The unfaithful Watchman

The unfaithful Watchman

In the last article we saw that God gave additional information to Adam and his wife regarding what they were allowed to eat and God gave freedom for them to be fruit inspectors as he gave them a test to know what was good food.  In another post we will talk more about Eve’s words to the serpent and what happened that caused her to change her method of testing fruit.

In this article we will be discussing God’s requirements for Adam as watchman and the reason why God held Adam accountable for bringing sin and decay into the world. In Genesis 2:15 God sets up Adam as the very first watchman of the garden of Eve. God said:

Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

The Hebrew word translated as “keep” is “shamar” which means guard or protect as a watchman or doorkeeper.

Darby’s translation renders Genesis 2:15 this way:

(Darby) Genesis 2:15  And Jehovah Elohim took Man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to till it and to guard it.

The exact same word is used in Genesis 3:24 as God sets up the second watchman in the garden of Eden after the sin of the first watchman.

Genesis 3:24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

The word translated “guard” is once again the Hebrew word “shamar”. Whenever God appoints someone as a guard, that one is held responsible for guarding and sounding the warning.

Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
Ezekiel 3:18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.

God required Adam to be loyal to him and to be a faithful watchman. In Hosea 6:6, 7 God speaks about a level of unfaithfulness that God calls treacherous.

Hosea 6:6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

God specifically identifies Adam was the one who dealt treacherously against God. Adam was the one who was found unfaithful. Here God likens the treacherous actions of those who knew the truth but who did not act on the truth to the action of Adam in the garden. Adam knew the truth about God but he did nothing with the knowledge that he had.

Instead of guarding the garden against the enemy, Adam was silent. Remember Paul identifies Adam as the one who was not deceived in 1 Timothy 2:14. Adam knew the truth but he kept silent. Is a watchman supposed to keep silent?

Read again from Ezekiel 3:17 and 18 to see that a watchman is required to warn of danger. Adam was required by God to warn of danger and guard the garden against danger. Adam failed God and his failure was a spiritual abandoning of his wife. Adam failed to defend God and he failed to defend his wife.

Adam’s covenant relationship with his wife started when God created a special mate for him from his very own body and personally brought her to the man. Adam accepted her as his mate and as one who was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. God then sets the parameters of this one flesh union.

Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

God says “For this reason” the man is to be joined to, cleave to or “be glued to” his wife. The reason is found in the previous verse, that the man accepted her as his wife and this acceptance brought a marriage covenant relationship. This means that he is to treat her with love and respect as his very own body. Adam failed to love and respect his wife as he allowed her to be led astray.  In essence Adam not only sinned against God by eating the fruit but he sinned against his wife by spiritually abandoning her with no intervention at all, into the “hands” of the serpent.

God especially holds Adam accountable for his failure as watchman.

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

God identifies the sins that results in a curse on the earth.  God said that because Adam listened to the voice of his wife, and because Adam deliberately ate the fruit, God curses the ground that Adam was taken from.  Adam was an unfaithful watchman. God held Adam accountable for the blood of his wife and God identifies his listening (but without actions as a faithful watchman) as treacherous.

Next post we will continue with the words of Eve to the serpent and God’s words to her after the fall.

30 thoughts on “The unfaithful Watchman

  1. Sin of omission and then deliberate sin of commission was what the man did.  These 2 sins resulted in the curse on the land.

  2. I would add a third: the sin of rebellion. Both Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and only Adam failed to guard. But after God demanded explanations from both of them Adam blamed God, and it was only after that when God cursed the ground.

    Adam sins by omission in failing to keep the serpent out of the garden.
    God says it’s not good for him to be alone so He makes Eve.
    Adam sins again by omission in failing to stop the temptation.
    Adam and Eve both eat the fruit and “die” in that day; Adam sins by deliberate choice, but Eve by being beguiled.
    Adam blames God and Eve.
    Eve reports on the serpent’s trickery.
    The serpent is cursed because of what he did, and the Savior is promised through Eve’s seed.
    God predicts that Eve will follow Adam out of the garden and only then will he rule over her.
    God curses the ground because of what Adam did, and drives only him out of the garden.
    Eve follows Adam out, as predicted.
    Adam was clearly the repeat offender. That’s why Paul puts all the blame on him.

  3. Tech note:

    This text editor offers underlining and lists, but it’s stripping out pretty much everything except bold and italic and blockquote.

  4. Paula,
    Great summary. I would add that Paul puts the blame on Adam primarily because God put only the blame on Adam because of his repeat offenses.  Paul doesn’t conclude anything that God had not concluded already first.  It be the same as a home owner hiring a guard to guard his house from thieves but instead the guard not only allows the thieves in but he holds the door open for them as they cart out the owner’s possessions.

    We are not to be like Adam.  When God gives us truth, we are not to say nothing as the enemy takes our children by their hands and walks them away.  The alarm needs to go off and as Christians we all can be faithful watchmen.

