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The Master's Approach — Genesis Chapter 3

Updated: May 17, 2022

This blog post will cover the devotionals #18-30 for Genesis Chapter 3.

Please note that this devotional book is for sale as a physical (paperback) &/or digital (PDF) book on my website.

[18] Genesis 3:1-6

In Numbers 14:3, after spying out Canaan, the Israelites complained that their wives (and children) would fall prey. They gave and/or believed an evil report (one that was unfaithful / untrusting), despite God’s command and assurance of protection and victory over their enemies. Eve likewise both gave and believed an evil report about God. She first misquoted what God had commanded concerning their contact with the tree, and then believed Satan’s claim—that what God had stated the results would be was also a lie. God told Adam and Eve about Lucifer and what he’d try to do, and thus, His command to not eat of the tree wasn’t just to protect their life, but also to give them victory over their enemy—Satan. Just as God told the Israelites not to spy out Canaan, He told Adam and Eve not to ‘spy out’ the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In other words, just like God expected the Israelites to trust His judgment about the safety of the promised land, God expected them to trust His judgment about the safety of the tree. They didn’t need to inspect it for themselves to know if it was good / safe or not because God gave His word about it. Deuteronomy 1:39 shows the contrast: “Your little ones, which you said would be a prey, and your children, which then had no knowledge between good and evil, will go in there, and I will give it to them, and they will possess it.” Like we saw in Genesis 2:15-17 (in devotional #13), God promised that those who had no knowledge between good and evil—in other words, no experiential knowledge of evil—would be protected and provided for, and they’d never have to concern themselves with it at all. God never wanted them to have to experience the aspects of sin—the path or the end results. Yet, instead of trusting in God as the Captain of their salvation, they decided (see Numbers 14:4) that they'd elect a new captain and return to Egypt. Egypt is symbolic of slavery / bondage in the Bible. The parallel between this and what happened in the Garden is unbelievable. Adam and Eve chose to make Lucifer (the serpent) their new captain, and thus, entered into bondage to sin.

[19] Genesis 3:6

Proverbs 14:12; 16:25 say, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the result is the way of death.” We’re told in Genesis 3:6 that the woman saw that the tree was (A) good for food, (B) pleasant to the eyes, and (C) a tree to be desired to make one wise. Notice that there were three things that seemed to be one way to Eve, but remember what Genesis 2:9 said? God made to grow from the ground every tree that is (B) pleasant to the sight, and that is (A) good for food. And then something else is thrown in there. “He also made the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Then, a few verses later, God told man that he could eat of every tree of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil—otherwise, he’d die. Let’s break this down a little more. Number one, everything that God makes is pleasant to the eye, however, Genesis 2:9 distinguishes the pleasant-looking trees that are also good for food from two other specific trees. Why else would He have named them (they would’ve just been included in that description)? Number two, God said in verses 16, 17 that the tree of knowledge wasn't good for food. Number three, by what criteria did Eve determine what made something desirable for a specific purpose? God certainly didn’t tell her that. And lastly and most notably, it seemed to them that the right thing to do would be completely against / opposite of what God had told them. However, what seemed right to them had death as the end result—just as God said it would.

