Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 30th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 3

Wells of Living Water CommentaryWells of Living Water

Verses 1-13

The Temptation

Genesis 3:1-13


There are some very vital questions which naturally tome to most minds. These we will seek to answer.

1. Did God know that man would sin when He created him? This question has been asked us on various occasions, and we have always replied, that God did know. Known unto God are all of His works from the creation. God knew that man would sin before He created him, because Jesus Christ was a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world, and was dedicated to His Calvary work as a part of God's eternal plan, both in creation and redemption.

God knew not only who would sin, but how many would sin. He knew also who and how many would be saved. In truth, God wrote the names of the redeemed in the Lamb's Book of Life, and He gave them unto Christ as the heritage of His Calvary work, before man was created.

God knew who would be saved, and whom He foreknew He foreordained to be conformed unto the image of His Son. He knew who and how many would be damned, but He did not foreordain their damnation.

God not only knew who and how many would be saved, but He knew every strategy of Satan which would be used in the wreckage of the race. He knew every avenue that sin would take. He bottled up, as it were, all of the tears, heard all of the cries, saw all of the woes, and weighed all of the carnage of sin, before He created man.

God, of course, knew the whole entail of the plan of redemptive grace. He knew and ordained the steps which would be taken for man's salvation, and He planned beforehand the Word of God which would give unto man the Divine revelation of the redemption.

2. If God knew that man would sin before He created him, then why did He create him? This is a second question, contingent upon the first. We find many questioning the wisdom of God in His creation, inasmuch as God is omniscient.

The difficulty with most of us is that we look at the creation while it is yet an unfinished picture. In spite of the tremendous wreckage of sin, and the innumerable host of the damned; in spite of the incomparable agonies of Christ's substitutionary work upon the Cross, yet, we read, "That Christ will see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied."

Sometimes, we think that but few will be saved. The Bible, however, speaks of innumerable multitudes of the redeemed.

If we would answer the query, "Why did God make man?" let us take our journey into the eternal ages to come, and get the vista of the New Jerusalem, and the Bride, the Lamb's Wife, clearly before us. Let us then visit the new heaven and the new earth, and behold the nations of the saved who walk in the light of the City.

If we would know why God made man, we must first know the exceeding riches of His grace, which will be revealed in the ages to come.

I. THE APPROACH (Genesis 3:1 )

1. Satan's sagacity. There is a little expression concerning Satan in the Book of Ezekiel which runs, "Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Satan was extremely wise in his approach to the woman. He spoke through the serpent who was more subtle than any beast of the field.

2. Satan's subtlety. Not only was Satan wise, but his sagacity was displayed in his subtlety.

(1) Satan covered up his real self. He did not tell the woman that he was the one who had been cast out of Heaven. He did not even let her know that he was anywhere in or about the Garden. God had given unto Adam a warning of Satan's possible approach, when He had commanded him to dress and to keep the Garden. The word "keep" carries with it the thought of "guard," or, "protect," suggesting a possible enemy.

(2) Satan's use of the highest forms of life. Satan used the serpent because of his supremacy, in those days, over every other beast of the field. Until this hour, Satan can far better press forward his deceptive work through the ministration of the great, and the wise, and the noble of earth, than through the outcast and the scum of humanity. If Satan can possibly find a religionist, a Pharisee, or, a Sadducee, or, a Judas, through whom he may speak, he is more than delighted.

3. Satan's fallacy. Satan began to speak unto the woman by asking a question which threw a question mark upon the character and honor of the Almighty. Satan thus was false to God, false to the woman. He is always false and undependable in what he does and says.

II. THE RESPONSE (Genesis 3:2-3 )

1. God's gracious bounty. The woman said unto the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the Garden." In this admission from the woman, we see how gracious God had been in supplying to man enough, and to spare. God has given promise to every one who names His Name, that He will supply all their need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.

A supply that is according to the riches of a king, would not be scant. Certainly, a supply according to the riches of the eternal God must be abundantly sufficient. The very earth is filled with every necessity of every kind for man's bounty. Not only this, but God causes His blessings to fall upon the poor and upon the rich; upon the saint and upon the sinner. God is gracious to the ungracious, and merciful to the unjust.

2. God's one restriction. The woman admitted, "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." The woman overstated God's restriction, because God had not said, "Neither shall ye touch it."

God's denials unto mankind, are always beneficent. There is a reason for every, "Thou shalt not."

When the Lord puts His veto on anything, let us abide by His command. If He says, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men," let us not break through and try to taste forbidden sweets.

III. SATAN'S SECOND WORD (Genesis 3:4-5 )

1. Impugning God's honesty. Satan, through the serpent, said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die." God had said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," This spirit of Satan is abroad in this twentieth century of enlightenment. The Word of God is being set at naught, repudiated, and denounced by thousands of men who profess to be preachers, and leading laymen in our churches.

God says that, "Without shedding of blood is no remission," and His statement is reinforced by innumerable Scriptures. These men step forth and ridicule the Blood, announcing, withal, that men are saved by their own good deeds and lives. God states that Christ will reign on David's throne, and men deny and ridicule the statement.

2. Impugning God's motive. The devil said, "God doth know," etc. In other words, Satan is not only giving God the He, but he is saying that God is deceptive; and that He knows that He is misleading Adam and Eve.

This same spirit is also rampant today. Some men proclaim that God talks of hell, and of the lake of fire merely to scare men, when He, Himself, knows that there are no such places.

