in the book of Genesis.
Provision or Prohibition
God in His generous grace supplied every thing that man needed,not just for life but for enjoyment of life .In the New Testament we find that every good and perfect gift comes from our Creator. It seems to be such an obvious truth that we humans tend to focus on the prohibitions rather than the far more obvious provisions of our great God.
Incredibly in the midst of a perfect enviroment with incredible abundance and perfect health and relationships , Eve was so easily beguiled to look longingly at the one thing that God had denied access to. How normal this is today .
We Christians are continually reminded in the scriptures to be thankfull. Apart from anything else this actually helps to protect us from temptation.
The postmodern mindset is not so modern afterall. The devil's very first strategy against man was to say 'did God say?' and this hasn't changed today. The secularist repeats the ancient refrain,"did God really say?'.The religionist quotes his tradition or his human hero or his own confused religious thoughts and never considers that he is challenging the throne of God. And of course the most dangerous of all the liberal "christian", who proclaims loud and long a knowledge of God while simultaneously denying the clear words of the One he claims to worship.Far better to be an unbeliever than to declare allegiance to the Sovereign of the universe and resist ,reject or rewrite His words.
The ancient serpent phrased his diabolical question to focus the woman on the one thing that had been withheld from them but her reply at first glance seems to be loyal to the truth.Her answer ; "God has said we must not eat of the tree "(so far so good)"nor must we touch it" Uh oh. Where did God say you shouldn't touch the tree Eve? For every one who takes away from God's word there is probably two who add to it and the result is the same; defeat.
In the visible church today I would venture the opinion that people adding to God's holy word is a greater problem than those denying it.
Every time a preacher tells God's people they must not drink, play cards or see movies they're adding to God's word. Each time a tithing teacher hammers the people of God with promises of riches or warnings of curses he is adding to the word of God; and whenever some trendy tolerant teller of tall tales pronounces that what was sin previously is now accepted , they are adding to the word of God. The results of these irreverencies are deception , delusion and defeat.
It really should be obvious that the God of truth says what He means and means what he says.
It also should be painfully obvious that when reading the holy scriptures, we need to believe what we read and not read what we believe.
Eve found out the hard way the results of adding to God's word .
Scripture records God coming to the garden and crying out Adam ,where are you? Perhaps as we read the account of Eve's temptation we could ask the same question; Adam where are you?
Adam was called to be her shepherd , her protector her defender and yet it seems he stood by negligent ,uncaring and uninvolved untill his wife offerred him a bite of the forbidden fruit and then incredibly; he eats!Why ?
Peacemaker or Peacekeeper
I believe Adam's response is so relevant to our day. He had a clear choice ,stand for truth or fall for evil. It seems he was more concerned with unity than reality, tolerance than truth. How true of so many today. While there are still those who are laying down their lives for Christ ,there are others to whom the thought of being out of the in-crowd is too much to bear.This , of course is what the Bible calls the fear of man ; and it languishes under the curse of the Almighty.
I think it was Martin Luther who said "I would rather be divided in truth than united in error".
How we need that stout hearted faith today.
The Lord Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" He did not say "Blessed are the peacekeepers" Peacekeeping is a passive, cowardly act of self-preservation. Peacekeeping is silent in the face of evil,it is a smiling ,genial compromising wickedness . Peacekeepers sit when they should stand , they back down when they should move forward they strengthen the hands of the wicked and discourage the righteous. The heroes of faith through scripture and history did not fall into this category. Peacemakers on the other hand confront, challenge and defeat evil.
Adam chose to be a peacekeeper and we are still paying the consequences. The second Adam came as a peacemaker. Our great Redeemer, Jesus ,the strong Son of God did not negotiate with our enemy ,but stood immoveable in the face of every thing the evil one could throw, replied with the sword of the Spirit, and through His sacrificial death and resurrection conquered sin ,death and the devil.
The first Adam's peacekeeping surrender led to death and separation from God ;the Second Adam's peacemaking victory led to life, liberty and reconciliation with God.
Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord 1 Cor. 15:58