The Worst/Best Day Ever

Genesis 3:11-21

It would not take much thinking to come up with a list of why 2020 was such a terrible year. And let’s face it, for MANY people it was. 

  • 2020 was a year of tremendous loss for many people, the loss of loved ones, the loss of jobs, the loss of dreams, as well as the lack of ability to be with our families. 
  • When you put “the previous year” into history, it was most definitely not the worst in history.
  • When I ponder some of the worst years in history, there are many candidates; from the years war started; to the years when plagues wiped out huge portions of the world populations; to the advent of Communism, the list goes on.
  • Usually we will define a year as the worst year in our lives depending on the impact the said year had on us personally.
  • Even though we do not have an official year on the calendar for when the events of Genesis three took place, we can see that indeed, whatever the year these events happened, that year has to be the worst one in HUMAN HISTORY!
  • Life was good.
    • Life was easy, Adam and Eve walked in the garden with God himself.
      •  Life is GREAT until we get to Genesis 3.
    • In chapter 3, everything goes bad. Fatally bad, terminally bad, historically bad, inescapably bad.
      • All human beings who will ever walk on this earth are affected by what happened in the third chapter of Genesis.
    • It is the explanation of why things in this world are the way they are: why there is so much evil; why there is so much sin; why there is so much corruption; why there is disease, deformity, and death; why there is conflict, hatred, war; and why there are disasters of all kinds that fall upon man. 
      • It all comes from this third chapter.
    • Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world, in a state of innocence, free from sin, until they fell to the temptation of Satan,
      •  a temptation to call into question the integrity of God, the righteousness of God, the goodness of God, the wisdom of God.
      •  They became doubters of God. They fell, and with them the entire race fell.
      • I would say the year the events in Genesis 3 took place takes the crown for the worst year in human history.
    • We’ve all been plunged into a spiritual death. We’ve all been plunged into physical death; from the moment we are born we begin to die. 
      • We are all born dying and dead, dead spiritually and dying physically.
      •  We have no hope of life if all we have is the fall.  
      • The events that took place in Genesis 3, has affected ALL of CREATION, including ALL human beings.
    • We will see that even in the middle of the storm, even in the moment of our most epic failures, God has a plan! 
    • In verses 14 and 15, in the curse that God pronounces on Satan is the first expression of gospel hope, salvation hope, deliverance from sin and Satan; embedded in a curse is the hope of mankind.
      • This takes place AFTER Adam and Eve broke the ONE commandment that God clearly articulated to Adam NOT TO BREAK!

Genesis 3:11-21

Moses tells us here the story of sin coming into the human family; and its consequences are massive, incalculable. Adam and Eve, in fact, by their sin set in motion a spiritual avalanche that carries the whole human race down and buries them in death

  • The deed.
    • God had given Adam and his wife Eve everything in the garden and simply asked one thing back.
      • Do you see a principle of a tithe here or is it just me?
    • God told this couple all the great things He had in store for them.
      • He then told them one thing that would hurt them. That would bring a thing called death to them.
      • It had to be evident that God was clearly letting them know how devastating to them this would be. 
    • You know most of us are today? You tell a young’un not to touch that or turn this and even threaten them with bodily harm. Their mind starts wondering why it’s so special.
      • You reckon Eve walked by that tree every day wondering how it would taste, I mean it looked so good to the eye.
      • Temptation always does look good to the eye. 
      • I am sure Satan was watching this scene unfold and when the time seemed to be right when Eve appeared to him to be at her most vulnerable, Satan showed up to reap the harvest of Eve’s desires. 
    • Jas 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”
  • The decision.
    • In verses 14-19 we see Divine Justice rendering a perfect sentence.
      •  Obviously there are natural consequences to sin, they’re just built into it. Whatever a man sows, he reaps.
      •  If you lie, there are inevitable consequences to your lying. If God didn’t do anything, there are built-in consequences to telling lies.
      •  If you are drunk, if you are inebriated, if you are an alcoholic, there are built-in consequences. God doesn’t have to act; that kind of behavior has its own consequences. 
      • If you take drugs, that kind of behavior has its own consequences. If you are characterized by hostility and anger, that kind of behavior has its own consequences.
      •  If you engage in homosexuality, sexual sin, if you kill people, whatever it might be, whatever sin, built into those sins is the inevitability of cause and effect results.
  • But there is a far greater reality than that, and that is the reality of divine judgment on top of natural consequences. 
    • The sentence that comes down from God on sin. And here God renders a sentence, an appropriate and just sentence, in absolute, divine justice, on the serpent, on the woman, on the man and on the deceiver himself.
  • The serpent (V14) as an animal, was cursed “above all livestock, and above every wild animal,
    • It’s a selective curse. “Of all the cattle and of all the beasts, only you are cursed.” That’s what it’s saying: “Of all the cattle and all the beasts, only you are cursed.”
    • Cattle refers to domestic animals, the beasts refer to wild animals, “So of all the animals, wild animals and domestic animals, only you are cursed, only you.” 
    • This is a selective curse. Fallout came on the cattle; they die. Fallout came on the wild animals; they die. But only the snake was selected to be cursed.
    • Whatever may have been its beauty and posture before, it would henceforth glide on its belly and be an object of dread and loathing by all.
    • It is a perpetual reminder to man of the instrument of his fall and of the final destruction of Satan himself.
    • Every slithering, dust-eating snake is a symbol of the crushing curse of God and the judgment that is come on Satan. Snakes symbolize the devil degraded and defeated. 
    • They are constant reminders to human society that Satan has been declared a defeated enemy.