3. Promising better things. God said, that eating of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the Garden would bring death. The devil asserts that it would bring blessing, that their eyes would be opened, and that they themselves would be as gods knowing good and evil. In other words, Satan asserts that God is straining every nerve to keep man out of his best. How false is all of this, and yet how prevalent!


1. The lust of the flesh. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, she did eat. Here you have the thought of the flesh, and its plea. Eve had plenty to satisfy her appetite without eating that which was forbidden.

God has said to the Christian, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." The "lust of the flesh" has a far deeper significance than foods which are for the stomach. The lusts of the flesh are made manifest, and include adultery, uncleanness, witchcraft, hatred, envying, murders, revellings, and many such like things.

2. The lust of the eye. The woman saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eye. It did not seem foreboding, but rather attractive.

There are many things today which appeal to the eye. These are beautiful without; they are alluring and enticing. David said, "I made a covenant with my eyes." God has taught us that we should not walk after the sight of our eyes.

3. The pride of life. The woman saw that the fruit of the tree was desired to make one wise. Not all sinners major in the lusts of the flesh, nor even in the lusts of the eye. Some may be fairly decent on these lines, and yet they may follow far from God in the realms of human wisdom and the pride of life.

The three things we have mentioned are all included in the Epistle of John as "The things of the world." Remember how Jesus Christ said, "I have chosen you out of the world."

V. SIN'S RESULT (Genesis 3:6-7 )

1. She gave also unto her husband. The Bible plainly says, "No man liveth unto himself." Had the woman sinned alone, it would not have drawn the race into the awful chasm of darkness into which it fell. When, however, she gave unto her husband, and he did eat, then sin was passed on unto all who were born of Adam's line.

God has said, "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all then, for that all have sinned." Again, the Bible says, "By one * * many were made sinners."

2. They knew they were naked. Satan had told them that their eyes would be opened; and their eyes were opened, alas, to the fact that they were sinners. This was not what Satan inferred. He spoke as though it would be a wonderful advantage to have opened eyes knowing good and evil. To this day men know that they are sinners, but that by no means makes their sin the less sinful. It increases, instead of diminishes sorrow.

3. They made themselves aprons. This was the effort of Adam and Eve to hide their sin. From that day on, the world of sinners has sought to clothe itself in order that it may cover up its shame. They that sin, sin in the night; they work their wreckage behind closed doors, and painted windows, and screens.

There is another truth here. The world tries to cover its sin with a bloodless robe. It seems to think that the robe of the slain Lamb is not necessary. There is a great deal of "fig-leaf preaching" these days, as though sin could be taken away by merely being hidden from sight. The heart, however, is still deceitful and desperately wicked, and no raiment of false profession can change the villainy of the human heart.

VI. THREE QUESTIONS (Genesis 3:9-12 )

1. Where art thou? Some one has said that the first question of the Old Testament is, "Where art thou?" and that the first question of the New Testament is, "Where is He?"

God came walking in the Garden in the cool of the day. Adam and Eve were hiding from God in the midst of the trees. However, all things are open and naked to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. God called unto Adam and said, "Where art thou?" We wish that each unbeliever might ask himself the same question. If he answered truly, he would say: "I am far from God." "I am walking in the way that leads to death." "I am without hope, without God, and without Christ; an alien to the covenants of promise." Oh, lost one, where art thou? and where art thou going? What will be the end of thy rejection of Christ, and of thy sinful heart?

2. Who told thee? God went back of man's sin, to its source. Didst thou do this of thyself, or did another tell thee? God realized that the enemy in his power had swayed the man from the way of righteousness and of truth.

3. Hast thou eaten? In the third question is the very essence of all sin. Sin is the transgression of the Law. Sin is disobedience. God said, "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"

Man brought upon himself the havoc of sin. He suffered because he ate; he groaned because of his own transgression. When we turn to our own way, we must be willing to pay the price thereof.

Salvation brings man back into the place of obedience. Sin is a star unorbed swinging on its own maddened way, out of the will of God.


1. The answer to the question before us reaches through the course of earthly time. In order to tell what the woman had done, we would have to encompass the story of the Adamic race, not alone in its beginning, but on down through the centuries, so long as the earth endures.

Every sinner who lives must have his part in this tale of woe. Every sigh and every sorrow, every tear and every tragedy, every heartache and every broken home all is a part of the answer to this question.

2. The answer to the question before us reaches beyond the shores of time into the eons of eternity. Hell and its terrors, sheol and its darkness, the lake of fire and its horrors, all have their part in the answer to the question, "What is this that thou hast done?"

3. The answer to this query shows the source from which all of sin's sorrow and punishment flow. It is childish to complain at God, and say that God damns the sinner. God does pronounce the curse, but death and hell are the wages of sin. It is sin, when it is finished, that bringeth forth death. We reap that which we sow.


Temptation is strikingly set forth in the following: "Fred Boone stood dumbfounded as he watched the twenty-foot python crush the unfortunate man. Gaining control of himself in another instant, he swung his rifle to his shoulder. There was but one chance of saving Sundu. With steady aim he drew bead on the head of the python. One, two, three times he fired, and then added two more. Each shot scored a bird's-eye. Five bullets penetrated the head of the python, and the coils slowly unfolded as the beast writhed in its death struggle.

"Cries of excitement burst from the natives as Fred fired, superseded by exclamations of joy as they recognized the missionary and saw the python writhing in death. The moment the folds loosened sufficiently, Sundu slipped from them and made his escape. Bowing before the white man, the black chief acknowledged his gratitude to the missionary. Now was Fred's opportunity, and he grasped it immediately.

