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“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.
“He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”’
And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”’
But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.
For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
So 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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.
And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”
Tradition seems to have always taught, and I had always assumed, that Eve was alone when the serpent approached her.
This scenario, embraced by many Bible teachers, assumes that after she was deceived and had eaten some of the fruit she then went in search of Adam to induce him to share in her sin by eating some of the fruit.
Larry Crabb has pointed out in the opening pages of a book published a few years ago that Adam was right there with Eve during the conversation with the serpent.
[2] I doubted his assertion, and so I went looking for the original language.
The Word of God is quite precise in stating the case that Adam was present.
“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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” [GENESIS 3:6].
What is not apparent in various English translations, but is obvious in the original account, is that the serpent employed the plural throughout his seduction indicating that Adam was both present and silently permitting this seduction to proceed.
Think of that!
Adam was with Eve when she was tempted by the serpent!
That blows away my categories.
Paul asserts that the woman was deceived [1 TIMOTHY 2:14]; and we draw conclusions which may be unwarranted from that knowledge.
We tend to blame Eve for getting us all into this present mess, even though we know that technically Adam was responsible.
But what if Adam was standing right there the whole time that Eve was talking to the serpent?
This knowledge sheds new light on just how responsible Adam was for what happened.
It gives us insight into the responsibility men bear before God.
This puts a whole new twist on ROMANS 5:12.
What does this say to us about not doing anything when we are not sure exactly what we should do or say?
It sure makes inactivity look more sinful to me.
If Adam was there, then why didn’t he say something?
Why didn’t he tell the serpent to get lost?
Why didn’t he correct Eve when she misquoted the command not to eat of the tree?
Why didn’t he suggest they go somewhere else to talk about the situation?
Why didn’t he stop Eve when she reached for the fruit?
Why was Adam silent?
Though I’m not going to answer that right now, I think the answer will become obvious as we work through several concepts.
What is your image of a “real” man?
Perhaps you think of a real man as someone who reflects the image of, say Chuck Norris.
Hollywood has done much to form our image of what a man should be.
By the criterion of the silver screen a man is tall, dark and invulnerable.
Above all else a real man is silent, never saying much, but maintaining a brooding silence in the face of every challenge.
The modern image appears to be moving to an opposite extreme presenting a soft, vulnerable, almost effeminate image much like Billy Crystal.
Either image is distorted, even warped.
Many people today are confused about what a man should be.
Christians haven’t fared any better, as the churches are increasingly feminised.
Family Life Seminars, Promise Keepers and hundreds of self-help books haven’t yet resolved the issue of what a man should be.
We have a multitude of experts telling men how to be “good” fathers, “good” husbands or “good” whatever’s… There is obviously a problem and we Christians are relentlessly searching for answers.
When we believe we are facing a problem we will read a book written by a “professional counsellor” or we will attend a conference.
Having read the book or sat through the conference we are motivated to apply the principles which were taught for a few weeks or even for a few months.
However, have you ever noticed there seems always to be an updated version of last year’s latest self-help book on the book rack?
There is always need for another Promise Keepers conference?
This is because we slip back into the old routine and need the next edition or yet another conference.
Frankly, we are acting in our own energy and not in God’s power.
I suggest that the churches haven’t yet dealt with the problem.
Had the churches done what was required by God there would be no need for experts, nor would we need to seek out the latest conference with motivational speakers telling us how to act.
I am humbled by the fact that the men we consider great in the eyes of God, those stalwarts of the past such as D. L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, etc. were men of God.
They spent hours in prayer and in the Word of God.
They were first godly, and then they were manly.
Consequently, they are remembered as great men.
We turn matters around and try to be manly first and then imagine that we can be godly.
Underscore this truth in your mind: the only way to be manly is to be godly.
How do we become godly?
By reflecting the image of God.
In order to reflect God’s image we must know what God is like.
We need to study God!
And that, for your information, is theology.
Instead of being boring, theology is the exciting study of God.
Studying the first two chapters of Genesis you will note that one aspect of God stands out above all others.
Whenever God encountered chaos He spoke and brought about order.
God spoke into nothing and created the heaves and the earth [GENESIS 1:1].
The SECOND VERSE states that “the earth was without form and void” [GENESIS 1:2].
Into the chaos God spoke to bring about order.
Here is what we should understand about those first two verses.
God moved about in darkness and chaos in order to create order and life.
Man is created in the image of God [GENESIS 1:26].
No doubt you remember that one of the first responsibilities Adam assumed was naming the animals [GENESIS 2:19, 20].
God used this as a means to teach the man that he had no complement among the animals, preparing the man for the creation of woman; but other truths are revealed in man’s action.
He demonstrated his superiority over the animals, fulfilling the command to rule over them.
There is this further insight, however, which lays an important foundation for this present message.
Man demonstrated how he was in the image of God by naming the animals, for he brought order out of chaos.
Like God, man spoke into disorder, for he spoke into a world in which no life form had yet been named.
By naming the animals Adam imposed order on creation.
In GENESIS 1:3 God spoke, and in GENESIS 2:20 man spoke.
In speaking—giving names to the animals—man revealed that he was in the image of God.
God spoke into chaos and created order and life.
Adam spoke into disorder and brought about order.
It is a demonstration that man, created in God’s image, is responsible to speak into disorder so that order and life may result.
This means that when life becomes chaotic, man is responsible to speak.
Men are responsible, not to maintain silence in the face of chaos, but rather men are responsible to speak so that order will result.
Should a man remain silent in the face of chaos, he sins and ceases to be like God.
Having said this, I hasten to admit that man’s natural tendency is to be silent.
Confronted with chaotic conditions, the natural tendency of man is to be silent.
We have already seen the example of Adam who was silent when his wife was confronted with the choice to defy God’s command.
His silence resulted in the ruin of the race and necessitated the sacrifice of God’s Only Son.
The next well-known example of manhood presented in the BOOK OF GENESIS is Abraham.
God had promised Abraham that he would have a son and that from that son would come descendants as numerous as the stars [GENESIS 15:4, 5].
GENESIS 15:6 presents the great text, “He believed God.”
Perhaps it was the passage of time or simply a lapse of faith, but the day came when Abraham’s wife Sarai grew restless.
Ten years had passed and Sarai wanted a family now!
She urged Abraham to father a child by her maidservant Hagar.
Abraham listened to Sarai, slept with Hagar and sired Ishmael [GENESIS 16:2].
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