Genesis in 3D: Detour  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:17
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Rebellion has consequences, but is never beyond God's ability to show mercy.

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Runs, drips & Errors!
In Softball or Baseball, runs are a good thing. Depending upon if you are on offense or defense, Errors can be either good or bad. In stockings, runs are generally a bad thing. And when painting, runs and drips are errors.
But what do we do when these happen?
In public speaking errors are commonly dealt with by characterizing the comment as an intentional gaffe, or walked back as a misunderstanding. In situations where they can not be excused as unintentional, comments get branded as fact-checked or fake news.
What happens when you crest the hill, see the patrolman and check your speedometer? What happens when the term paper or sermon’s quotes and illustrations are found to come directly from a plagiarized source?
Transition: Today’s Scripture shows us responses and consequences for getting caught red-handed.

Attempted Damage Control (vv.8-13)

Disguise (vv.8-11)

Isaiah 5:20 ESV:2016
20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
There are times when we can either lie or hide, Adam and Eve chose to hide.

Divert (vv.12-13)

When they were found red-handed (as if we can ever hide from God’s omniscience and omnipresence), they tried plan B – shift the blame.
The attempts were revealed for their weakness, and God did not extend culpable deniability.
He and she were each culpable for his and her own acts of disobedience.
Transition: Notice that God doesn’t wait for them to come clean. He knew they were guilty, they knew they were guilty, so the text moves straight into the sentencing phase.

Afflicted by Curses (vv.14-19)

Notice that your Bible moves from the flowing sentences of prose to the format of poetry.
This is not just information for the head, it is intended to cause a visceral reaction in the reader. Our affliction touches us deeply. I want us to experience the despair of hearing these sentences for the first time, knowing they would be permanent.

Serpent (v.14)

Am I the only one who has heard the expression, “lower than a snake’s belly” or “You dirty, rotten sidewinder”?
While Egyptian Pharoahs depicted a raised viper on their headdresses, most of us could identify with Indiana Jones.
I believe that the chicken came before the egg, and I believe the curse came before the reputation. Some animals conjure thoughts of strength, majesty, or grace. This explanation is as good as any other as to why the Hebrews had come to despise snakes.

Seed (v.15)

Is all/none of v.15 looking forward to Calvary? By the time of the post-exhile when the Hebrew was translated into Greek, the LXX translated in a Messianic meaning. By the time the Greek was translated into Latin, the Roman Church even translated into “she”, hinting at an Eve/Mary correlation.
1. Enmity (hostility) – Much of mythology and other religions see a cosmic battle between good and evil, where both are equal powers. The theme of Scripture is that evil is realand at odds with the things of God, but hear me clearly, God’s good is always greater/stronger than the badness of evil! The strife between good and evil is not a fair fight!
1 John 4:4 ESV:2016
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
2. Offspring
This Hebrew word is singular, but the singular is used some places in the Bible to speak of one, soon descendent, OR of many ultimate collective descendants.
Those who carry on your purpose. While Satan does not reproduce the same way as humans, there are those who align with his purpose whom Jesus referred to as descendants of Satan (John 8:44).
When Eve heard this, she naturally presumed he son. When Satan heard this, he determined to have one son (Cain) kill the other son (Able) to reduce the likelihood of this coming true.
This strife continues until Satan is bound, thrown into a pit, and later cast into the Lake of Fire.
3. Bruise – same word both times, meaning to grip
· The difference is not in the gripping or striking, but in the position from which each happens. Eve’s descendent would strike from above looking down, the Serpent’s descendents would always be looking up from a lower position.
4. He – masculine, not neuter.
While modern society wants to redefine gender identity. There are rules of grammar that work against this. One of those rules is that a pronoun always takes the gender of the noun to which it refers.
While the word offspring is neural in gender and would normally have “it” for a pronoun, the first word of this second clause is undeniably masculine – he.
5. Your (not offspring) head
I believe the first half of v. 15 speaks to the conflict between those who align with God’s purpose and those who align with Satan’s purposes, Where God’s people always have the position of strength.
The he and your head I believe speaks to both Calvary and the ultimate doom of Satan in Revelation.
6. I find agreement with Victor Hamilton who writes, “We may want to be cautious about calling this verse a messianic prophecy. At the same time we should be hesitant to surrenderthe time-honored expression for this verse—the protevangelium, “the first good news.” [i]

woman (v.16)