"'Yes, Sundu, I saved your life that time. In return for it, I want permission to preach to your people. The evil one has bound them with sin, and they are fast in its coils, even as you were in the python's power. None can save from the serpent of sin but Jesus Christ, who crushed sin and freed its captives. I have freed you from the python, but a greater serpent has you In its power. Jesus Christ alone can save you. Do I have your permission to carry the Gospel of Christ to your people?'

"Sundu, grateful as he was, granted the request, and Fred accompanied him to the other side of the kopjies, where he carried on his warfare against another serpent, sin, and in the course of years he saw Sundu and many of his tribe accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. And thus the work of the Lord continues in every clime, under varying conditions, and in peculiar circumstances, and individual believers are added to the Body of our Lord," L. L. Wightman, in "Gospel Herald."

Verses 1-16

The First Woman

Genesis 2:20-25 ; Genesis 3:1-16


When we enter into the Bible story of creation there is something that makes it all seem so real, so definite, and so certain. Evolution has nothing of certainty in it; the story of creation has everything. For instance, the whole earth was prepared for God's creation of man. Everything that man needed for sustenance, for clothing, for pleasure, was to be found in the physical creation. Thus, as we enter the Garden of Eden, we enter a realm beautiful beyond description.

There was just one lack in it all, and that is expressed in the Scriptures in the words of Genesis 2:20 , "but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him." In the above Scripture is the account of the creation of that "help meet." We are to speak of the first woman, who was the mother of us all.

May we here bring before you a line of thought which is often overlooked in the study of the creation. The usual conception of Genesis 1:2-3 is that in it we have the beginnings of things historical so far as the physical earth and its first inhabitants are concerned. The part overlooked is that in the historicity of the first chapters of Genesis we have an unveiling of prophecy such as is not found elsewhere in the Word of God. We mean that God, when He created the heavens and the earth, the cattle, and every living thing, and also man, was unveiling the far-flung vision of His purposes and plans which He had formed before the world was.

Let us give you a few Scriptures bearing upon this:

1.Ephesians 1:4-5 , Ephesians 1:7-9 . "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world." Our mind's go back in this verse before Adam and Eve were created. It was then that we were chosen in Christ. It was then that we were predestinated unto the adoption of children.

Not only, however, do Ephesians 1:4 and Ephesians 1:5 lead us into God's eternal purpose, but Ephesians 1:8 and Ephesians 1:9 tell us that the riches of His grace abounded toward us "in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself." We take it, therefore, that God not only planned His creation, but that He revealed unto us His plan.

2. Our second Scripture is 2 Timothy 1:9 ; "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, * * according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

With these two Scriptures before us we need not marvel that in every historical event God was making known unto men His foredetermined purposes. Let us suggest one of these.

When we read in Genesis 1:1 that "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth," we think of nothing but a good and perfected creation. The 2nd verse tells us, however, how the earth became waste and void. Genesis 1:3 follows with the statement, "And God said, Let there be light." In this is the story of man.

First of all, God created man and he was perfect. Then came the fall by Adam's sin; next, God said, "Let there be light," and the light shown in the darkened heart, and man was brought, by the Blood of Christ, into the new life. The creation of Genesis 1:1-31 , thus, anticipates the creation of the new man.

Thus we might go on, from passage to passage, through the whole Book of Genesis showing how history became prophecy, because God so ordered; His acts, that they prophesy His eternal purposes in redemption.

I. EVE CREATED (Genesis 2:21-22 )

1. Adam's lack. "There was not found an help meet for him." It was for this cause that God made the woman, and presented her unto the man. In this we recognize that, in all of the creation of God, including angels, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim, there was found no helpmeet for Christ.

2. The manner of Eve's creation. Genesis 2:21 says, "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." Many mock at this, and call it the "rib story"; however, in it lies hidden the marvelous message that on the Cross the side of Jesus Christ was opened, that from that side His Bride might be formed.

3. The consummation. Genesis 2:22 tells us how God brought the woman, whom He had made, unto the man. We would not detain you by discussing the joy that Adam felt as, awaking from sleep, he beheld the woman. We would rather ask you to put your mind upon another scene which will come to pass when the Church shall be presented unto Christ in the air, a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle of any kind. It will be a blessed hour when the Lamb is married. Even now it seems that the nuptial hour is hastening on. It will not be long until God will send out His invitations for the Bridal Feast. We read, "Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb."


As Adam beheld the woman standing before him in all her glory and beauty, he said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh,"

Therefore, the woman, Eve, received by the man Adam, as a "help meet," stands before us as the. basis of God's dealing's in the Christian home. In Ephesians these very words just quoted are used by the Spirit with this additional statement: "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." The first woman, therefore, stands before us as a Divinely-given type of the Church which is Christ's body, and, also, His Bride, Even now, we can hear the call of our God to leave all father, mother, brothers, sisters, houses, and lands, and to cleave unto Christ. As the husband and wife are reckoned as one flesh, so does Christ reckon Himself with us as one flesh. The Epistles tell us that Christ is our life. We do not have two lives: He, one, and we, the other. The life which we now have is Christ in us the hope of glory.

Adam made a wonderful statement about the woman, a statement that reached down through the years in all family relationships, but which, also, prophesied those keener, closer, spiritual relationships which must ever exist between Christ and His Church.


