Seeing God’s love & favors in His punishment; Genesis 3:22-24
The other day, we shared how I lost the chance to be admitted in a Primary teachers’ college only to be given chance for higher school and ultimately earning diploma in nursing (blessings in disguise). Read my profile now and experience how every God's blessing came under disguise!
Let us examine what I am saying;
Back to our point today;
What happened next? This is our focus today, read on.
Matthew Henry cites that the words could as well have been referring to Adam’s state before sinning; he was like God, in his image both in spirit and physical body. While these two explanations hold meaning and in reference to most bible verses, I love taking the interpretation by our newest expositor Jimmy Swaggart; “Man now knows evil and good just like us, though unfortunately, he has known it through committing it compared to us who knew it through omniscience” (paraphrased).
So as man greedily tried to be like God, he hurt himself. So it is indeed true that when God reported to His fellow that the man had become like Him or them, He was actually ironically saying that man should be ashamed of trying to be that which he can never be and losing the best he has in the process.
Writer Henry Matthew makes it plainer:
First, it is important to note that God does not put death on us when we sin, only sin does (Death is a result of sin, Romans 6:23). When we sin, the automatic pay is death (pre-determined). In order to escape death, there must be price. For our case, Jesus paid the price so we live through His resurrection.
Adam living forever after sinning would be the worst thing to happen to him. In Swaggart’s words, “this would have been the worst thing of all, to have an Adolf Hitler to live forever”. So what then? God has a solution to the man’s misery, see the next verse.
“Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden” (verse 23).
This was the best He could do for man. Even though Adam could have seen it as God’s anger and punishment for his disobedience, by sending him out, God was doing him favor by preventing him from living everlastingly under the misery and curse of sin. So Adam was forced out. Yeah, that is how deeper our God’s love is; He did not just chase the man out, but accompanied Him with mercy and a way of safely returning back to the paradise (the way of Jesus on the cross).
Our focus today is verse 22, b and 23. The chasing of man from Eden was not God’s punishment (He had finished cursing and punishing him), but His protection against eternal misery and unhappiness because of sin. Man had brought death to himself, and God was providing a way of escape. But since man was prone to eating even the tree of life (which as some suggest might have been one of the remedies provided by the devil in case God threatened Adam with death), then God had to forcefully chase him out, lest he eats the tree and lives forever in misery or brags about living despite his sinning, which was all devil’s plan.
Yeah, God blocks our way, shutters our deals, brings down our plans, not as a punishment but as a breakthrough. He sees far and sees how our enemies are laying traps behind or under shining roses and opportunities and at times lets us taste the deception and other times decides to intervene for us and thwarts the deals (Romans 8:28). Trust Him, and start seeing His love and favors even in your darkest moments.