[20] Genesis 3:7-10

Adam and Eve weren't ashamed because of being naked. There’s nothing shameful about being naked—when you’re alone, with your spouse, or even with God (He sees through any covering anyway!). You’re born naked. What you feel when seen naked by others is embarrassment, not shame. Being ashamed and embarrassed aren’t the same thing. If a married couple makes love (which is a perfectly good, natural thing)—and someone accidently walks in on them, they wouldn’t feel shame, but rather, embarrassment. You feel shame when someone witnesses you doing something you shouldn’t do—even in private (such as fornicating with someone who isn’t your spouse). You feel embarrassment when someone witnesses you doing something you can (and should only) do in private, for example. Here’s another way that the difference between shame and embarrassment has been described: Embarrassment is feeling discomfort when some part of you is (or is at risk to be) witnessed by, or revealed to, others—and you believe your projected image of yourself may be undermined by it—but is otherwise, morally neutral. Shame is the response to something morally wrong or unjustifiable—normally magnified if exposed to others. However, shame is also attached to private thoughts or actions. If you feel ashamed because someone witnesses you doing something, then you should also feel ashamed for doing it privately—because God's always your Witness. Embarrassment is intense because it deals with our social image, but shame is more so, as it deals with our moral character. Shame comes from comparing our character (thoughts / actions) with moral standards and seeing that they fall short. Interestingly, this is described perfectly in Romans 3:23, which says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We know that God’s glory is His character, so our sinful characters definitely fall short in comparison to His. Thus, we can only naturally feel shame. Nakedness isn’t something shameful. Causing your nakedness to be shown publicly is. Adam and Eve weren't always ‘naked’ in the true sense of the word. They were clothed in robes of light, as we saw in Genesis 2:25 (in devotional #17). When they sinned, their robes of light were shed automatically. They were ashamed of their sin, not of their nakedness. ‘Shame’ comes from the meaning, ‘to cover’. Thus, when they sinned, they made fig-leaf aprons to cover their nakedness, and when Adam heard God walking in the garden after he sinned, he withered and hid himself in fear, or rather—in shame. Recall Genesis 2:25 said “they were naked, and not ashamed.” What’s the difference then? Sin made their innocent ‘nakedness’ a moral crime. Their change of garments was their change in character. They went from a 'weightless' robe of righteousness to a 'heavy' apron of wickedness.

[21] Genesis 3:8-13

Adam and Eve didn’t hide because of how God approached them. He didn’t come busting into the garden, calling out their wrong doing. When God came to visit that day, He gently called out to them, "Where are you?" God knew exactly where they were, but He wanted to give them an opportunity to approach Him. It’s incredible that God doesn’t shame us—even though we act shamefully. As we saw in devotional #20, shame is our response to our immoral actions / thoughts. God could’ve come to them, accusing them of sinning, but He gave them a chance to approach Him—in all their nakedness and shame—and plead guilty of their own accord—seeking His help. Hebrews 4:13, 15, 16 says, “Nor is there any creature that is not displayed in His sight: but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do—because we do not have a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our weakness; but was tempted in all points like we are, but remained sinless. Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, so we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need.” Adam responded in a way that suggested he might admit his wrong but took another direction very quickly. God asked, "Who told you that you were naked?" Adam and Eve seemed to think this question was a welcome opportunity for them to blame someone else for revealing their nakedness. However, the very next thing God said (before allowing them time to respond) was, ‘Have you done what I warned you not to do?’ The correct answer to God’s question was that Adam and Eve ‘told’ themselves that they were naked. The consequences of the choice they made revealed their new condition to them. Nobody else had to tell them. However, Adam and Eve essentially blamed God (and others) for putting them in a situation where they could choose to sin and die, just as the Israelites blamed God (and Moses) for bringing them into a situation where they could die. Did you know that the trip from Egypt to the promised land was only supposed to take eleven days on foot? However, because of their sin, they wandered in the wilderness for forty years! The children of those murmuring Israelites had to deal with the consequences of their parents’ actions (just like all of humanity has had to deal with the consequences of our first parents’ actions), but even though all the adults who came out of Egypt had died in the wilderness (except for two), all their children’s lives were preserved for the eventual fulfillment of God’s promise—to enter into the promised land.