We enter now into a sad story. God had created the man and the woman with a nature that was holy and pure, but not impeccable. It was possible for Adam and Eve to sin. Thus it was that Satan, covering his personality in the form of a serpent, approached the woman, and, with a slur, said, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

In this the woman overstated God's command. God did not say, "neither shall ye touch it." Satan replied, "Ye shall not surely die; For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Immediately, the enemy impuned, not only the Truth of God, but that God had uttered an untruth in order to get the sacred pair into subjection to His will. Mark now the three things which overcame the woman.

1. She saw that the tree was good for food. There was the lust of the flesh.

2. She saw that it was pleasant to the eyes. There was the lust of the eyes.

3. She saw it as a tree desired to make one wise. There was the pride of life. There are the three things which belong to the world. It is in 1 John 2:16 that these words are written, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The temptation of Christ in the wilderness, when Satan met Him, was patterned after this same vain conception.

IV. THE IMMEDIATE RESULTS OF EVE'S SIN (Genesis 3:7 , l.c., 8)

1. There was a sense of their shame. They saw that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together for aprons. In this, we have written ahead of time the present-day effort of men and women to cover their sins with a covering that is altogether objectionable to God.

You remember that God, when He saw their fig leaves, went into the garden and brought the skins of beasts with which they were to be clothed. It is the same story over and over again. That which we cover, God will uncover; that which God covers, will never be uncovered.

2. There was a sense of their fear. Our verse tells us that they hid themselves in the trees of the Garden. This is exactly what sin does today. It makes men afraid of God. The sinner loves darkness rather than light because his deeds are evil. He cannot hide himself from God, and yet he is forever trying to do it. Has not God said that He fills the whole heavens and the whole earth? The Psalmist truly said, "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there."

There is no place that we can go where God does not see us for His eyes run to and fro through the whole earth, and all things are naked and open unto Him with whom we have to do. If there is anyone desiring to clothe his shame, let him be clothed with the robe of the slain Lamb of Calvary.

If there is anyone wanting to hide from God, let him the rather come and cast himself upon the mercy of the God who says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

V. GOD'S QUESTIONINGS (Genesis 3:9-10 )

1. God came walking in the Garden of Eden. He first asked Adam a question, and afterward He asked the woman a question. To Adam God said, "Where art thou?" This question should be considered by every unsaved man and woman: Where are you, and whither do you travel?

"Oh, to have no Christ, no Savior,

How dark the world must be!

Like a steamer, lost and driven

On a wild and shoreless sea."

In answer Adam said, "I heard Thy voice in the Garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

Oh, sinner, if thine own heart condemns thee, God is greater than thy heart. Are you afraid to stand in His sacred presence? Does His holiness cause thee to cower? Does His justice cause thee to cringe?

2. Then He asked Eve a question. He said, "What is this that thou hast done?" If we could only sin to ourselves! If our wrongdoing's could only end in their dire effects upon us alone, it would be different. God, however, has plainly told us that no man lives unto himself. Every life is indissolubly linked to every other life. The ties that bind become more apparent to those who are in our immediate environment. The sins of the parent are passed on to the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Could Adam and Eve have only looked down through the centuries and seen the havoc which was wrought by their first sin, we wonder if they would not have done differently!

If we could only look down the years and see how far-reaching is every evil act of ours, we are sure that we would live more carefully.

VI. THE CURSE UPON THE WOMAN (Genesis 3:15-16 )

In our scripture we read, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." Then addressing the woman God said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception."

In these two statements which we have partly given, we find:

1. A continual conflict between Satan and the woman: a conflict which was to head up in a final battle between Satan and the Seed of the woman, which is Christ. We have learned in history that the enmity between Satan and the woman never ceased. The devil goes about still as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He, and the powers which are under his control, are ever working against the good of the race.

There was a man who was driven of the devil into the wilderness. There was a woman whom Satan had bound. There were two saints into whose hearts Satan entered, causing them to He to the Holy Ghost. Satan asked that he might have Peter to sift him as wheat.

Where is he who has not felt the enmity between Satan and the Seed of the woman? The climax is in one particular sin.

2. A great sorrow as a result of sin. When God said to the woman, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow," He spoke particularly of her womanhood and motherhood. Our minds pass from the Garden down through the centuries until we stand amazed at the Cross, and behold Jesus Christ, the Man of Sorrows, hanging between two thieves. It is the hour of His travail, but from His sorrow and His travail children are born. Thus it is that Heaven itself shall be filled with sons born out of the travail of the Son of God.

VII. THE AFTERMATH (Genesis 3:23-24 )

Out from the Garden went Adam and Eve. They went with heads bowed and their hearts heavy. Behind them they left the tree of life and its wonderful fruit. Behind them they left Eden, and all of its glories. They left the sweetness of fellowship they had with God. They went into a world whose ground was cursed, to soil which brought forth thorns and thistles. They left the rest, comfort, and peace of the Garden of Eden. They went to a place where they should eat bread in the sweat of their brows. They went from life into the realm of death under the words, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

The aftermath of the Garden of Eden is plainly written all around us. It is still seen transmitted from one to another, for we read, "In sin did my mother conceive me."

There is not a place where we turn our faces that sin does not reign unto death. Everything that is born is bora to die. It all fades as fades the summer day. The summer turns to fall, and we see the trees made bare, and the ground soon covered with snow. We seem to behold everything that man touches in decay. The light of the eyes daily dims; the step becomes more and more feeble until man goes to his home, The darkest picture, however, in sin's aftermath is not physical death, but it is eternal death. It is not separation from the Garden of Eden, but it is separation from that City whose Builder and Maker is God. It is that separation which means that the wicked shall be cast into hell, and all nations shall reject God.


