14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
A few days ago my brother sent me a picture of a large snake slithering across the dirt rode down which he had been traveling. It appears to be a Kingsnake. My brother observed that he had stopped his car to watch the snake cross the road in front of him. I observed in reply that, if I were him, I would continue to watch the snake from inside the car!
It was a poignant reminder for me as I prepared to preach on our text. Adam and Eve have sinned against God. Eve gave ear to the devil, who, in the garden, came to her in the form of a serpent. And Adam had listened to Eve. Thus, they fall.The Fall is one of the most crucially important truths of all scripture. The Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck put it in these terms:
…the Fall is the silent hypothesis of the whole Bib[lical] Doctrine of sin and redemption; it does not rest only on a few vague passages, but forms an indispensable element In the revelation of salvation. The whole contemplation of man and humanity, of Nature and history, of ethical and physical evil, of redemption and the way in which to obtain it, is connected in Scripture with a Fall, such as Gen. 3 relates to us.
I could not agree more. The Fall is indeed “the silent hypothesis” of scripture. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that the Fall is one of the most attacked and dismissed doctrines in the church today. This is a tragedy, for if we lose the doctrine of the Fall we lose a key component of the overall message of scripture. For this reason we should pay special attention to what scripture says about the result of Adam and Eve’s sin.