We have been looking at Genesis 3 and the fall of man. In this post I want to concentrate on Genesis 3:22-24 to see what we can understand from God’s words that result in God’s actions and why God judges differently between the man and the woman by bringing sin into the world only through the man.
In a previous post we saw that the original Hebrew reveals that God said “Behold, the man was like one of Us….” There is no justification in the original Hebrew for the translation that man became like God when he ate the fruit. This is a very significant point. God said that man was created like God and now he has added to that creation the experience of evil. In his fallen state his inclination would be to partake of what now is forbidden to him which previously was given freely. The tree of life was given to Adam to enjoy the fruit but must now be taken away to fulfill God’s word that “in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die”.
Would Adam reach out to take of the fruit of the tree of life in his sinful state? The actions of God prove that this would be the case.
Genesis 3:23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
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 “sending” of God was for the man to work the ground from which he had been taken. Adam was sent to work the ground that had become cursed because of Adam’s two failures. But did Adam go when he was sent? Verse 24 shows that Adam was not inclined to obey at all. In fact God’s actions show that Adam was defiant. God had to literally drive the man out of the garden. The Hebrew shows an action of force. It was not Adam’s will to leave the garden. Adam was forced out because Adam was living in open defiance of God. Adam was the one who sinned with his eyes wide open and now Adam was the one who was trying to defy God’s judgment by refusing to leave the garden.
After God forced Adam out, God set up a second watchman. According to Genesis 2:15, Adam was God’s original watchman for the garden of Eden. The Hebrew word translated as “keep” means to guard and keep watch. This is a designated watchman. Now God sets up a second watchman after the first watchman morally failed at his watch. In Genesis 3:24, God sets up the cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life. Because of the moral failure of the first watchman, God must install a second watchman whose purpose it now was to protect the tree of life from the unfaithful first watchman.
Where does God show a difference between the way that he treated Adam and the way that he treated the woman? We see that God did not provide a curse because of the woman’s fall into sin. God said to the serpent “because you have done this” and animals received a curse through the actions of the serpent and to Adam “Because you have listened…and ate….” and the earth was cursed because of the actions of Adam. Yet the woman did not receive a curse from God nor was anything cursed because of her actions. We also see that God did not drive out the woman from the garden. Only the man was driven out. Only the man was the defiant one who willfully chose to sin and willfully chose to continue to disobey by refusing to leave. The treachery of Adam is described by God in Hosea 6:7 –
Hosea 6:7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.
If Adam was defiant and dealt treacherously against God by morally failing because he was silent at his watchman’s post, why has it been a tradition in the church that Adam brought sin into the world because he was an appointed unique ruler of the human race? Did God set Adam up as sole king of the world? Or did God show that Adam was tainted with treason because he was the watchman who listened to the deception, he wasn’t deceived but he failed to shout the warning to stop the deception and the one deceived from falling prey to the deceiver?
The silent watchman ate the fruit without being deceived.
The silent watchman blamed his failures on God and his wife.
The silent watchman defiantly refused to leave the garden.
The silent watchman was replaced with God’s faithful watchman.
The silent watchman was unfaithful to God by allowing the innocent to become ensnared on his appointed watch.
The silent watchman then willingly and against his position as a watchman, took the fruit from the hand of his deceived wife and he defied God by eating.
Now some questions for discussion:
1. Why do you think that Eve was not kicked out of the garden?
2. Why did Eve leave the garden if she wasn’t kicked out?
3. Why has the church been so focused on trying to prove that Adam alone was a unique ruler over mankind?
4. Was it Adam’s position as ruler that brought sin into the world or was it his treason and open defiance that brought sin into the world?