Genesis 3* The serpent deceives Eve. (1-5) Adam and Eve transgress theDivine command, and fall into sin and misery. (6-8) God callsupon Adam and Eve to answer. (9-13) The serpent cursed, Thepromised Seed. (14,15) The punishment of mankind. (16-19) Thefirst clothing of mankind. (20,21) Adam and Eve are driven outfrom paradise. (22-24)1-5 Satan assaulted our first parents, to draw them to sin, andthe temptation proved fatal to them. The tempter was the devil,in the shape and likeness of a serpent. Satan's plan was to drawour first parents to sin, and so to separate between them andtheir God. Thus the devil was from the beginning a murderer, andthe great mischief maker. The person tempted was the woman: itwas Satan's policy to enter into talk with her when she wasalone. There are many temptations to which being alone givesgreat advantage; but the communion of saints tends very much totheir strength and safety. Satan took advantage by finding hernear the forbidden tree. They that would not eat the forbiddenfruit, must not come near the forbidden tree. Satan tempted Eve,that by her he might tempt Adam. It is his policy to sendtemptations by hands we do not suspect, and by those that havemost influence upon us. Satan questioned whether it were a sinor not, to eat of this tree. He did not disclose his design atfirst, but he put a question which seemed innocent. Those whowould be safe, need to be shy of talking with the tempter. Hequoted the command wrong. He spoke in a taunting way. The devil,as he is a liar, so he is a scoffer from the beginning; andscoffers are his children. It is the craft of Satan to speak ofthe Divine law as uncertain or unreasonable, and so to drawpeople to sin; it is our wisdom to keep up a firm belief ofGod's command, and a high respect for it. Has God said, Ye shallnot lie, nor take his name in vain, nor be drunk, &c.? Yes, I amsure he has, and it is well said; and by his grace I will abideby it. It was Eve's weakness to enter into this talk with theserpent: she might have perceived by his question, that he hadno good design, and should therefore have started back. Satanteaches men first to doubt, and then to deny. He promisesadvantage from their eating this fruit. He aims to make themdiscontented with their present state, as if it were not so goodas it might be, and should be. No condition will of itself bringcontent, unless the mind be brought to it. He tempts them toseek preferment, as if they were fit to be gods. Satan ruinedhimself by desiring to be like the Most High, therefore hesought to infect our first parents with the same desire, that hemight ruin them too. And still the devil draws people into hisinterest, by suggesting to them hard thoughts of God, and falsehopes of advantage by sin. Let us, therefore, always think wellof God as the best good, and think ill of sin as the worst evil:thus let us resist the devil, and he will flee from us. 6-8 Observe the steps of the transgression: not steps upward,but downward toward the pit. 1. She saw. A great deal of sincomes in at the eye. Let us not look on that which we are indanger of lusting after, #Mt 5:28|. 2. She took. It was her ownact and deed. Satan may tempt, but he cannot force; may persuadeus to cast ourselves down, but he cannot cast us down, #Mt 4:6|.3. She did eat. When she looked perhaps she did not intend totake; or when she took, not to eat: but it ended in that. It iswisdom to stop the first motions of sin, and to leave it offbefore it be meddled with. 4. She gave it also to her husbandwith her. Those that have done ill, are willing to draw inothers to do the same. 5. He did eat. In neglecting the tree oflife, of which he was allowed to eat, and eating of the tree ofknowledge, which was forbidden, Adam plainly showed a contemptof what God had bestowed on him, and a desire for what God didnot see fit to give him. He would have what he pleased, and dowhat he pleased. His sin was, in one word, disobedience, #Ro5:19|; disobedience to a plain, easy, and express command. Hehad no corrupt nature within, to betray him; but had a freedomof will, in full strength, not weakened or impaired. He turnedaside quickly. He drew all his posterity into sin and ruin. Whothen can say that Adam's sin had but little harm in it? When toolate, Adam and Eve saw the folly of eating forbidden fruit. Theysaw the happiness they fell from, and the misery they werefallen into. They saw a loving God provoked, his grace andfavour forfeited. See her what dishonour and trouble sin is; itmakes mischief wherever it gets in, and destroys all comfort.Sooner or later it will bring shame; either the shame of truerepentance, which ends in glory, or that shame and everlastingcontempt, to which the wicked shall rise at the great day. Seehere what is commonly the folly of those that have sinned. Theyhave more care to save their credit before men, than to obtaintheir pardon from God. The excuses men make to cover and lessentheir sins, are vain and frivolous; like the aprons offig-leaves, they make the matter never the better: yet we areall apt to cover our transgressions as Adam. Before they sinned,they would have welcomed God's gracious visits with humble joy;but now he was become a terror to them. No marvel that theybecame a terror to themselves, and full of confusion. This showsthe falsehood of the tempter, and the frauds of his temptations.Satan promised they should be safe, but they cannot so much asthink themselves so! Adam and Eve were now miserable comfortersto each other! 