God detests sin. Why? It destroys what is good. He created us so that He could enjoy us forever, but He made us in His likeness. This means that we understand that there is a difference between good and bad, and that line is not blurry. What we have here is the forces of evil trying to destroy what God created, and the start of a war that has been waged ever since.
What we must not miss here is the aftermath. What happened as a result of man’s rebellion?
Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden… (v.22-23)
Perhaps in your Bible this passage is titled “God’s Judgment”, and indeed, it is. However, we must understand God’s reasoning for it. It’s not just about punishment for sin. There is something much more eternal at stake. The state of creation before this moment was a universe without death. Everything was designed, as far as we know anyway, to endure. When God says “then they will live forever”, He is not saying that he never intended that to happen. Of course God wants us to live forever and I believe he designed us to live eternally with him. He just doesn’t want the people that we have become to live forever.
From the beginning we were designed not for evil things, but to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s commands, we went off the reservation and started living to please ourselves rather than our creator. God knows that this is a path that can only end in our ultimate destruction, so he separates, in a sense, our spiritual self from our physical self. This is seen in our removal from the Garden, and our inability on our own to re-enter it. By allowing us to die, our sins die in our bodies while our spirit can be saved and made new again.
Notice that immediately Adam and Eve recognize and are ashamed of their nakedness. It’s like a picture of their failure to them and they can’t imagine allowing God to see them like this, and so they try to cover themselves up with leaves, but God is not satisfied and has a better solution already in mind…
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. (v. 21)
I don’t know if you caught that, but in that one verse lies the first hint of God’s plan for salvation. Where did God get the animal skins from? From animals of course. Dead ones. How did they die? We must assume that God put them to death, and shed their blood to provide a covering for the sin of Adam and Eve. What a sad, beautiful picture.
You see, Genesis is all about beginnings. We have learned about the beginning of the universe, the beginning of man, the beginning of sin and now, the beginning of God’s plan to put all of us broken people back together.
Rejoice today in this; that the same God who we offended with our sin also made a way so that we could spend eternity with Him in spite of it.