When God created the tree that Adam and Eve were called to stay away from, God did so in order that Adam and Eve have freedom of choice, free will if you will, which is a necessary part of love. • God wanted Adam and Eve to obey Him because they loved Him.

When God was dealing with the serpent and the deceiver, both were cursed by God; however, Eve was not cursed, she was given consequences for what she did. God held her accountable, but He did not curse her for eternity. 

  • On the woman.(V16) Eve paid a high price for her sin. Childbearing pain was going to be intensified for women and because of her deception, the husband will be the head of the marriage and her desire was to be to her husband.
    • It is not as though there was to be no pain associated with birth prior to the Fall; instead that pain will be greatly increased. 
    • The discomfort and pain that comes from bringing forth new life is a reminder of the real cost of exchanging THE TRUTH for a lie.
    • Desire to the husband and he will rule over you. Thus started the great conflict between men and women.
    • At first it wasn’t so. Remember Eve was created from Adam’s side.
    • Now the consequence of her choice and the fallout to all who come after her, battle of the sexes.
    • When it speaks of her desire to her husband. Its best understood as to be over him. Wear the pants. 
    • Many today will be the first to tell you their husband is the head of the house. BUT THEY’RE THE NECK!

When God was dealing with Adam He, God cursed the ground, not Adam. Again God held him accountable. There are consequences he must face.

  • The man (V17-19) Adam KNEW better, God told him DIRECTLY not to mess with that tree, yet here comes Adam. Even worse, look at verse 6 of Genesis 3
    • Adam was with her the entire time, and he did nothing! 
    • I feel God sentenced Adam for being dumb and for not caring enough to stop Eve! Eze 3:18, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”
    • Adam’s life was no longer going to be easy. 
    • (Gen 2:15) We know work was not part of the sentence or punishment of the fall. But now the world was introduced to TNT: Thorns and thistles.
    • Man had to draw life from it painfully and by the sweat of his brow
  • The deceiver.
    • Satan, apparently still in the form of the serpent, was standing before God and God had a plan for him
    • Satan’s thought was this: “I’ve turned Adam and Eve, the human race, against God.”
    • And God says, “I’m going to turn the human race against you.” That’s what it’s saying. Enmity. 
    • God denies Satan at the very moment when he assumed he had triumphed. God denies him what he thought he had gained. 
  • This situation is a mess which there seems to be no way out. 
    • Adam and Eve brought a curse to creation, they began the process of their own death as well as ushering in death to all. 
  • Childbirth was going to be more painful, the ground was going to be more difficult to harvest, the woman role in the home was changed, AND ON TOP OF IT ALL, THEY WERE GOING TO GET BOOTED FROM THE GARDEN! 
    • Is all lost? 
    • No, there is hope because of the grace of God, God has a plan
  • The great promise in Genesis 3:15 has long been known as the Protevangelium, promising the ultimate coming and victory of the Redeemer.
    • God will enable man, in his sinful condition, in his fallen condition, to be so totally transformed, that he will hate the serpent and love God.
    •  God has redeemed out of the human race, starting from that very incident in the garden through all of human history until the end of the age, a humanity that has been so transformed that that group of human beings, that massive group of redeemed human beings through all of human history, actually hate Satan and love God.
    • For this to happen there has to be a radical transformation of the human heart. There has to be a deep, deep change in the human heart to turn man back to God. 
    • It is so profound that the New Testament speaks of it as the new birth. There will be a humanity that will be so totally transformed that they will love God, and they will see Satan as the enemy and God as the friend.
  • God delights in mercy. 
    • Before He pronounces sentence on man and woman, before He expels them from the garden, He gives them salvation hope, hope of regeneration that they will hate Satan and see him as an enemy, and they will love God 
    • That there will come a Savior, that there will come One who will conquer Satan and therefore conquer sin.
    • Even though He in the conquering will be bruised, He will crush that deadly enemy.
  • It has already been done. His name is Jesus, do you really know Him?
  • Have you joined the redeemed?

Weeding Your Garden

James 1:12-17

As we spoke last week about fishing being in the air this time of year, there is another thing that comes to mind which we start seeing more and more this time of year. 