9-13 Observe the startling question, Adam, where art thou?Those who by sin go astray from God, should seriously considerwhere they are; they are afar off from all good, in the midst oftheir enemies, in bondage to Satan, and in the high road toutter ruin. This lost sheep had wandered without end, if thegood Shepherd had not sought after him, and told him, that wherehe was straying he could not be either happy or easy. If sinnerswill but consider where they are, they will not rest till theyreturn to God. It is the common fault and folly of those thathave done ill, when questioned about it, to acknowledge onlythat which is so manifest that they cannot deny it. Like Adam,we have reason to be afraid of approaching to God, if we are notcovered and clothed with the righteousness of Christ. Sinappears most plainly in the glass of the commandment, thereforeGod set it before Adam; and in it we should see our faces. Butinstead of acknowledging the sin in its full extent, and takingshame to themselves, Adam and Eve excuse the sin, and lay theshame and blame on others. There is a strange proneness in thosethat are tempted, to say, they are tempted of God; as if ourabuse of God's gifts would excuse our breaking God's laws. Thosewho are willing to take the pleasure and profit of sin, arebackward to take the blame and shame of it. Learn hence, thatSatan's temptations are all beguilings; his arguments are alldeceits; his allurements are all cheats; when he speaks fair,believe him not. It is by the deceitfulness of sin the heart ishardened. See #Ro 7:11; Heb 3:13|. But though Satan's subtletymay draw us into sin, yet it will not justify us in sin. Thoughhe is the tempter, we are the sinners. Let it not lessen oursorrow for sin, that we were beguiled into it; but let itincrease our self-indignation, that we should suffer ourselvesto be deceived by a known cheat, and a sworn enemy, who woulddestroy our souls. 14,15 God passes sentence; and he begins where the sin began,with the serpent. The devil's instruments must share in thedevil's punishments. Under the cover of the serpent, the devilis sentenced to be degraded and accursed of God; detested andabhorred of all mankind: also to be destroyed and ruined at lastby the great Redeemer, signified by the breaking of his head.War is proclaimed between the Seed of the woman and the seed ofthe serpent. It is the fruit of this enmity, that there is acontinual warfare between grace and corruption, in the hearts ofGod's people. Satan, by their corruptions, buffets them, siftsthem, and seeks to devour them. Heaven and hell can never bereconciled, nor light and darkness; no more can Satan and asanctified soul. Also, there is a continual struggle between thewicked and the godly in this world. A gracious promise is heremade of Christ, as the Deliverer of fallen man from the power ofSatan. Here was the drawn of the gospel day: no sooner was thewound given, than the remedy was provided and revealed. Thisgracious revelation of a Saviour came unasked, and unlooked for.Without a revelation of mercy, giving some hope of forgiveness,the convinced sinner would sink into despair, and be hardened.By faith in this promise, our first parents, and the patriarchsbefore the flood, were justified and saved. Notice is givenconcerning Christ. 1. His incarnation, or coming in the flesh.It speaks great encouragement to sinners, that their Saviour isthe Seed of the woman, bone of our bone, #Heb 2:11,14|. 2. Hissufferings and death; pointed at in Satan's bruising his heel,that is, his human nature. And Christ's sufferings are continuedin the sufferings of the saints for his name. The devil temptsthem, persecutes and slays them; and so bruises the heel ofChrist, who is afflicted in their afflictions. But while theheel is bruised on earth, the Head is in heaven. 3. His victoryover Satan thereby. Christ baffled Satan's temptations, rescuedsouls out of his hands. By his death he gave a fatal blow to thedevil's kingdom, a wound to the head of this serpent that cannotbe healed. As the gospel gains ground, Satan falls. 