Sometimes you get to the end of a great movie, and then all of a sudden, the ending is so unsatisfying that you need more! The audience adds its collective groan as the credits roll. At the end of Genesis 3, we get to the conclusion of some of the most incredible, fantastic narrative in all of history, and then… groan! There has to be more!
- Are there portions of your life story that leave you dissatisfied?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 3:20-24 (ESV)
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter 3 ends disappointingly but sets the scene for dramatic future redemption and restoration. Even in verses of such harsh judgment, you see tidbits of mercy and gracious provision.
- Can you identify two mercy gifts from God? What is the importance of these two gifts? What does this say about the character of God?
- The command God gave to Adam to “work [the garden of Eden] and keep it” in verse 2:15 is actually the same word as guard in verse 3:24. Why is this a sad contrast in this story?
- Scripturally, cherubim are attached to the holiness of God and guard his presence (Ex. 25:10-22; 26:31-33; Num. 7:89). What is the significance of the cherubim being the ones to guard the garden and the tree? What does this tell you about the change in relationship between God and man when God removed man from the garden?
RESPOND TO GOD
It is easy to think that the big curse was being kicked out of the Garden of Eden. While that certainly hurt, the Hebrew mindset was probably more focused on the fact that fellowship was lost with God because humanity was separated from God.
“Ironically, when the human race, who had been created ‘like God’ (1:26), sought to ‘be like God’ (3:5-7), they found themselves after the Fall no longer ‘with God.’ Their happiness does not consist of being ‘like God’ so much as it does their being ‘with God.’” (emphasis added)*
Are you looking more for the provision of God than the presence of God?
- Take some time to do a Spirit-led “gut check.” Ask the Lord for a more intense desire for him and his presence than simply for his blessing.
- Thank God today for his redemptive presence, even in the midst of our sin.
*Sailhamer, John H., (1994) Genesis, In K. L. Barker & J. R. Kohlenberger III (Eds.), Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary: Volume 1: Old Testament, (p. 11). Grand Rapids, Zondervan.