Seeing God’s love & favors in His punishment; Genesis 3:22-24



I woke up this morning and scrolled through the bible what to share with my readers and, sadly, I did not feel any inspiration. So as I closed back the bible, I remembered the divine punishment; the loss of Eden on that day (Adam’s times). We have shared the story of creation and the first man’s sin many times in relation to obedience and disobedience and their respective rewards but rarely have we shared the same tragedy in relation to God’s favors and love. Today is the day. 

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;
God had given man everything, including the beauty and leadership. Adam had been given God’s image, not only in terms of the physical body but also in spiritual knowledge, gifts, understanding, and eternity. He had everything except being God himself (Genesis 2:16). But as always, we never have enough; we want more, and the worst of it, we want more in our own ways or on our own terms. Indeed Adam went for more; he ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge (Genesis 3:6). In wanting more, we are actually losing the more we have and going for less. We did a great article on What it meant to fall for weaker desires when it comes to Eve's sinning in Eden: Our sin is not our strong desire, but having weaker desire. Read it now. 

Back to our point today;

What happened next? This is our focus today, read on.

“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (verse 22). Many expositors (John Gill & Matthew Henry) say that God discussed this with the super beings in Him (that is; the son and the Holy Spirit), and not the working angels. Man becoming like God in His trinity is taken as ironical or sarcasm trying to shame man for his greedy of becoming like God and ultimately sinning, and not actually becoming like God but losing even the best he had.

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).

Yes, the devil had already sinned and thrown out of Heaven (at least any day and time after the creation week, see my book, Earning God’s favors through understanding our belief), but also God foreknew that Satan would disobey Him and also that Adam would later disobey Him. We have already done a great expository article on The origin of evil and why God allows evil to happen even to good people. In this, you can get a glimpse of who Satan is and His creation story. Read it too. 

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:

“Behold, the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil! A goodly god he makes! Does he not? See what he has got, what preferment, what advantages, by eating the forbidden fruit!” This was to awaken and humble them (Psalm 83:16). And maybe by then, man started feeling like; “What fruit have I now by sin? Have I gained what I foolishly promised myself in a sinful way? No, no, it never proved what It pretended to be, but the contrary” (Roman 6:21). This is our life, which is how we live. We lie, kill, steal, embezzle, talk ill of others, or become jealousy hoping to gain according to the evil’s promises, but what happens next; Only loss, destruction of relationships, friendships, marriages, peace or even death. There is nothing good that comes out of evil or sin.

The next words on the same verse of 22 are so important; “and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (verse 22, b). Man had earlier been allowed to eat all fruits, including this one, I suppose. But having eaten the only forbidden one and allowing his own invasion by death, he was no longer fit to live forever.

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.

Going back to our point;

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).

And after that expulsion, GOD had to protect the tree of life with His glory and mightiness (the sword and Cherubims). Yeah, no man can ever invade such a paradise or threaten to live there unless allowed in through Jesus Christ.

SUMMARY:


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.

God bless you

The Complete You Ministry, www.nemvicx.blogspot.com



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