August 30 — “Walk With Me: Adam & Eve”
Open your Bibles to Genesis 3
When I was in 7th grade, I was taking an Algebra 1 class. I had tested well going into middle school, and was able to take some advanced or honors courses.
And I just happen to perform well in math classes.
So I’m taking this math class, but I made the mistake of sitting next to my best friend.
So, instead of actually paying attention in class, I began doodling…and talking…and generally not caring because when am I ever going to need to use algebra…right?
Well, at the same time that I wasn’t paying attention in math class, I had accidentally joined the track team. An 8th grader who also went to my church invited me to come hang out one day after school. I had PE 4th period, so I just packed my clothes in my backpack and went out to meet him on the track behind the gym.
What I didn’t know is that at the exact same time, the track coach was gathering all of the people who were interested in track for an information meeting and a quick team run.
This 8th grade student, whose name was David Waggoner, had seen me running in PE and thought I’d be pretty good at running track, so he tricked me into showing up for this meeting.
So that’s how I joined the track team.
At first, I didn’t like running track. We ran long distances, and it was horrible. But then our coach started letting us do sprints, and I ended up becoming one of the faster guys on the team. I was running the 100m in 10.5 seconds, which I just learned is a record at most middle schools.
I was falling in love with track.
But I wasn’t falling in love with my math class.
My grades had plummeted, and my track coach pulled me aside one day and told me the bad news.
I was off the team.
I had a D in algebra, and until I was able to get it up, I wasn’t allowed to run anymore.
My world was shattered. I cried. I listened to sad songs on my CD player. I literally mourned the loss of my role on the team. I had let them all down. I had let my parents down.
I was heart broken.
And I imagine that’s exactly how Adam and Eve felt.
We know the story. Adam and Eve have been freshly created by God. God creates Eve from Adam’s rib so that he can have a partner. They were given one command: Do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. -Gen 3:1–7
Eve has a conversation with the serpent, a creature that is sinister and cunning. He challenges Adam and Eve’s memory of this conversation with God. He tempts them and manipulates them with half-truths. They eat from this tree and their eyes are opened to what the world around them is actually like. They look at their bodies and are ashamed, so they cover themselves with fig leaves and then they hear a sound.
It’s God, booming through the Garden, asking a question he already knows the answer to
“Adam, where are you?”
Out of fear and embarrassment, Adam and Eve hide themselves away from God.
He calls out again, “Adam, where are you?”
Adam answers from his hiding spot, “I heard you walking through the Garden, and I hid myself because I am naked.”
God replies, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree?”
Skip down to verse 21.
God has just announced the punishment for disobedience. He curses the serpent. He curses the ground. He increases the pain that comes with child birth. He tells Adam that he will work the ground all the days of his life until he returns to the dust that he was made from.
Then God does this:
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. -Gen 3:21–24
Adam and Eve have been forced out of the Garden. Their actions have removed them from the thing they loved. Their actions have placed them East of Eden — beyond God’s presence.
What do we learn from them?
The importance of trusting God’s word. The serpent was able to deceive Adam and Eve because he manipulated God’s word. Eve knew God’s word. She even added boundaries to it by saying not only are they to avoid eating it, but they shouldn’t even touch it. The put up defenses and barriers. But the serpent said, “you won’t actually die.” He knew that they wouldn’t be killed in that instant. He knew that their death would take time. Years. Decades. He knew all of it, but he told a half-truth. They wouldn’t die right now and Adam and Eve trusted this serpent’s half-truth over God’s word. We learn that walking with God means trusting His word.
Because Adam and Eve didn’t trust God’s word, they’re removed from the Garden. They can never come back, but God has a new plan.
For thousands of years, God desired to dwell with His people. He ordered the Israelites to build the tabernacle when they were wandering through the desert. The tabernacle was a mobile tent that God would fill with His presence when they stopped.
When the Israelites finally reached Jerusalem, Solomon built the Temple, and the presence of God dwelled within the temple, in the center of His people’s culture and life.
In 587 BC, the Babylonians destroyed the city of Jerusalem, and tore down the temple. The people didn’t know where the Spirit of God would dwell now.
4 BC. God is still trying to dwell with His people. He decides to send himself into the world as a child. God, creator of all things becomes a squirming, vulnerable baby in need of protection.
30 years later, He has 12 followers, and He’s telling them that he’ll be leaving soon. Eventually he’s going to die, but he trusts them and is leaving them behind to continue the work of reconciliation. To once again, unite the people with the God who loves them. He promises that when he passes, he’ll leave behind a counselor. A guide. And that all people who believe in God will receive this counselor — This Holy Spirit.
He tells them that the Holy Spirit is God’s spirit and that God’s spirit will now dwell inside of the believers.
The spirit of God dwells in all who believe.
If you have committed your life to following Jesus. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world, then the same spirit that filled the apostles with boldness is the same spirit that now lives inside of you.
Which means that you are now closer to God than Adam and Eve ever were. Instead of feeling God’s physical presence and seeing his face, He now lives inside of you and inside of every Christian across the world, connecting us all together.
The same God. The same Spirit. The same Savior. Linking us all together. Uniting all of Christianity under one kingdom.
How cool is that?
The spirit of God — the spirit of the creator of all things — living inside of His people. Helping to guide us and move us towards Christlikeness.
God has chosen to live inside of you.
He has invited you to come and partake in a new thing.
A new life.
Adam and Eve were able to walk with God.
But we have the privilege of being His home.