[22] Genesis 3:1,14,15

It intrigues me to think about the parallels between Lucifer in Heaven and the serpent in Eden. Genesis 3:1 tells us that the serpent was more cunning / prudent than any field beast that God had made. This means that he could plan ahead. At Creation, the serpent was actually one of the most beautiful creatures—and had wings. It doesn’t surprise me that Lucifer chose the serpent as his disguise. Why? He was a covering cherub—which meant that he was of the highest rank, strength, and intelligence among the winged-beings in Heaven. He also was the most beautiful of all the angels. In verses 14, 15, God predicted the consequences of the serpent’s (Satan’s) deception. He’d be worse off than the beasts of the field (which had previously been stated as lesser than the serpents). He wouldn’t even have feet, let alone his wings—but would have to crawl on his belly and eat dust. Furthermore, men would bruise his head (and he'd bruise their heel). I used to wonder why God pronounced this seemingly arbitrary ‘curse’. However, pondering several things, it seems very clear to me. In Luke 10:18, 19, Jesus said, “I watched Satan fall as lightning from Heaven. Look, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions.” First off, after he deceived some of the angels to rebel against God, Satan wasn’t kicked out of Heaven—he fled (or as this says, ‘fell’) from there. Not only did he fall from his high, glorious position, but also from his high, glorious home. Likewise, after he deceived man—he fell from his home (in the tree) to the ground and had to remain there—as he also lost his wings. He went from a proud place to a humble one. It’s very clear that in both scenarios, he literally grounded himself. What’s more interesting is that snakes don’t even have homes—they take over the holes / dens that other creatures dig for themselves. This also sounds a lot like what Satan tried to do—taking the place that God alone could fill—His throne in both Heaven and our minds. Something else that really catches my attention is the fact that it’s a very negative consequence for Satan (as a serpent) to have enmity with man. In his first interaction with humanity, he seduced Eve. She was drawn to him—maybe even mesmerized—by his beauty, his speech, and his knowledge. This was his way of getting in close proximity with us so he could work his deception. However, with the exception of a small percentage of humanity—what is man’s overall response towards snakes nowadays? Fear, hatred, murder—in other words, enmity. If we don’t run, we usually take the axe or hammer straight to the head, don’t we? And how do they respond to us? Fear, hatred, murder—they either slither away or strike with deadly precision. In devotional #24, we’ll take a closer look at verse 15 about this enmity. What looks like a curse was actually a blessed promise!

[23] Genesis 3:15,21

If someone asked you to summarize the Gospel in one verse, what’d it be? Genesis 3:15 says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” There’s so much wrapped up in this verse that an entire book could be written about it. What's enmity? Enmity is hatred, or the relationship between enemies. Why was this an important aspect of the Gospel? Before Adam fell, he had the ability to choose between God (righteousness) and Satan (sin). When Adam chose to sin, he sold himself to sin, and by doing that, he lost his ability to choose. Some might have thought the most obvious answer to my question would naturally be, John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is a clear choice, and probably why this is the one verse that's universally known above all others. However, the concept from that verse is actually included in Genesis 3:15. “Her Seed will bruise your head, and you will bruise His heel.” Up until the cross, not every being in the universe was fully convinced that everything Satan claimed—about himself and against God—was a lie. They had begun seeing more about his character—but the absolute truth of it was revealed at the cross, erasing all doubt. Satan and his followers were responsible for putting Christ on the cross. Nails pierced his hands and feet—in other words, His heel was bruised. As John 8:44 says, “You are of your father the devil, and you will do your father’s lusts. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own—because he is a liar, and the father of it.” When Christ succeeded on the cross, everything was made clear—Satan was revealed to be a liar. His plan failed. His head (his pride, his reputation, his high position in the minds of those who still struggled with doubt, etc.) was bruised. Satan succeeded in putting Christ on the cross but failed to get Him back off it before Christ won the victory. If He had come down before dying, Satan would’ve won. Because Christ chose to intervene and die the death Adam and Eve should’ve died, they were redeemed that very day. By putting enmity between Satan and man, God brought them back to a place where they could once again choose between Him and sin. Christ didn’t die that day but He made a covenant that day to die. His promise was made that day but ratified (or established / confirmed) on the cross nearly four thousand years later. Genesis 3:21 says “The Lord God made skin coats for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” That was very symbolic. To thoroughly cover their new-found nakedness, He had to slay an animal. Their sin caused the death of a living creature. Sure, God could’ve come up with another way to clothe them, but He did this as an object lesson to show them what their sin would ultimately do—kill the Lamb of God. Thus, every time something died, they’d be reminded of the awful consequences (the wages) of sin (death) but also of the incredible promise that God made to them to make them His again. Ezekiel 16:8 gives a clear picture of this. “The Lord said, “Now, when I passed by and looked upon you, look—your everlasting duration was one of love; and I spread my skirt over you and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore unto you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine.”

