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Monday Evening Bible Study
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Howard L. Woods, Jr.
Monday, November 22, 2021
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The Temptation and Fall of Man

Genesis 3:14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.

The Lord God cursed the serpent to degradation, disgrace, and defeat.

The fact that the serpent is cursed more than all cattle or any other beast of the field suggests that reptiles are primarily in view here rather than Satan.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

But verse 15 switches to the Devil himself. This verse is known as the protevangelium, meaning “The First Gospel.” It predicts the perpetual hostility between Satan and the woman (representing all mankind), and between Satan’s seed (his agents) and her Seed (the Messiah).

The woman’s Seed would crush the Devil’s head, a mortal wound spelling utter defeat. This wound was administered at Calvary when the Savior decisively triumphed over the Devil. Satan, in turn, would bruise the Messiah’s heel.

The heel wound here speaks of suffering and even of physical death, but not of ultimate defeat. So Christ suffered on the cross, and even died, but He arose from the dead, victorious over sin, hell, and Satan.

The fact that He is called the woman’s Seed may contain a suggestion of His virgin birth. Note the kindness of God in promising the Messiah before pronouncing sentence in the following verses.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

Just as the beasts of the field, and most especially the serpent, were cursed because of man’s sin, so too, the woman received a threefold curse because of sin.

Cassuto and others render this as “I will greatly multiply your suffering in general, and more particularly that of your childbearing. Women’s pains would exceed that of men and particularly during the period of childbearing” (Genesis Part One, p. 165).

The second part of the curse on the woman was her desire shall be to your husband. This phrase has been interpreted in several ways: (1) the common view is that of a sexual desire on the part of the woman for her husband, knowing now there will be more pain in childbearing;

(2) some refer to it as a psychological dependence upon the husband, i.e., the woman will be a willing slave; and (3) Calvin says she will desire only what the husband desires. 

But Rather than translating thy desire shall be to thy husband, it should be thy desire shall be “against” thy husband. The preposition ’el is translated “against” in 4:8, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him. The same preposition (’el) and noun desire (teshuqah) appear in 4:7 and are translated and unto thee shall be his desire. This clearly implies that the personification of sin has a desire against Cain to destroy him. But God has promised Cain, “but thou shall rule over him” or “it.” Victory could be Cain’s if he did that which was right. So, here in verse 16, the woman’s desire will be against her husband and his leadership; she will not willingly submit to his rule.

The third curse may actually be a promise in disguise; for God has said he shall rule over you. It can be worked out. A parallel promise with the same wording appears in 4:7 with the disjunctive waw and the verb “to rule” translated “but you may rule over it.” Certainly, we live in a day and age when it is obvious that many women are expressing their desire against their husbands. Paul says for husbands to love their own wives and for the wives to “submit,” to their husbands. Why else would it be commanded, if it came naturally? (See Susan Foh’s article in Westminster Theological Journal, Spring, 1975—amazingly this is a woman’s interpretation!) What are your thoughts?

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. :18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. :19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Man is condemned to exhausting labor in order to make a living. This is because of God’s curse upon the ground.

Adam was to work before the Fall (2:15), but now it would be in the sweat of his face he would eat bread.

Years later, Lamech cried out for relief from the curse upon the ground and the difficulty of farming (5:29). Adam was created from the dust of the ground, and unto dust shalt he return.

Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.:21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

Adam displayed faith in calling his wife’s name Eve … the mother of all living, since no baby had ever been born up to this time.

Then tunics of skin were provided by God through the death of an animal. This pictures the robe of righteousness which is provided for guilty sinners through the shed blood of the Lamb of God, made available to us on the basis of faith.

Genesis 3:22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—:23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. :24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

There was a shade of truth in Satan’s lie that Eve would become like God (v. 5). But she and Adam learned by the hard way of experience to discern between good and evil.

If they had then eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever in bodies subject to sickness, degeneration, and infirmity.

Thus it was God’s mercy that prevented them from returning to Eden. Cherubim are celestial creatures whose function is to “vindicate the holiness of God against the presumptuous pride of fallen man.”

Adam and Eve had to decide whether God or Satan was lying. They decided that God was. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Thus their names are missing from the Honor Roll of Faith in Hebrews 11.

The ideal environment of Eden did not prevent the entrance of sin. A favorable environment is not the answer to man’s problems.

Low Self Worth

Accepted and Loved:  Luke 19:1-10

Ice Breaker: What’s been your least favorite job growing up?

Luke 19:1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. :2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. :3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature.

McDonald, Knoll, Farstad; Hinson and Knoll