The Early Chapters of Genesis: Chapter 3:10-13

Genesis 3:10‑13  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
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Drawn from his concealment by the call of Jehovah Elohim, Adam appears. He might strive to hide his sin from himself; he could not hide from God. The very effort testified where he was, and what.
“And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and was afraid because I [was] naked, and hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou [art] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. And Jehovah Elohim said to the woman, What [is] this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (vers. 10-13).
The effect of sin was ruinous in all ways. Jehovah Elohim at once became an object of terror, instead of reverence and gratitude, love and trust. Even men own that conscience makes cowards of all. So it was immediately with Adam and Eve. The presence of God is and must be insupportable and alarming to an evil conscience; and this was now acquired. In answer to the divine appeal the man unwittingly tells the tale.”. I heard thy voice in the garden, and was afraid because I was naked, and hid myself.” How different the state, feeling, and conduct, if our first parents had kept their first estate! Still more different, even had they stood in innocence, was Christ, Who waxed strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. He was the Obedient Man. His will was to do God's will. “The words that I speak unto you, I speak not from myself; but the Father that abideth in me, he doeth his works.” Yet these works, stupendous as they were, blessed and blessing overflowing in their nature, were not so characteristic as His dependence. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do, because I go unto the Father.”
But who among those born of women, yea who even born of God, approached His obedience? Power and wisdom, to say nothing of inferior gifts, have been conferred, sovereign and without stint in men as God pleased; but our Lord Jesus stands alone in unswerving devotedness and absolute submission to God. This, the ideal moral glory of man, was His real and crowning perfectness here below even unto death, yea, death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the name that is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, [of beings] in heaven and [beings] on earth and [beings] under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Messiah said to Jehovah, Thou art my Lord; He set Jehovah always before Him with an unwavering trust, through life and death, into resurrection and the pleasures for evermore at His right hand. However tried, neither Jehovah on one side, nor Satan on the other, found aught in Him but grace and truth, righteousness and holiness. According to the beautiful type of Lev. 2, in each act of His life He was like the offering of pure flour, mingled with oil, and oil poured over all, with frankincense thereon, an offering made by fire of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. He as a man lived, not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. His meat was to do the will of Him that sent Him and to accomplish His work. As the living Father sent Him, so He lived, not merely “by” but, because of the Father. “I do always the things that are pleasing to Him.”
Such was the Second man; but the first by his own account, as soon as he heard the voice in the garden, was afraid and hid. Fear has torment, for he had a bad conscience. He shrank from Him Whose word he had disobeyed, and recognized himself naked. “And he said, Who told thee that thou art naked?, Hast thou eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat?” He was in fact self-condemned. It was not sorrow after a godly sort for the transgression; no was there earnest care, nor clearing of self, nor indignation, nor any other such affection as the Spirit works in the conscience Godward. Consequently in nothing did Adam prove himself to be pure in the matter. His sense of nakedness evinced his guilt. “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah Elohim said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.”
It was too plain. They had believed Satan, they had forgotten and rebelled against God. In both the sin was aggravated. The man was bound to lead the woman aright, not to follow her in disobedience; the woman was not to direct but obey her husband, instead of inducing him from natural affection to join her transgression against the Lord God Who had blessed and warned them. Nor as yet was there repentance toward God. They were convicted and compelled to own their respective acts of sin; but there was no true self-judgment, no grief at their dishonor of God, no horror at the evil and their own guilt. On the contrary, there was the self-justification that proves the spirit unbroken, and the shiftings of the blame one on another, and even on God Himself.
Indeed the man was bold, instead of abasing himself as inexcusably wrong; for he not only put forward the woman as his excuse, but dared virtually to upbraid Him Who had in His goodness given her to be his counterpart. “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” And when Jehovah Elohim asked the woman, What is this thou hast done? her answer was, Not I have sinned, or I am guilty but “The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.” Thus our excuses only make bad worse, and God cannot but righteously deal with pleas so vain and unworthy, which show that unrepented sin is apt to eat as doth a gangrene, and is truly ungodliness.
All this is plain and solemn fact, related not as a myth or allegory but as divinely given history, of the nearest interest and utmost importance to every soul of man. It is wholly unlike the visions of prophecy, such as are given to John in the Revelation, where we read “I was in the Spirit,” “I heard,” “I saw,” &c. Nothing of the kind is found in Genesis. But the history at the beginning and the prophecy at the end have this in common, that their words are alike faithful and true, while the only sense of “myth” which scripture recognizes is that of “fable” in contrast to the truth. The Christian has nothing to do with the dreamy views of heathen philosophy, but with the revealed mind of God, which leaves no room for either Gnosticism or Agnosticism. W. K.