[24] Genesis 3:11-13,16

I once heard an intriguing explanation of this portion of Genesis 3:16. “Your desire will be to your husband, and he will rule over you.” They researched the meaning of the idea of desire in this context, and it came out to mean something to the effect of, “you will try to control your husband.” Now this may be more of a subconscious thing that happens, but we see that a lot, don’t we? I think there’s an important reason that God included this portion of Eve’s consequence for her sin because something happened that made her more vulnerable to sin in the first place. Genesis 2:23, 24 told us that as soon as Adam was given his wife, he said, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Therefore, a man must leave his parents and must cleave unto his wife: and they must be one flesh.” They were to be one unit—staying together. If Eve hadn’t wandered away from Adam the day she found herself at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, she wouldn’t have been so vulnerable and so easily seduced. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (also see surrounding verses) tells us, “If one prevails against him, two will withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Eve had a chance of fighting Satan’s temptation on her own, but if Adam had been with her, they could’ve much more easily stood up against what he was saying. However, if they had been heeding God’s warning about the tree, they wouldn’t have even gone near it. They would’ve had the full, three-fold power (the man, the woman, and God) to overcome the temptation—and that cord (the bond between the three of them)—wouldn’t have been so quickly broken. We saw in Genesis 3:11-13 (in devotional #21) that when it came time to take responsibility for their actions, they blamed each other and God. There had been nothing but love and adoration in their relationships with each other up until that point. How quickly is Satan able to attack and damage the marriage relationship that we have with our earthly husband, and more importantly, our Heavenly One? How did he accomplish it? If you drive a wedge between—you weaken the bond. In the context of Genesis 2:24—the word ‘cleave’ means ‘cling’. Yet, in other (more modern) contexts, ‘cleave’ means to ‘forcefully sever, divide / separate’. Remember how we saw, in devotional #10, that Satan wanted to attack God’s first two institutions: the Sabbath and marriage? Well, we could go much deeper into both of those, but here we can see that Satan counterfeited the meaning of cleave to make it the exact opposite. By separating what God put together, he could introduce sin into the world. They were no longer one—equals / complimentary counterparts—as they were designed to be (why do you think God took a part of Adam from his side, and not his head or feet?), as we saw in devotional #16. Eve’s consequence of being ruled over by her husband, and her constant temptation to control him, came as a result of taking matters into her own hands, and then peer-pressuring Adam into joining her in sin. Now she couldn't be a trusted co-leader—but would have to look to her husband as her head.

[25] Genesis 3:16,20 (Part 1)