The literature of all ages has paid tribute to mother, the chronicles of all nations acknowledge their debt to her. And the sacred Word is full of the highest homage to mothers. "The Lord could not be everywhere, so He made mothers," said a Jewish rabbi. "Mother in Israel" has become a term of the highest regard. The Fifth Commandment, and the first with promise, says, "Honor thy * * mother."

Eve, the mother of the human race, as her name signified, is shown in her motherhood naming her children as gifts from God.

Sarah was promised to be the "mother of nations," and manifested her motherhood in her solicitude for Isaac.

Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, is held forth as the most lovable character and appearance, and her name used frequently in later history.

In the mother of Moses, recorded only as "A daughter of Levi," is a most beautiful presentation of unselfish motherhood. She crushed her own feelings, hid her wealth of love for her beautiful baby that his life might be spared. And what wonderful reward was hers when she saw in her boy God's deliverer for Israel.

In Naomi, made more famous by her daughter-in-law Ruth, is pictured a faithful mother.

There is no more beautiful mother in history than Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Consecrating her child before birth to God's work, she bravely fulfilled her vow. In quiet and faith she prepares him for the future. When the time came she took him to the temple and left him for God's service.

But it is in the New Testament that we find the culmination of the exaltation of motherhood in the life of Mary, the mother of Christ. From the time that the angel announced to her, "Blessed art thou among women," until the day that Jesus said from the Cross to his beloved disciple, "Behold thy mother," she was ever the highest type of motherhood. R. E. Stewart.

Verses 1-24

The Cross in Genesis

Genesis 2:22-25 ; Genesis 3:1-24


If Jesus Christ, in the purposes of God, was given to die before the world was formed, or before man was created; and if man, when he sinned, had no other way of salvation than through the Cross; and if God, in mercy, desired the salvation of the first fallen pair, we certainly would expect to find, in the opening chapters of Genesis, definite statements concerning Christ's Calvary work. It will be the purpose of this lesson to seek out, and to present, through the various sub-leaders, six distinctive Scriptural statements found in Genesis 2:1-25 and Genesis 3:1-24 , which, unmistakably, anticipate the Cross of Christ.

God was not slow in making known to Adam and to Eve, His purpose and plan of redemption. God loved Adam, even after he had sinned. God knew that the wages of sin was death to the first man as well as to the last man, and God wanted the first man and the last man, and all men lying in between them, to be saved. God's great commission is to every creature. We, to be sure, can do no more than preach the Gospel to our own generation, but we must preach it until the last man has heard it.

In the Garden of Eden, there was, however, no man whom God could appoint as an ambassador to carry the Gospel of redemption to Adam and to Eve. Therefore, the Lord God Himself bore the message. It will be interesting to see how the Father sent forth the story of the Cross before ever Adam had been expelled from the garden.


In all of the beasts of the field and in all of the fowls of the air, which were brought unto Adam, there was found no helpmeet for Adam. God had pronounced His creation "good," and it was good. However, the creation was made subject to Adam; and, therefore, was not on an equality with Adam. God purposed, therefore, to create an helpmeet for Adam. In order to do this, He caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and, as Adam slept, the Lord God took out one of his ribs. With the rib taken from the man, God made a woman and brought her unto the man. Then it was that Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

In this whole Divine record, God gave a portraiture of Jesus Christ, put to sleep in death upon Calvary's Cross. As God opened Adam's side, we can almost see the sword that was thrust into the side of Christ from whence Blood and water immediately exuded. Man severed the side of the Christ of Calvary, but it was God who made His soul an offering for sin.

God wanted His Son to have an helpmeet, and that helpmeet could only be obtained through Christ's opened side.

The New Testament, in Ephesians, in quoting from Genesis 2:24 , says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." Then the Spirit added these remarkable words, "This is a great mystery: but I speak of Christ and the Church." Let us remember, therefore, that "we are members of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones."


The first vision of the Cross was graciously set forth by the Lord before Adam had sinned.

Afterward when Eve had been created, and the serpent tempted the woman, she did eat. Then Adam was tempted by the woman and he did eat. The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.

The Lord God came in the cool cf the day, walking in the Garden, and Adam and Eve heard His voice. The result was that the sinning pair quickly hid themselves from the presence of the Lord amongst the trees of the garden. God cried out, "Where art thou?" When Adam saw that he could not hide himself, he said, "I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."

How stirring is the sentence that fell from the lips of God, as He addressed the woman. "What is this that thou hast done?" The answer to this question includes the whole entail of sin, as it has been wrought out through the centuries and millenniums of man's history, with its unutterable and unimaginable woe.

As God pronounced the curse, He also pronounced the promise of redemption. Standing there in the Garden of Eden, was the serpent, Satan inhabited. Adam and Eve also stood before God. God first cursed the serpent, and then, He said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel."

No one can fail to see that in this statement of the bruising of the serpent's head and the bruising of Christ's heel, there "is a plain and positive reference to Christ's Calvary work!

The Holy Spirit, as recorded in Colossians 2:14-15 , says, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."

The Lord Jesus Christ met Satan in the wilderness, and demonstrated the fact of His supremacy and Deity. He met him on the cross and vanquished him. By virtue of that Cross, He will soon altogether undo the works of the devil, cast him into the pit of the abyss, and ultimately into the lake of fire. Then will He have redeemed all of His chosen and believing people for ever from Satan and his wiles.