Gardens. Some big. Some small. Vegetable, flowers, plants, all types. Jesus often used farming, gardening as illustrations because, unlike today, most people understood it.

Gardening is fun, even therapeutic. It provides pleasure and produces beauty and food. But gardeners have to be on guard. There are menaces to a garden.

If the soil is too wet or dry you can damage the plant and hinder the crop. You have diseases, pests of all types. Wildlife, weather. A gardener has to watch all these things.

There is a more subtle menace, one that at first glance doesn’t look harmful but in reality it robs the plant from nutrients and water. It can retard the growth of the plant and decrease fruit. WEEDS!

As we have seen over the last couple of weeks, Samson’s sad descent from God’s gift, to God’s laughing stock, we have to be aware the same trap can be used against us.

Like the gardener being on guard to protect their garden. We need to be conscious of the fact that there are many things out to deceive us and destroy our relationship with God.

Like Samson we can become proud of where and how God used us and even began to think it is us. That is why I must point out again what Paul said to the Corinthians. 1Co 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

So what can we do? What is there for us to use to ground ourselves? To protect ourselves?

The day in which we find ourselves is a very trying time. It is easy for us to look down on others. It is easy for us to worry. Begin to doubt.

Remember. Our minds are like hotels. You cannot prevent someone from coming into the lobby, but you can prevent them from getting a room.

Look at our scripture: James 1:12-17 

  • Temptation
    • The root of temptation is a selfish desire.
      • When our desire is conceived it grows and matures until it sprouts.
    • The shoot appears. 
      • In the form of a sinful action or decision.
    • If left untouched it produces fruit.
      •  A seed pod that will reproduce the cycle again and again.
  • Our Nature
    • We have a sinful nature. That is why apart from the Holy Spirit of God we cannot understand God’s word. We cannot act on God’s word.
      • 1Co 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    • Fact is we could shut down every “den of iniquity” 
      • From the casinos to the media outlets. From the bars to the porn shops. It still wouldn’t stop or eliminate temptation to sin.
    • Adam and Eve had a perfect world.
      •  They had the perfect environment yet they succumbed to temptation. Why?
    • Because temptation comes from an internal source.
      • The external forces are only enticements to sin.
      • The problem begins with the human heart, mind.
    • In order to overcome this propensity to sin we have to have a new nature.
      • Jesus gives us that when we submit to His will instead of ours.
    • People indulge in various sins because they think it will make them happy.
      • We sin because of the pleasure it will bring. Though it is fleeting, passing, it only lasts a moment, we cannot see past our desire to the permanent scarring and pain it inevitably causes us and others. 
  • What do we do? How do you get weeds out of your garden?
    • Some think dealing with the fruit section of the weed will take care of it.
      • For a time it seems to work but then…
      • Just like when we deal with our secret sins by addressing only the visible parts of it, it is not likely that much headway will be made.
      • Why so many fall into depression and back into the same ole grind.
    • Others like to mow the weeds down. Cutting down the shoot.
      • Once again it looks good for a while but then often it seems to spread and make matters worse.
      • Again we deal with the externals
    • The only way to eradicate weeds from your garden is to deal with root, shoot fruit and all.
      • Rather you use a herbicide, a non- chemical home remedy or pull them up, it is the only way to rid your garden of these life threatening, substance sucking, light stealing pests. 
      • To eradicate perpetual, habitual sin in our lives, we must, underscore must, deal with our innate selfish desires.
      • Call it what it is. it is not a mistake/ it is sin against a holy God.
    • That is the question. Just like succeeding. Do you want to live a life successful in the eyes of God?
      • Do you really want to rid your life of these joy stealing, life draining, light sucking parasites or do you enjoy them more than you enjoy the promises of God?
  • Here are three questions to determine if what you are thinking of doing is worth it.
    • Can I thank God for it?
      • Jas 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
      • 1Th 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
      • If you go ahead and do this can you look back and thank God for it?
    • Can I do this in the Name of Jesus?
      • Will this be like Samson? Give the lost world reason to mock God?
      • Col 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
    • Can I do this and give Glory to God?
      • 1Co 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
    • I realize you have many formulas per say to help you. Truth is if you don’t invoke them, put them to use, you have what you want.
  • Make America Great Again.
    •  We have all heard the slogan. Fact of the matter many of us have shared what we believe will make America great in our minds.
      • The hope of America is not found in a revival of family values. It is not restoration of constitution law.
      •  Not a renewed respect for parents, elders or even authority though all of this is good.
      • Believe it or not it wont come from even upgrading the education system, health care system or court system.
    • What will make America great again is when Born again believers take a stand against sin.
      •  Not in the outside world but in our own lives!!
    • We need to get busy weeding out our own minds.
  • Church , this book is for you!!!
    • Today you have been given a choice.
      • To ignore these words. Chalk it up to another sermon down or REPENT.