It has always really bothered / perplexed me that part of the consequences of Eve’s sin was the pain of childbirth and menstrual cycles. That seems so arbitrary in the context of eating a fruit—because I know that the results of sin aren’t random punishments that God puts us through, but rather, natural consequences of our actions. For example, we have a law called gravity—which is a very good law, and vital for the maintenance of our life on Earth, etc. However, that law can be broken which, many times, brings non-ideal consequences. You let go of a glass bowl—it falls and breaks. You step off the top of a building—you fall and break your bones or die. God gave us an understanding of the laws designed for our good so that we know how they could end up being for our ill if misused. Yet, He doesn’t prevent us from breaking the law—just as He warned Adam and Eve about the tree but didn’t stop them from eating from it. That’s where our freedom of choice comes in. He gives us the opportunity to make informed decisions. So, if a negative action naturally produces an obvious negative result, then Eve’s curse doesn’t seem like an obvious result of her choice to eat the fruit. However, when I consider it further, it all falls into place. We know that sin wasn't an intended aspect of life. Sin's symptoms include waste, pain, and damage. We go to the bathroom to get rid of waste material left over from the foods and fluids we consume. Let me ask you this. Do you think God’s design of a fruit would ever leave anything unused? Would anything be wasted that would later need to be disposed of? Of course not! God makes all things perfectly. Thus, I’m convinced that the only reason we were given a colon, anus, and urethra was because God knew sin was going to occur and lessen our ability to manage every part of what we consume. Thus, He designed us ahead of time to have a way to deal with the symptoms of that disease (sin) when it did arise. Likewise, the body would’ve been made perfect—strong and flexible, nothing lacking, nothing excessive, and nothing that should need fixing. So, why is it that the woman’s uterus must go through a monthly period of self-destruction? The woman first chose to eat the forbidden fruit and she was the one intended to bear the fruit to follow God’s command to be fruitful and multiply (in the context of having children). Well, because of sin, the body has been degraded, and needs maintenance or healing. The woman’s menstrual period is a time of cleansing. The lining of the uterus is shed to clean it up in preparation for the upcoming ‘season’ of conception and implantation—a sort of pruning, if you will. Isaiah 5:4-6 says, “What more could have been done to my vineyard, that I have not done? Why, when I expected it to produce grapes, did it produce wild grapes? Now, I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be eaten up; and I will break down its wall, and it will be tread down: and I will lay it waste: it would not be pruned nor dug; but briers and thorns will come up: I will also command the clouds not to rain upon it.” Then, when it comes time to labor, the effort of pushing and then the stretching and tearing of the tissues (which were originally strong and flexible) are both painful for obvious reasons. However, the woman’s entire reproductive cycle / process was never intended to be painful.

[26] Genesis 3:16,20 (Part 2)

In devotional #25, we looked at the reason why waste, pain, and damage are present in life, and set the stage to understand why the ‘curse’ of Eve’s reproductive cycle was appropriate for her seemingly unrelated sin. Just as with childbirth (and all its preparation), our character-building (fruit-bearing) is a painful process because of sin. Fruit that would’ve been produced naturally and effortlessly now requires great difficulty for us to produce. The pain comes in the pruning and refining required for the branch to be healthy enough to produce fruit but wouldn’t be necessary if sin didn’t put impure or life-sucking traits into both our character and body. John 15:2, 4 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit is taken away: and He purges every branch that bears fruit, so that it may produce more fruit…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine; neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” Thus, just as witnessing the death of a living thing reminds us of the consequences of our sin (as we saw in devotional #23), the woman suffers through menstruation and labor as a regular reminder of our need to remain in Him in order to produce fruit without pain and effort. Her ‘curse’ wasn't arbitrary at all. Recall that, in devotional #15 about Genesis 2:18-24, we learned that Adam’s wife wasn't named Eve until later (but simply, ‘Woman’, from the beginning). Well, after it was made clear that she’d be the mother of all living (in Genesis 3:20), it was then that Adam renamed her. ‘Eve’ means ‘life-giver’. Just like God renames us when we go through a change in character (like He renamed Jacob, Israel—which we'll see more about in devotional #144), Adam chose this name to be more specific for her newly-found character or purpose. Her sin (and Adam's) took life—and now she’d give life.

