In the beginning God made man, in His image, holy, and happy. As we will discover, mankind did not remain holy and happy, but he sinned against God. When we wonder why we are in this mess, the answer that everything points us back to is simply, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s clear command.
They failed God by Doubting His Word (v1). Satan lead Eve to doubt God’s word. He asks the first question found in the Bible, “has God said?” and it was meant to cast doubt on God’s Word. He even framed his question in a negative way. “Has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” God did not say that they should not eat from ANY tree of the garden. He said that they could eat from EVERY tree of the garden, except for one. Satan will always frame God’s Word in a negative light in an effort to get us to doubt its trustworthiness.
They were also led to Deny God’s Character (v4-5). Satan comes right out and says, You surely will not die. In fact, you will be like God. God is not keeping you from the tree for your good. He is keeping the tree from you because He doesn’t want you to be like Him. Doubting God’s Word will quickly lead to denying His character. Once we begin to question His character we are well on our way to a mess.
The next step in Satan’s plan was to redirect Eve’s desire. Suddenly, the tree looked good for food. It was more desirable than obeying and trusting God (v6). When sin looks more satisfying than God, we are one small step away from disobeying God. She and Adam took, and ate, the fruit. Since we all descended from Adam and Eve, we are all now born with a sinful nature. Our sin nature leads us to sin, and our sin leads to death and misery. Why are we in this mess? One word: sin.
After failing God, they feared God (v7). They knew that they would have to face God (v12-19) and they knew that every sin deserved the anger and judgment of God. They had been warned that the wages of their sin would lead to death. Now they faced God as He pronounced His judgment upon them.
We cannot end our lesson with the mess Adam and Eve were in, or the mess that we are in. There is great news hidden in the sad story of Genesis 3. God tells Satan that there is coming, from the woman, one who would bruise, or crush, his head (v15). We know that that one is Jesus Christ who would come and live a life of perfect righteousness for us. He would go to the cross, and there our sin would be judged, in Christ, on the cross until the sacrifice was finished. His heel would be bruised on that cross, but Sunday morning He would crush the head of Satan when He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death, hell, and the devil. In the garden, God foreshadowed this ultimate sacrifice by shedding the blood of an animal and covering the nakedness and shame of Adam and his wife (v21). He can do the same for us if we will turn from our sin and turn to God through faith in Christ alone (Acts 26:20). That is the only way out of this mess!