  5. My take is we are to see that the woman’s reply to God is redemptive, she could only say she was deceived if she was NO LONGER deceived.  So there is hope for her.

    The man’s reply to God on the other hand is anything but redemptive, blaming the deceived woman and then ultimately God.  Blaming God is not a redemptive reply, there will be more severe consequences.

  6. We are not to be like Adam.  When God gives us truth, we are not to say nothing as the enemy takes our children by their hands and walks them away.  The alarm needs to go off and as Christians we all can be faithful watchmen.

    This highlights a grave situation in the churches today.  It is practically considered a sin to warn; it’s too negative and divisive. It’s as if the serpent is still beguiling, only now it isn’t just to Eve. He whispers in the ears of all believers, “A loving God wouldn’t want you to say such bad things about those nice people. ” His strategy is still the same: take out the guards.

  7. Don,

    My take is we are to see that the woman’s reply to God is redemptive, she could only say she was deceived if she was NO LONGER deceived.  So there is hope for her.

    This is exactly what I repeatedly communicated to the support group for ex-JW’s that I led.  I would ask them how one can know if one has been deceived?  The fact is that one cannot know unless one is no longer deceived.  Eve’s admission that she had been deceived proves that her eyes had been opened to the deception.  Eve was no longer believing that she wasn’t going to die and she would be wise like God.  She knew she had been had.

  8. Paula,

    It’s as if the serpent is still beguiling, only now it isn’t just to Eve. He whispers in the ears of all believers, “A loving God wouldn’t want you to say such bad things about those nice people.”

    This is exactly what I have experienced too. No matter how nice one speaks forth the truth, one is still accused of being “negative”. When I was speaking to a woman once about how it was wrong for a person to speak to the dead as God had forbidden it, she put her finger almost right in my face and said how dare I say these things. A watchman not only dares, but they dare not speak out.

  9. And they, like Adam, are really blaming God. They judge Him and say He shouldn’t ever talk about sin or justice, that it is IMMORAL for God to put restrictions on people in any way, or to hold them to account. They call the Bible “hate speech” and speaking out against sin “phobia”.

    It’s very much like the move “Omega Man” or “I Am Legend” (original  title of a 1954 sci-fi book by Richard Matheson about a future last survivor of a global disaster). The rest of the people have become “monsters” through disease, but as the only one immune to it, the main character is now the “monster” to them because he kills them. In the same way, when the majority of people worship God, evildoers are easily seen as what they are, but now, with the majority rejecting God, they see Him and us as the “monsters”.

    Of course, in the book/movie the fact remained that only the immune man was truly human, and in real life, God remains God and His followers remain faithful, regardless of how we are perceived. But we have become monsters to them.

  10. ‘The fact is that one cannot know unless one is no longer deceived.’

    I think this fact is of great importance in relation to 1 Tim 2 as long as the woman of v.14 is interpreted to mean ‘Eve’ rather than the woman of v.11 who Paul has stopped from teaching.  

  11. ‘My take is we are to see that the woman’s reply to God is redemptive, she could only say she was deceived if she was NO LONGER deceived.  So there is hope for her.
    The man’s reply to God on the other hand is anything but redemptive, blaming the deceived woman and then ultimately God.  Blaming God is not a redemptive reply, there will be more severe consequences.’

    This has great relevence to the comp interpretation of 1 Tim 2.

  12. That should have been ‘great importance and relevence to the false comp interpretation of 1 Tim 2′.
    Sorry

  13. So who ends up making known the serpent’s nature? Not Adam, but Eve even though Adam was the one who was to guard the garden.

  14. The vaunted “Titus 2 woman” is called the oikouros translated “homemaker” (NKJV) or “housekeeper”. This is a compound word from oikos– house, household, family; and ouros– a guard, be “ware”, guardian, a watcher, a warden. of the home, 

    To me, this call upon her sounds very similar to Adam’s.  I think it encompasses protecting, warning, and spiritual warfare on behalf of her household (and has little if anything to do with “housekeeping” in the traditionally understood sense of domestic servitude)

  15. Wow, Charis! Thanks for that. I never knew!  And I have just been wondering on such a topic.

  16. That same word is also used by Cain when God asks him where his brother is, and he says “Am I my brother’s **guardian**?”  (Today we might say, “It wasn’t my turn to watch him.”)

    It almost sounds like Cain had the same attitude as his father.

  17. One time when I was still ignorant on the teachings in Genesis about Adam, I said to a fellow male believer, without giving the particulars of the conversation nor the details…, something to the effect of  ‘…I get my own Adam… :).’ And I didn’t get much of a response, and now I know why. lol! Adam was no dream boy. Paula, your last comment scared me. Seriously. You know, looking at things in proper biblical perspective is a whole new and different light.

  18. I had never heard of this teaching that Adam was to “guard” the garden until Paula pointed it out on her blog. I checked the Hebrew and was amazed. I have never heard this taught.