[27] Genesis 3:17-19

When Jesus was with His disciples (in Matthew 21:19, 20), He went over to a fig-tree, which He expected to find bearing fruit because it was covered in leaves. However, when He got there, He found its image a deception—the fig leaves were a mask to cover its unfruitfulness. He then appeared to have ‘cursed’ the tree (apparently out of frustration). In reality, He didn’t arbitrarily tell the tree that it’d never bear fruit—but rather, He prophesied it. Likewise, in Genesis 3, where God appears to be punishing the serpent, Eve, and Adam (as well as the ground) for the sin—He was actually prophesying the natural consequences of their sin. They cursed themselves. The fig tree withered because God no longer sustained its life. Likewise, the earth went through an experience where God could no longer sustain life to perfection. This is why Adam's and Eve’s choice to reject God was sin and its wages were death. Telling God that you don’t want Him forces Him to withdraw from you—not only Himself, but also His life-sustaining power. By choosing to sin, Adam didn’t only affect humanity and the Lamb of God. All of Creation was impacted. Sin was introduced into the environment. Adam wept when the first leaf fell—it was a sign of decay and death. That was just as bitter as the death of a living creature to him and would become another continuous reminder of the consequences of sin—even on innocent ‘bystanders’. God didn’t curse the ground or the plants—Adam did, and now he’d have to deal with that. Imagine the difference between a soft soil and a hard clay. Which is going to be easier to deal with when it comes to farming? The ground becomes hardened because of sin just like our hearts do. The harder the material, the harder it is to make it soft again. And just like barbed wire is put up for added protection (to keep people / things in or out), plants developed defensive mutations called thorns (sharp, rigid extensions of leaves, roots, stems, or buds) to prevent themselves from being eaten. This doesn't just limit the animals, but also makes it more difficult for man to harvest and eat of it. No wonder Genesis 3:19 said that man would eat in the sweat of his face. He'd have to work hard to produce the food to sustain his now mortal life. We see that Adam would return to the ground where he was taken from. Genesis 2:7, 8 told us that “The LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed the breath of life into His nostrils; and man became a living being.” God never intended for man to die and return to the dust of the ground, or for his breath to depart. So why would that happen now? Well, just like we saw earlier, when you forsake God—you’re telling Him to withdraw His life-sustaining power from you. Psalm 104:29 says, “You hide Your face—they are troubled: You take away their breath—they die, and return to their dust.”

[28] Genesis 3:22

“The man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil.” It’s interesting that God nearly quoted what Satan had told Eve in Genesis 3:5 (about God’s motive in keeping them from the tree of knowledge): “In the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be as gods, knowing good and evil.”While Satan had painted this to be a good thing that they should desire, God had tried to avoid it because it was a bad thing that He knew they wouldn’t want to experience. Having a knowledge of both good and evil meant that they were exposed to both (like God had been)—or even worse, had experienced it personally. It’s similar to what happened when God brought Israel out of Egypt in Exodus 13:17, 18. “God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; because God said, “Let’s avoid the risk that the people repent when they see war and return to Egypt.” God led them around, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.” The point of this was that God knew if they even saw—let alone experienced—the hardship of war, they might be sorry they left Egypt and decide to return to bondage rather than go with God. He was protecting them. Likewise with Adam and Eve—God didn’t want them to die, or to experience or even see what sin was and what it’d cause. Yet, they wanted the shortcut through enemy territory. The only aspect of ‘being / becoming like Us’ that God wanted mankind to partake in was His image—His character—but now, they had taken part in the character of Satan as well.

