Thursday, June 2, 2016

Genesis 3:6-8 comments: hiding from God

6 ¶  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Eve is presented with three things that we are presented with every day and fares no better with them than we do. These three things are the foundation of the world in which we live. They are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life.

1John 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Jesus goes further to include all of the things which mankind holds as important and valuable, things which elevate man in his status before other men.

Luke 16:15  And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

This is a key to what it means to be a Christian in thought. One of the first doctrines of Christ which Paul listed in Hebrews is;

Hebrews 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Reading again what Jesus said in Luke 16:15 and comparing it to Hebrews 6:1 we see that to become Christ’s one must repent or turn one’s mind away from the dead works which you hold onto as justification. To justify yourself before God you need to trust in Christ, not in the things which you’ve been taught make you a good and valuable person, worthy of respect. John the Baptist warned the Pharisees (conservatives) and the Sadducees (liberals) who felt they were good in the sight of God by their religious observances and their heritage as Jews. Notice the context of this passage is not sin necessarily but what justifies you before God. We must repent, or change our minds and hearts or have them changed, from what we believe is our justification and look to Christ;

Matthew 3:7 ¶  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

These things presented to Eve are things we absorb in our minds from our first understanding and a great deal of unlearning must take place when the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts or we will spend a great deal of time spinning our wheels as Christians, making a mockery of our discipleship.

Eve gave the fruit to her husband, Adam, who was with her, and he also disobeyed God. At that moment they realized their disgrace, as conscience was revealed and the bitter vision of knowing that they were undone, without honor, overcame them. As we are wont to do, if indeed we have a conscience at all, they tried to hide their shame and human frailty that had been exposed. Gone were the happy, careless times of joy in God’s garden, the first couple enjoying each other and creation without care or doubt. We mistake this time in our lives for attaining adulthood, becoming a man or a woman, when, all too often, it simply reflects a loss of who we were or could have been. When we follow the world, which is Satan’s bailiwick (2Corinthians 4:4), with our desire to place self-gratification and self-glorification above God and make it a sort of rite of passage into full admission to the world we must take on that shame and self-doubt, that uncertainty and, if you would, low self-esteem, we take steps downward. Often, with each action after that we feel less and less that sense of ‘all is possible’ for us and our choices become more and more limited and less and less satisfying. Shame becomes a constant nagging companion and if we become so hardened that we cannot feel it we just become numb and can only feel a sense of disgust at who we are.

Some will try to hide in an entertainment as an escape, some in a hobby or an employment or some other activity, even hiding from God in church, while others drink or take drugs to numb the pain of their existence. Some will become defiant and proud of their sin, claiming it as a badge of distinction and self-justification, thumbing their nose at God, so to speak. But, that point comes for almost all people who are actually able to acknowledge it, that point when they feel that they have lost something. It is a vague and uncertain pain or it may be a great sense of grief. But it is a sense of loss nonetheless. The only real cure is to trust Christ, to know that He loves you, to acknowledge both your love for Him and His for you, and to depend on His righteousness and not your own for peace with God and peace in your own soul.

They heard God, the pre-incarnate Christ, the visible image of the invisible God, the express image of His person as pointed out in the study on chapter 1, verse 3, with whom they had known such sweet fellowship, walking in the garden, calling out to them as He often did apparently. But, this time they hid from His presence. When we sin we often forgo our prayer, talking to God, and reading the Bible, God talking to us, and hide from Him, because, if we are indeed believers, we feel great shame and that we have let Him down. The more we continue to do wrong the more we try to cut off His counsel and fellowship with Him until we are the most miserable of persons.

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