What does covenant look like then in the Bible? When God placed Man in the garden, there was a covenant relationship established between God and Adam.
Genesis 2:15-17 tells us “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
So, what is this? It is an agreement with a condition (oath covenant). (paraphrase) “Adam you may have supremacy over this place. It is yours. I put you in charge. But, just so we are clear, just so I KNOW you will honor our agreement, there is a condition. You must not eat of the fruit of this one tree.” Why do you think God put a condition on this promise to Adam? It could have been anything! Adam, don’t eat from………this tree over HERE! Or, don’t wash in THIS STREAM! Or, don’t touch THE FLOWERS ON THIS BUSH! Get the picture? It was just a line, drawn by God, that Adam was not to cross. Why did God do this? Why was it absolutely necessary for God to say that?
Well would free will have anything to do with it? God had made Adam in His very own likeness. God had given Adam the Garden, something of his own to take care of, to cultivate. However, without a choice did he really have free will? If you cannot choose one from another, then NO you do not have free will. You have what your father has given you, nothing more.
Interesting, that Eve is not on the scene yet. Read the next verse: Genesis 2:18 Then the lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
Here’s a recap so far.
- God made the earth and everything in it.
- God made Man separately and different. He gave him dominion over creation, with one condition; he could not eat of one particular tree.
- God saw that Adam needed a mate. In verses 21-23 God creates Eve and presents her to Adam. (Adam is pretty excited!)
Then comes the saddest chapter in the Bible. Genesis chapter 3. We don’t know how long it took to get to this point, but in comes the serpent. And…Eve seems like she is close to the forbidden tree. It appears that Adam told her what God’s command was, but she is walking close……..
Stop here. I realize I believe the Bible is divinely inspired. This means that every word, every scene, has had HIS personal stamp of approval. I also realize that I am human, and as such, was not there when this scene was played out. God ends up cursing the serpent, so it sounds like a real creature. If I were Eve, and a serpent started talking to me, I wouldn’t hang around. But, maybe this was the hundredth time he had spoken to her. And, isn’t that how we are tempted? At first, it may seem horrific, we run. But, over time, the horror is lost and we start to entertain the titillation of the action. Then we plot ways to creep up NEXT to it, but not partake. At this point we have probably lost the battle to stay pure, but we don’t accept that. We can still run, we reason…….just one more look.
In comes the Tempter…….and in Genesis 3:6, “The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.”
WAIT! Adam was THERE with her! WHOA! Adam, what were you doing? You are master over all of the creation. A creepy snake is talking to your woman and you are just standing there? The Bible always refers to the sin of Man as Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man”) Eve was the first to partake, but Adam was in charge. This sin was a huge deal. Up until now, the Garden was in perfect harmony with God. When God had finished creation (Gen 1:31) He looked over it and pronounced it very good.
There was a choice to break harmony, but it had not been exercised. Now look at the contrast:
- they felt naked, (Gen 3:7)
- they felt fear, and hid from God, (Gen 3:8)
- they felt shame and blamed each other, the serpent, and even GOD for their transgression. (Gen 3:12-13)
Prior to this, there was no sin on earth. God (who is sinless) could walk among His creation. He walked with Adam during the day (wonder what those conversations were like)! When Adam sinned, something happened, something terrible, something that could not be erased. There was separation between God and Man. Adam saw that he was naked because the glory of God left him. (Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”) What was left was raw and fearful and ugly. The Garden was not very good any longer. It was out of harmony with God.
So, what do Adam and Eve do? They sew fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. What do we do when we realize we have done wrong? We construct righteousness for ourselves! We try to make fig leaf excuses to cover our actions. Another name for this is self-righteousness! They hid from God! When God said “Adam where are you?”, (Gen 3:9) He knew where they were. It seems like God is giving Adam a chance to say he is sorry. Ah, if only we would come to God with our failures, our messes, instead of trying to fix them ourselves. Could this be why so many these days deny God even exists? If HE is real, we have to face our wrongs.
If He doesn’t exist………………..we’re good.