The sorrow of the woman anticipates another sorrow. In the garden, as God spoke, and His voice sounded the words applying sorrow unto womanhood and motherhood, there came back down the ages and from the Cross the echo of God's Words. The echo seemed to say, "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied." Unto the woman God said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow." Back from the Cross of Christ come the words, "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Jesus was the man of sorrows. Every child born to woman in this world is a child of sorrow and of travail. Every Christian, born to God, has been born through the anguish, the sorrow, the travail of Calvary.


As the Lord God pronounced the curse upon man, He likewise cursed the ground for man's sake. The result was quickly evident, "In sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee."

The Holy Spirit bears testimony that "the whole creation groaneth, and travaileth in pain together until now." The Spirit also says, "The creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope." Thus it is that nature, which is under the curse, bearing thorns and thistles, shall ultimately be delivered from its bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Into the Garden of Eden, we step once more. Now, as we hear the voice of God saying, "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee," we want to listen, and see if we can catch the echo coming back to us from the Cross. Listen to the words, "And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head," "and they smote Him on the head with a reed."

How soul-stirring is this symbolism! The very thorns which God in Eden pronounced as the entail of man's sin, pressed the brow of Christ, the Sin-bearer. The reed, the result of sin's curse on nature, was used to drive the thorns deeper into His blessed brow.

What is the result? Anticipating the Calvary work of Christ, the Prophet said, "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree." Thank God, Calvary is God's full response to Eden's curse!


Once more we see the result of sin. God said, that until man returned unto the ground, out of which he was taken, he should eat in the sweat of his brow. From the day of God's pronouncement, in the Garden of Eden, until this very hour, man energized by Satan, or under the skill of his own genius, has sought to undo this curse.

Early in the chapters of Genesis (chap. 4) we read of Jubal who was the father of all such who handle the harp and organ. The very suggestion here is an effort to alleviate the sting of sin. Today, with twentieth century comforts abounding, man has sought to attain ultimate freedom from the curse the sweat of his face. But man's efforts are. unavailing he sweats on.

Let us now, as we hear God's voice saying, "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," listen again for the echo from Gethsemane and from the Cross: We read, "And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." The sweat of Christ, in Gethsemane, and His visage more marred, than any man, as He died upon the Cross, is the answer to God's curse in Eden concerning the sweat of the brow. No one will dare to deny this. What is the result of this Calvary work? We read in Revelation, "And there shall be no more curse," and "they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their foreheads." We also read, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away."


When Adam and Eve discovered that they were naked, they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. This was natural, but altogether unsatisfactory with God. Men are still prone to seek to cover their sin with garments of their own self-righteousness. There was no suggestion of Calvary, or of the Blood in the sewed fig leaves. Neither is there any suggestion of Calvary in much of the religion of today.

When God went out and slew the beasts, and took their coats of skin, to clothe Adam and Eve, He seemed to be anticipating that we are to be clothed in robes made white in the Blood of the Lamb.

How striking then is that statement in Revelation 7:1-17 , where John beheld a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and kindred and people and tongues? John saw them standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. They were crying with a loud voice, "Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb." Then one of the elders asked John saying, "What are these that are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they?" John said unto him, "Sir thou knowest." The elder replied, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb."

Thus, from the Garden of Eden, as God brings the coats of skin to clothe the naked pair, taking away withal their coats of fig leaves, we seem to catch again the echo from Calvary's Cross, "What man covers, God uncovers, but what man uncovers in his contrition and confession of sin, God covers." It will be a wonderful thing to stand before the Throne of God, clothed in garments made white in the Blood of the Lamb!


During the Civil war, George Stewart, the president of the Christian Commission, was hurrying on his way on horseback to the Army encamped in Virginia, When, as he approached the lines the sentinel cried out, "Halt."

Stewart drew rein and said, "What is wanted?" "The countersign," said the soldier. Mr. Stewart explained that he was on a hurried trip and that he had left headquarters forgetting to ask for the countersign. The sentinel on picket duty made him return eight miles to get the required countersign.

When, several hours later, Stewart returned with the password, he was allowed to enter the lines. After he had passed by the sentinel, he stopped his horse and turning round, said, "Sentinel, you may want to enter Heaven one of these days, and do you know the countersign to Glory?" "That I do," said the soldier; "it is 'The Blood of Jesus Christ [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin'." "That is right," said Stewart, "who told you so?" "You did sir, for you are the very man who taught me that Christ died for me, and I am saved."

Let us all be sure that we are "under the Blood" for there is no other way of salvation provided for sinners.

Verses 14-19

The Curse and the Cure

Genesis 3:14-19


1. We have for today a curse without a cure. When God spoke to the serpent He pronounced a curse upon him, which neither in the Garden, nor subsequently throughout the Bible, has any promised cure.

We read of the deliverance of other beasts of the field, and then comes this solemn statement, "And dust shall be the serpent's meat." From its proud and lofty height the serpent, the most subtle of all the beasts of the field, was cursed with the words, "Upon thy belly shalt thou go." There is no pardon in prospect for the serpent.

2. We have a curse followed by a promised cure. The fact of the cure from the curse is plainly stated in the expression, "It shall bruise thy head" an expression which holds in it all of the agonies of Calvary. The extent of the cure is set forth in many Scriptures which follow throughout the Word of God. The cure is made possible through the seed of the woman.

The seed of the woman is none other than the Son of God. In corroboration of this fact, we have the genealogy of Jesus Christ from Adam to Mary in the Book of Luke. The cure which is promised, with the exception of the serpent and Satan, is just as wide as the curse which was pronounced.

