Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jesse Tree: December 3

December 3:

Hang ornament with snake and apple.

Yesterday we talked about how Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, created the earth.  We also talked about how we are created in God’s image and for His glory.  
Today’s ornament is a snake and an apple.  Does anyone have a guess about what we are going to read about?  
Our Scripture reading for today is a full chapter from the book of Genesis.  Let’s listen and try to figure out why this ornament is part of our Advent story.
 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day 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 tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
15  And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
16 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 
‘You shall not eat from it’;                                                                                                       Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.

As we celebrate this season of advent, remembering the fall of man reminds us how much we need a savior. 
Remember those questions and answers we talked about a few days ago?  Well, we have learned a few others that go like this:  
Q: What happened to our first parents when they had sinned?  
A: Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable.  

Q: What effect had the sin of Adam on all mankind?  
A: All mankind is born in a state of sin and misery.

Q: What do we inherit from Adam as a result of this original sin?
A: A sinful nature.  

In Genesis 3, mankind was cursed as the consequence for sin, but GOD did not leave it at that.  Remember the part about the serpent eating dust and being bruised on the head?  In those verses we are given a promise, and that is why we have hope.   

God gives us a gracious promise about Christ in this passage, telling us He will be our Deliverer from the power of sin and Satan.  God was talking to the serpent, but Adam and Eve were present, and surely they took the hints of grace being given to them.  They would have seen the door of hope that had been opened to them, or else they would have been completely overwhelmed.  This was the dawning of the gospel day.  A terrible wound was given, but God provided a remedy.  Here, in the very beginning of the Bible, we see the hope for the promised Christ, a Savior. (Summary of Matthew Henry’s Comments) 

If we are not convinced that Adam and Eve were given hope at this point, we can always look to verse 21.  Genesis 3:21 says, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”  

Adam and Eve had tried to make coverings for themselves, but they were too small and insufficient.  God’s covering for them was much better, and it showed that although there would be consequences for disobedience, He still cared for them.  Where do we think God got skins to clothe Adam and Eve?  This was the first sacrifice, and a picture of God covering sinful Man. 

As we look forward through History, we see God’s Son, Jesus, as the fulfillment of this promise.  Because of Adam’s sin, everyone is born with a sinful nature.  We can never cover our own sin, and any covering we try to make is always going to be too small and insufficient, just like the fig leaves.   BUT, when we place our faith in Jesus Christ and turn from our sins, He will cover us with His righteousness and make us right with God.  HE alone is our acceptable covering.  

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