[29] Genesis 3:22,23

If God originally intended for man to live forever, why would He say here that He had to prevent that, now that they’d sinned? Was the necessity of their death an arbitrary punishment that God had to inflict on them for their sin? No, we already saw that sin naturally causes death. We know the tree of life had some kind of ‘power’ (or represented something that did) that would immortalize mankind. It says it right there in verse 22. Thus, if they were no longer allowed to eat of it, they couldn’t access that power anymore. Why would that be? Man was currently in sin, and to immortalize him in that state would be to immortalize sin. Regardless of the fact that God wouldn’t want this to happen, it'd be an impossibility—an oxymoron—for it to happen. “The wages of sin is death.” There’s no possible way that an active sinner could live forever—without God directly overriding the natural effects that would come upon him. If He would’ve done that, Satan would’ve called foul play, and for good reason. I don’t think God blocked the way to the tree of life to prevent something that could happen, but to provide an object lesson to show what couldn't. Revelation discusses the tree of life in the city—or the paradise—of God. What is this paradise? In Luke 23:43, Jesus mentions ‘paradise’ (in context of Heaven) to the converted thief on the cross. Strong’s Concordance defines that term as, ‘a park—specifically, an Eden (a place of future happiness)’. Revelation 2:7 says (to Ephesus), “I will give him that overcomes the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God.” This shows us a future context and a condition. What must he overcome? Sin must be overcome before the right to the tree of life (in other words, eternal life) could be reinstated. Revelation 22:2, 14 tell us that the tree of life bears twelve types of fruit and its leaves are for the healing of the nations—and those that do God’s commandments are blessed because they’ll have the right to the tree of life and to enter into the city through the gates. There seem to be some parallels between the earthly Eden and the Heavenly one. The tree of life was placed in the middle of the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) and in the middle of the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7). They both were a privilege to partake of. The garden of Eden was made off-limits to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:23, 24), and the city gates would be opened only to the obedient over-comers (Revelation 22:14). If the tree of life could no longer be eaten of, now that sin was present, but could be after sin is overcome, then there had to be a way to get there. We’ll see more of that in devotional #30.

[30] Genesis 3:22-24

After man was sent out of the garden, Cherubims were placed at the east of the garden. It's interesting that, in Exodus 25:18-22, the Lord instructed the ark of the covenant to be topped with two Cherubims (on the mercy seat) in the Sanctuary. He said He would meet with Moses from between them. He also instructed that the curtains of the Sanctuary be weaved with gold Cherubims in Exodus 26:1, 31. In Matthew 27:51, one of these very same, Cherubim-embroidered curtains—the veil of the Sanctuary—was torn in two (representing the tearing down of the wall of partition between man and God) as soon as Christ breathed His last breath on the cross. This veil was four inches thick, and so heavy that it took three hundred men to manage—meaning no man could’ve torn that himself. The flaming sword was also placed with the Cherubims to keep the way to the tree of life. In Matthew 10:34, Jesus says that He came to send a sword, not peace. 'Sword' here is defined as ‘controversy’. Ephesians 6:17 says to take up the sword of the Spirit. We see (in Hebrews 4:12) that the Word of God is quick, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. In all three of these verses, it uses the same version of ‘sword’. So, if a sword represents the Word of God, and we know that the Word of God is Jesus Christ, then that could very well mean that Christ was keeping the way to the tree of life (I wouldn’t be surprised if that flaming sword was placed right between the two Cherubims. Many Old Testament passages state that the LORD—specifically, the Son of God—sits or dwells between the Cherubims). In John 14:4-6, Jesus told His disciples that they know where He goes, and they know the way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” What’s interesting is that He made it very clear that no man can get to the Father, except by (through) Him (the Way). This parallels the same idea that we saw about Christ’s death tearing down the wall of partition between God and man. Genesis 3:24 says that the Cherubims and the flaming sword were placed at the east of the garden of Eden to keep the way to the tree of life. We tend to look at this and think it meant ‘to guard’ or ‘to block’ it. However, Strong’s Concordance defines ‘keep’ as more than that. It means ‘to maintain; to preserve; to signal; to flag’. Returning to John 14, Jesus said, in verse 9, that he who has seen Him has seen the Father. Everything that Christ came to do was to reveal the Father’s character to the universe because of the great controversy that Satan started when he made claims against God’s character. Ephesians 3:10-12 says, “For the purpose of making the manifold wisdom of God known now to the principalities and powers in Heavenly places—according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord—in Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by His faith.” Christ came to restore our relationship with the Father—and to regrant us direct access! In devotional #29, we discovered that there had to be a way to get back the right to eat from the tree of life. Christ (through His death) overcame sin. That's all it took. He wasn’t blocking the way to the tree of life—He was preserving and identifying it—making a way! Just like no man could've torn down the Sanctuary's veil, no man could've torn down the barrier between God and man—except for Christ alone.

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