3. We have the beginning of the unfolding of God's great creative plan. As soon as Adam and Eve had sinned, God steps into the Garden to make the great pronouncement of a secret which had been with God from before the foundation of the world. That secret was, that Jesus Christ, the Creator, should become the Saviour of that which He had created and made.

4. We have the eternal supremacy of Christ over the devil. It was plainly stated that Satan would bruise Christ's heel, but that He, Christ, would bruise Satan's head. This conquest raged during the earth life of Christ. Satan sought to slay Christ as the Babe, in the edict of Herod that the male children under two years of age should be slain. He sought to overthrow Christ in the wilderness temptation. He sought to cast Christ down over the brow of the hill at Nazareth. He sought to kill Him while He lay asleep in the boat. He sought to vanquish Him in the Garden, and then upon the Cross; and we believe he sought to hinder the glorious ascension. However, through it all, and over it all, Christ prevailed, and finally He took His seat far above all principalities, and powers, and the world rulers of this darkness.

5. We have the particular revelation of Christ's Calvary conflict. It was on the Cross that Christ met the combined onslaught of Satan and his forces. Satan-driven men, and Satan-guided principalities and powers, all joined in one supreme conflict around the Cross against the Son of God. It was there that our Lord, single-handed and alone, met these powers and triumphed over them in it. With what triumphant shout, did the Son of God cry, "It is finished"! His death was Satan's defeat, man's deliverance, and His own eternal glorification.


1. Sorrow in motherhood. A woman's greatest joy is the fruitage of her greatest sorrow. He who desires gold must obtain it through the anguish of toil. God has put man's blessings low, where he can reach them only by the way of suffering and of sorrow. Every son and every daughter is a child of travail and of heartache. This is part of the curse.

2. Submission to her husband. Our text says that the woman's desire shall be to her husband, and he shall rule over her. Much of this has been changed so far as its "abusive sense" is concerned, through Christ and Christianity. In heathendom the woman is for the most part the slave of her husband. It is she who does the menial task, and lifts the heavy load. He certainly rules over her.

Under the sway of Christianity, womanhood has been emancipated from the abuse of her husband's authority. Christ and the New Testament did not remove from the husband the place of headship in the home, but they did put the ban forever upon unseemly lordship. They taught that wives should be subject to their own husbands in everything; but that husbands should love their wives. The relationship between husband and wife should fall in line with that hallowed and holy relationship which exists between Christ and the Church.

The Church is subject to Christ, but His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Womanhood still feels the curse, however, both in her sorrow in motherhood, and in her subjection to man.

In spite of all that has been said, woman still holds a place of supreme joy, and of incalculable worth. "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely, trust in her." Thank God for grace!


1. Jesus Christ was the Man of Sorrows. Not for one moment would we suggest that Jesus Christ carried a sorrowful mien, and that He was continually shadowed and gloomy in His countenance. Not so. Our Lord was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. Christ, in the darkest hour of His night, could bequeath His joy unto His disciples, saying, "These thing's have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full," The sorrows which Christ Jesus knew were our sorrows. He carried our pains, He knew our woes.

It is most striking to note that the climax of the sorrows of Christ was upon the Cross. He bore our sorrows as He moved among men, healing the sick and raising the dead. He wept because we weep. However, when He came to the Cross, the sorrows of death laid hold upon Him. His death is called, "The travail of His soul." If God pronounced upon the woman sorrow in her motherhood, then that woman in her own travail, only anticipated the deeper and greater sorrow which should be Christ's, when He brought forth spiritual sons.

2. Full deliverance from sorrow yet awaits the saved. When Calvary meets its full fruition in the blessed Over There, there will be no more sorrow, neither crying, nor pain; for the former things will have passed away. If sorrow falls like a pall in the Garden, when the curse is pronounced, it is lifted in the glory, when the work of the Cross is fully realized. No more the curse, will then be the theme of our song.


1. Why the curse was given. God said unto Adam, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake." There is a deep import to these words. The ground, of course, had done nothing evil. It was not capable of sinning. It was only for man's sake that the ground had to suffer. There are two things before us.

(1) God's chastening upon man was for his good and not his harm. Had God left the earth uncursed, and permitted man to have everything that he desired apart from any trouble or inconvenience, it would have only hastened him on in his evil way. The thorns and thistles were sent to arouse man to his own sinful state, and to his need of a Saviour.

The Word says, "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth." Chastening may not seem an act of love, and it may not, therefore, seem joyous; however, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

(2) No man sinneth unto himself. Sin touches not alone the one who sins, but everything connected with the sinner. Adam dragged down with him the whole of God's marvelous creation.

2. The result of the curse upon the ground. We read, "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee." As long as the ground grows the thorns and the thistles, the briars and the weeds, we will know that we are still living in a land subjected to the curse. Thorns and thistles are neither good for food, nor for raiment. They are only fit to be cast out and burned.

Originally the ground knew nothing of all of this. Thorns and thistles came because of sin, and they will remain as long as sin dominates the world. The prick of the thorn suggests the prick of sin. There is a verse which reads: "That which beareth thorns and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."


1. Did the Cross of Christ effect the physical earth? How often do we hear the question, "Is Divine healing in the Atonement?" There is but one answer to the question and, that is, Was sickness a part of the curse? Everything is in the Atonement which was under the curse, that is, everything that man's sin wrought, Christ came to undo.