16-19 The woman, for her sin, is condemned to a state ofsorrow, and of subjection; proper punishments of that sin, inwhich she had sought to gratify the desire of her eye, and ofthe flesh, and her pride. Sin brought sorrow into the world;that made the world a vale of tears. No wonder our sorrows aremultiplied, when our sins are so. He shall rule over thee, isbut God's command, Wives, be subject to your own husbands. Ifman had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom andlove; if the woman had not sinned, she would always have obeyedwith humility and meekness. Adam laid the blame on his wife; butthough it was her fault to persuade him to eat the forbiddenfruit, it was his fault to hearken to her. Thus men's frivolouspleas will, in the day of God's judgment, be turned againstthem. God put marks of displeasure on Adam. 1. His habitation iscursed. God gave the earth to the children of men, to be acomfortable dwelling; but it is now cursed for man's sin. YetAdam is not himself cursed, as the serpent was, but only theground for his sake. 2. His employments and enjoyments areimbittered to him. Labour is our duty, which we must faithfullyperform; it is part of man's sentence, which idleness daringlydefies. Uneasiness and weariness with labour are our justpunishment, which we must patiently submit to, since they areless than our iniquity deserves. Man's food shall becomeunpleasant to him. Yet man is not sentenced to eat dust as theserpent, only to eat the herb of the field. 3. His life also isbut short; considering how full of trouble his days are, it isin favour to him that they are few. Yet death being dreadful tonature, even when life is unpleasant, that concludes thepunishment. Sin brought death into the world: if Adam had notsinned, he had not died. He gave way to temptation, but theSaviour withstood it. And how admirably the satisfaction of ourLord Jesus, by his death and sufferings, answered the sentencepassed on our first parents! Did travailing pains come with sin?We read of the travail of Christ's soul, #Isa 53:11|; and thepains of death he was held by, are so called, #Ac 2:24|. Didsubjection came in with sin? Christ was made under the law, #Ga4:4|. Did the curse come in with sin? Christ was made a cursefor us, he died a cursed death, #Ga 3:13|. Did thorns come inwith sin? He was crowned with thorns for us. Did sweat come inwith sin? He sweat for us, as it had been great drops of blood.Did sorrow come in with sin? He was a man of sorrows; his soulwas, in his agony, exceeding sorrowful. Did death come in withsin? He became obedient unto death. Thus is the plaster as wideas the wound. Blessed be God for his Son our Lord Jesus Christ. 20,21 God named the man, and called him Adam, which signifiesred earth; Adam named the woman, and called her Eve, that is,life. Adam bears the name of the dying body, Eve of the livingsoul. Adam probably had regard to the blessing of a Redeemer,the promised Seed, in calling his wife Eve, or life; for Heshould be the life of all believers, and in Him all the familiesof the earth should be blessed. See also God's care for ourfirst parents, notwithstanding their sin. Clothes came in withsin. Little reason have we to be proud of our clothes, which arebut the badges of our shame. When God made clothes for our firstparents, he made them warm and strong, but coarse and veryplain; not robes of scarlet, but coats of skin. Let those thatare meanly clad, learn from hence not to complain. Having foodand a covering, let them be content; they are as well off asAdam and Eve. And let those that are finely clad, learn not tomake the putting on of apparel their adorning. The beasts, fromwhose skins they were clothed, it is supposed were slain, notfor man's food, but for sacrifice, to typify Christ, the greatSacrifice. Adam and Eve made for themselves aprons offig-leaves, a covering too narrow for them to wrap themselvesin, #Isa 28:20|. Such are all the rags of our own righteousness.But God made them coats of skin, large, strong, durable, and fitfor them: such is the righteousness of Christ; therefore put yeon the Lord Jesus Christ. 22-24 God bid man go out; told him he should no longer occupyand enjoy that garden: but man liked the place, and wasunwilling to leave it, therefore God made him go out. Thissignified the shutting out of him, and all his guilty race, fromthat communion with God, which was the bliss and glory ofparadise. But man was only sent to till the ground out of whichhe was taken. He was sent to a place of toil, not to a place oftorment. Our first parents were shut out from the privileges oftheir state of innocency, yet they were not left to despair. Theway to the tree of life was shut. It was henceforward in vainfor him and his to expect righteousness, life, and happiness, bythe covenant of works; for the command of that covenant beingbroken, the curse of it is in full force: we are all undone, ifwe are judged by that covenant. God revealed this to Adam, notto drive him to despair, but to quicken him to look for life andhappiness in the promised Seed, by whom a new and living wayinto the holiest is laid open for us.
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