Notice how all the curse upon woman is directed at relationships, not tasks. The curse is not dirty dishes or a messy living room. The curse is not frustration between the home and the workplace.
John Walton points out, “What is important to note about [this Hebrew word for pain] is that the root is not typically used to target physical pain, but mental or psychological anguish.”[ii]
2. Childbearing refers to conception and bring forth refers to delivery. These complementary terms are used to describe the whole pregnancy process.
a. Some women experience great anxiety about the ability to conceive.
b. Some women experience great anxiety throughout pregnancy (especially before Doppler and ultrasound became available to set one’s mind at ease).
c. Some women’s anxiety goes through the roof when delivery required being induced or caesarean.
3. The second relational curse deals with marriage. From the “suitable helper” that we saw in chapter 2 who makes her husband better and partners with God’s work in his life, we now have the blunt reality that you and your husband will not always see eye-to-eye.

Ground (man) (v.17-19)

Before the man can offer a sigh of relief that his curse is diverted to the ground, notice the impact of that curse is more detailed than the other descriptions.
Substituting the opinions of others for the true voice3 of God yields sad consequences.
The curse means that man trades an existence in a good land with no limits, to a painful plodding through a life that will end.
We do have food to eat, but it only comes through obstacles.
Bread is not ready-to-eat like the fruit that God provides. Bread only comes from patience, sowing, reaping, threshing, grinding and baking.
Man now cannot escape the reality that this life is coming to an end.
Over 15 years ago my parents bought a house that they planned for their retirement. Over the years carpet was replaced with tile, bathrooms were built that were closer and required no waiting, landscaping was done to ease mowing, and gardens were planted that did not require weeding. Mom and Dad did many things to make the space manageable, but this weekend that house is for sale, and they have been accepted into an apartment. The inevitable downsizing is an honest admission that over time we become feebler and eventually we can no longer do what we used to do. While this house is not the home of my childhood, I am still saddened to consider that my own parents require relocation.
Transition: Because of Man’s disobedience, nature has changed, relationships are tough, and we have all entered a life that ends in death. But even in our consequence, we can see the compassion of our God.

Aided by Provision & Protection (vv.20-24)

God provided purpose for eve (v.20)

In Gen 2 we saw that Adam needed a suitable partner and God provided woman.
In Gen 2 woman is identified for her relationship to man, in Gen 3 she is honored for her relationship to children. Her reference changes from “woman” to “Eve” (source of life).
Pregnancy is not just something that happens to her (ANE mindset), but she provides essential contribution.

God provided covering for both (v.21)

As the oldest of 4 children, I came to the conclusion that some times were better than others to ask a favor of my parents. Seldom was that time ever right after being disciplines.
Rather than abandon them after their rebellion, God makes for Adam and for his wife garments. He clothed them.
God’s garments did a better job covering than the gowns at the Academy Awards

God provided protection for both (vv.22-24)

1. God’s warning alone is no longer sufficient to prevent unhealthy diet.
Not unlike my Doctor’s cholesterol warnings.
2. For their own good, God places guards around the Tree of Life.
3. We may think of cherubs as in the cute baby with a bow and arrow in February, or the youngsters in the nursery or the children’s choir. But Cherubs (or Cherubim) most commonly are portrayed in Scripture as guards of God and His interests. Thing Mighty Michael with the raise sword (not cupid with a string bow).
Sword bearing Cherubs could have prevented the PR Nightmare Will Smith is going through. Sometimes we need to be protected from ourselves. And that is what God does in v.24


1. God prevented access while the first humans were in their fallen condition, but promises access to those who are made clean in Christ at the end of time.
Revelation 22:14 ESV:2016
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
2. As I said last week, all that God made was good. It just has to happen at the right time, in the right sequence.


This message likely has not given you any new information, you already knew that serpents crawl on the ground, you already knew (at least on one level) that God’s power is stronger than Satan’s, you already knew that relationships are tough, and this world is a messed up place.
But after the curses, our minds generally race ahead toward the conflict in the next chapter. I want us this morning to reflect on the merciful nature of our God by extending His protections to our brokenness.
From these Protections I observe 2 prime applications.
God does not wish for you to remain in rebellion and separation.
God provides covering for our exposure. It is the Hebrew Scripture word for atonement, and was provided once for all when Jesus died in your place.
We started this service by singing of God’s Amazing Grace, we conclude by worshipping His abundant Mercy.
Song of Response.... “His Mercy is More
Benediction: Numbers 6:24–26 (ESV) — The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
[i] Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1990), 199–200. [ii] John H. Walton, Genesis, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 227.
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