We do not by any means assert that Divine healing and the deliverance of the physical earth from its thorns and thistles, are in the Atonement in the same sense that sin is there. The moment we believe, we are made the righteousness of God in Him. However, the, moment we believe we are not delivered from all of the results of the curse. It is not until we enter the New Jerusalem that we read, "And there shall be no more curse."

How remarkable is that expression, "When they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head"! God pronounced the curse of the thorns, and the thorns pressed the forehead of Him who was made the curse for us.

2. The answer of the Cross to thorns and thistles. Our text says, "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree." When the Lord Jesus comes to the earth, the creation which has been subjected for man's sake, and which during the ages has travailed together in pain even until now, shall be delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

V. THE CURSE UPON THE MAN (Genesis 3:19 )

1. The curse entailed the sweat of Adam's face. Sweat stands for toil and labor. It also stands for anguish and suffering. Many men are so distressed under the pain of living that they seek to end their life, thinking, perhaps, that thus they may cease from their struggles.

From the day that God pronounced the curse, saying, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," the world has sought to remove this sting of sin. Early in the history of man we read of the harp and the organ. We read, also, of every artificer in brass and iron.

The world today has reached the apex of invention. In spite of all man's effort, however, he has not overcome the curse. It seems to us that there is more of sweat mixed in with the luxuries and comforts of the twentieth century, than there has ever been. All kinds of amusements have been invented to quiet the race so that it will not feel the curse of its toil.

2. The curse entailed dust unto dust. The Lord said, "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Every son of Adam's line, with the exception of one or two, has fallen under this part of the curse. Death comes alike to all. The somber notes, "Dust unto dust" have been heard so long and so frequently that man has almost become steeled against their wailing woe.

There is, however, a deeper meaning to this death. It looks not only to physical, but it includes that death which means eternal separation from God, and life, and light, forevermore. This is the curse.


1. Christ sweating as it were great drops of blood. We wonder if there is not a relationship between, "In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread," and, "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

God, in the garden, said, "In the sweat of thy brow." The echo conies from Calvary down through the centuries, "His sweat was as it were." The result of all this is seen in that wonderful statement in Revelation: "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." In. the Golden City, there will be no weariness, and no toil. His servants will serve Him but they will serve apart from any thought of laboriousness.

2. Christ tasting the cup of death for every man. So far as physical death is concerned, He died. This does not mean that the Christian shall not physically die, for he does die, and he will die until the Lord's Second Coming takes up those in Christ without dying. There is, however, one thing that Christ has already accomplished for us. He has taken away from us the sting of death, which is sin.

The Christian can now look death in the face, and say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" We thank God who giveth us the victory in Christ Jesus.

There is another thing the death of Christ has done for us. It has altogether taken from us that eternal death which means separation from the Father. We cannot be hurt of that second death. Indeed, we have passed out of death, into life. Physical death may overtake us, but spiritual death can never claim us. He that believeth on the Son has passed out of death and into life.


"Where sin abounded, Grace did much more abound." If through the offence of one many be dead, much more the Grace of God, and the gift by Grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. If sin reigned unto death, much more will Grace reign unto eternal life. Whatever sin may have wrought, whatever havoc it may have played, Jesus Christ has shown us the way out.

1. Here and now Grace abounds over sin. We cannot but feel that in Christ Jesus we have been lifted above Adam's first estate. We are sons of. God in a very real, and blessed way. We are already partakers of eternal life. We are the heirs of all things. We have now within us God's earnest of all the good things which are laid by for us in the ages to come.

We realize that we are still in the flesh, and yet we are not of the flesh. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. To us old things have passed away, and all things are made new.

2. In the ages to come Grace will superabound. When we have been quickened and changed into His image, in the resurrection, when we have entered into the glorious City of the saved, we will realize that what Adam lost in the fall, has been made up for us a thousandfold in the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Eden was a wonderful abode, but Heaven will be far more wonderful. There was much in Eden, but there will be many things in Heaven, which were not in Eden. It is only in the eternal ages that we will begin to enter in to the exceeding riches of His Grace.


Once when I was preaching in St. Paul's Church, Halifax, the Westminster Abbey of Canada, as it has been called, I told at the close of the sermon the following story:

"Many years ago Doctor Valpy, a well-known English scholar, wrote a verse of four lines as the longing of his heart and the confession of his faith. This was the stanza:

'In peace let me resign my breath,

And Thy salvation see;

My sins deserve eternal death,

But Jesus died for me.'

Some time afterwards he gave this verse to his friend, Doctor Marsh, a Church of England clergyman and the father of Miss Marsh, the author of the 'Life of Captain Hedley Vicars,' and the verse became a great blessing to him. Doctor Marsh gave the lines to his friend, Lord Roden, who was so impressed with them that he got Doctor Marsh to write them out, and then fastened the paper over the mantelpiece in his study; and there, yellow with age, they hung for many years, a memorial of the beloved! hand that traced them.

Some time after this an old friend General Taylor, one of the heroes of Waterloo came to visit him at Tollymore Park. Lord Roden noticed that the eyes of the old veteran were always fixed for a few moments on the motto over the mantelpiece. 'Why, General,' said Lord Roden, 'you will soon know the verse by heart.' 'I know it now by heart,' replied the General, with feeling, and the simple words were the means of bringing him to know the way of salvation. Some two years afterward the physician, who had been with the old General while he lay a-dying, wrote to Lord Roden to say that his friend had departed in peace, and that the last words which fell from the old General's lips were the words he had learned to love in his lifetime." Canon Dyson Hague, M. A.

Bibliographical Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Genesis 3". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lwc/genesis-3.html.
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