     Most of the translations make it sound like his only job was to farm it. :o) What was Adam to ‘guard’ or protect the Garden from? We are not told. I also often wonder if Adam named the serpent.

    However, another thought is that we rarely hear about the responses of Adam and Eve, either from the hierarchalists teaching of this passage.

     Don, you make a great point that Eve admitted she was deceived and could only do that when she wasn’t any longer. So, she admits it. She does not say, ‘Adam did not protect me’. Or, ‘he allowed that serpent in here’. she did not play the blame game.

  19. “This is exactly what I have experienced too. No matter how nice one speaks forth the truth, one is still accused of being “negative”. ”

    Actually, I have experienced this quite a bit from other professing believers. Mostly when discussing things like Hebrew 10 or 1 John. They cannot conceive how serious sin is and believe in cheap grace. They become very upset if anyone dares mention that if one is in willful habitual sin then they may not be saved. I am amazed at how many professing believers do not understand regeneration or Holiness. It is scary and shows how dumbed down the preaching is these days.

    Probably too much time spent on preaching about ‘roles’ than the full counsel of God. (Acts 20)

  20. Sorry, Pink. 🙂

    But there are actually two parallels with Cain and his parents: the one about not being a guardian, and about sin’s “desire” (lit., “lying in wait”) to have him, just as “a lying in wait” increased Eve’s sorrow.

    Lin, yes they spend too much time on “role playing” and too little on the important things. Like any cult, they take one thing out of proportion and build a whole new religion out of it.

  21. How true it is that one who raises questions can be considered a troublemaker, no matter how respectfully the questions are put forth.  I think this is one of the benefits of doing ‘church’ the way it sounds like they did when the church was an infant.  Everyone brought a hymn, etc., and in a format where each could freely share, it would also follow that anyone could freely question, and ALL present would hear both the concern and the responses.  In our present mode, where a single person (pastor) speaks in front of a group, I only once was in a congregation where the pastor took questions afterwards-sometimes.  The church of my husband, which I currently attend sporadically, does indeed welcome challenges, but they welcome them in private.  I think that is dangerous because it means that no one else hears the concern or the response.  How easy it is to sway or influence the masses along a particular line of thinking when the masses are so controlled.

  22. I will add that in all fairness, my husband’s church operates as they do out of an expressed concern for orderliness and timeliness.  I wonder why the early church didn’t think of this and form large, controlled meetings?!  We know that the NT addresses matters of order, yet does so within the context of the generally more accessible smaller house church groups.

  23. “… His watchmen are blind:  they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber …”

    “… Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter …”

    (Isaiah 56:10-11 ~ KJV)

  24. YWC, Pinklight 🙂

    God ministered to me very deeply when HE unveiled to me in HIS Word that HE is the overarching KEEPER:

    1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept {5432} by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    Click Here to read 1 Peter 1:5 in several parallel versions.
    1 Peter 1:5 – kept/guarded/protected phrouros
    5432 phroureo- {froo-reh’-o} AV – keep
    from a compound of 4253 and 3708 horao {hor-ah’-o}
    describes God and means the “oureo”(KEEPER) “before; above”

    So, we have Adam assigned to “keep” (protect, guard, watch) the garden; we have wives assigned to “keep” (protect, guard, watch) their households; we have GOD who keeps, guards, protects us by HIS power “unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.

  25. I have really been out of the loop for the last couple of days trying to get as much of the DVD done as I could to keep in line with my deadlines.

    Great comments, everyone!

    I will start with Charis.  Wonderful insight into the “keepers” from scripture.  This was a blessing to me and thank you for posting it.  For some reason my spam program thought it was suspect so I had to rescue it from the spam.  This takes the “keeper” theme to a much bigger view by researching it in the rest of the scriptures.  Marvelous insight and much appreciated!  Yes, we as women are to be “keeper” of the home too and that is protecting and guiding the home.

    Greg,
    That is quite an indictment from God, isn’t it, when we realize what a great responsibility the watchmen have.  It is helpful for us too to research God’s view of the appointed watchmen and see where he points out our failures.

    Truthseeker,
    I like how you brought out your thoughts out the early church and how they all contributed.  This is what is missing from our churches that has made us into pew warmers unable to defend our faith because we haven’t participated in our faith.  You are so right in that we can learn from other people’s questions.  When we hear the questions and hear the scriptural answers being presented, we are edified and that is what church should be all about. Good thoughts!

    Lin,
    I also appreciated your thoughts.  You are right in that we have missed some important things in scripture.  These missing things need to be brought out so that we are not misled by traditions of men.  I like what you said about the full counsel of God.  Amen!

    Pinklight,
    What can I say? In several different of my posts, you have pointed out some things that have really got my mind going!  I LOVE the interaction here on this blog and how we can all learn from each other.  There is so much to learn and when we allow “iron to sharpen iron” we spur one another on to excellence.

Comment to join the discussion

%d bloggers like this: