Friday, December 9, 2011

To Fix The Problem - Find Where It Started

In the Beginning - That’s Where Everything Starts

The book of Genesis is not only the first book of the Bible, but it is the book of firsts. Since this book records the origin of the world and particularly human life, we can expect to find the first occurrence of the issues that affect our lives and God's instructions on how to live pleasing to Him. One of the finest principles of Biblical Hermeneutics is "The First Mention Principle". This is the idea that God's first revelation on an issue is of fundamental importance. Closely allied with this principle is another, "The Progressive Mention Principle". This principle shows us how, after His initial revelation, God continues throughout the Scriptures to give us additional information regarding issues that affect His plan for all humankind. These two principles are particularly useful in understanding God's plan for redemption of humankind. However this article is about a facet of that plan that affects us all and not the complete plan.

The First Family of the World Arrives

This is about the first man and the first woman and their respective testing whose failure ultimately affected the entire human race. We know the story of Genesis; in chapter one God created the entire world in six literal days and on day six He created mankind in His own image and likeness. In chapter two we see an exploded view of day six where God declares the generations of the heavens and Earth and gives a detailed description of the creation of the first man and woman. It is in chapter three that our story takes place. God created Adam and gave Him the command to eat anything he liked, but the fruit of one special tree. After Adam names the animals and it is apparent that there is no one like him, for him; God creates Eve and brings her to Adam. There is no indication; anywhere in the Bible that God also gave to Eve the same instruction about the special tree, actually later we find indication that it was Adam’s responsibility to see to it that she knew about it.

Problems Plague the First Family

I think we all know of the story of the serpent tempting Eve, but are we aware of why the sin that takes place in the Garden of Eden is called the sin of Adam? Eve took the forbidden fruit first, but Adam takes the heat for it, what’s up with that? Hardly seems fair does it? First, let me say that God makes no mistakes and is totally righteous in all that He does! What may seem unfair to us always has a back-story that will vindicate our righteous Lord! Here’s that story.

1. God made Adam and gave him commands and authority of leadership.

2. God made Eve next and gave her the position of following Adam.

3. In the Garden there was order and structure. These same truths are seen in I Corinthians 11:1-12.

4. Both Adam and Eve were about to be tested (tempted) for faithfulness. Both failed their test.

5. The serpent (Satan) approached Eve first. God allowed this for some obvious reasons. The temptation was to check faithfulness, not knowledge or ability. She needed to be tested first because Adam’s authority exceeds hers. If Adam were tested first she would have been untested because the damage would have been done and she would have been included in the consequence.

6. Eve’s temptation was to listen to the authority of her husband (Adam) or to chose to listen to the advice of the serpent, thereby taking family authority (Adams) for herself, thwarting God’s plan and altering her designed position. She failed her test. The following scripture selection reveals the conflict and the consequence.
Genesis 3:1-6

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, 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. And the serpent said unto the woman, 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. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:13
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Genesis 3:16
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

7. Adam’s temptation was not the beguiling of the serpent or the attractiveness of the fruit. His testing was also in the arena of authority. Would he listen to the authority of God’s command or would he listen to the voice of his wife? Adam made the wrong choice. He listened to Eve instead of God; therefore it is Adam’s sin that has affected the entire human race. Disobeying the voice of a man may bring temporal consequences, but disobeying the voice of God brings eternal consequences. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

8. The consequence of Adam’s sin is death to the entire human race, but God provided a way of redemption and salvation, also first demonstrated in the first chapters of Genesis. The consequence of Eve’s sin is difficulty in childbirth. Her being under the rule or authority of her husband is not a consequence of her sin, but rather a reminder of why she got into trouble in the first place.

First Family Failures = Modern Families Problem

In the western world we are seeing our cultures deteriorating at an epidemic rate. Many are wondering why. The reality is that the failures of the first family still plague us today. Sin has become a part of human nature as a result of Adam’s sin. We are repeating their actions in regard to authority, both God’s authority and family authority; as a result we reap the destruction and heartache that they too experienced. We cannot continue mixing up the same old recipe and expect to come up with a better cake, just won’t happen. What we must do, if we are to enjoy a better home life and by extension a better national life is to repent of our actions and return to the God designed structure for the family. God is the final authority in each person’s life and we will ALL ultimately answer to Him. The primary issue each of us will face, after yielding to Christ Jesus, as Savior is our relationship to God as the genuine Lord of our life. This is the same set of issues that Adam and Eve faced in the Garden of Eden. Whose authority are we yielding our self to? In the family God has ordained that the husband and father is the head, that is, he is the final authority for the family and he is under God’s authority. Under the headship of the husband is the wife and mother. She is under his authority and is disobedient to God and her husband if she listens to any other source of authority that would usurp her husband’s leadership. She does wrong to even go to God for instruction when her head has given direction or instruction. By going to God to get confirmation of her desire, she would actually be asking God to bless or be involved in circumventing the authority He has placed over her, her head, her husband. The only time it would be right for a wife to seek God’s intervention against her husband would be if he were an ungodly man bent on rebellion against God with destruction for her as well. Even then it is her duty to pray for him and seek to demonstrate Christ in his presence. Our culture is falling apart because of the lack of godly structure in our homes. As the family goes, so goes the nation. We have raised several generations of people that disregard God’s designated authority, both personal and familial; we therefore are reaping the reward of our disobedience. The only solution is to repent and return to God’s designated family structure. I doubt that we can change the world, but we are still responsible for our families.

Bottom line – Let’s do it to the glory of God!