Garden Encounter

Think God is distant? Find out why it seems that way and what God has done to fix the situation. Also, find out the first steps of enjoying His presence!
Garden Encounter
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

God Almighty, the Supreme Being of the universe, blessed Creator of all things, is never distant from even the smallest particle of His creation. It is man who is distant from God, and not God distant from man. And although man has sinned against Him, from the account of the primal transgression we see that our loving Creator has provided the full remedy for our deep spiritual need.

A casual reading of Genesis 3, especially by one who has not been born again by God, might give the impression that God is very harsh. It might appear that God came against

Adam and Eve very hard and His judgment against the serpent, the devil, was, at best, cryptic. However, once our spiritual eyes are opened we will see that the all knowing God was, and still is, very loving.

One might see judgment, but one ought also see the tremendous love of God toward us in Genesis 3, especially verses 22 to 24, but for this message I have felt led of God to focus on just four areas, namely, verses 8, 9 and 11, 15, and 21. From these sections we will see in this garden encounter four things about God that certainly can be a blessing to us if we allow it to be so.

I. His Precious Presence 8

For your convenience I would like to present verse 8 with the verses preceding it in case you are not familiar with the history of the fall of mankind.  As a side note, it needs to be said that Adam and Eve did not eat an apple but, in disobedience, disbelief, and rebellion against God they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (see Genesis 2:16-17).

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which YHVH (The Existing One) God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" 4 The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 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 desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
8 They heard the sound of YHVH (The Existing One) God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of YHVH (The Existing One) God among the trees of the garden.”

It will be good for our purposes to start with “the presence of YHVH” as mentioned in verse 8. The Hebrew word for presence, pronounced “paw-neem”, can also mean “face.” It is one of those Hebrew words that is naturally plural and needs to be determined by context if it is meant at any point as singular or plural.

Most likely we should say “presence” and not “presences”. However, the fact that it is naturally plural plural can point to the truth that there are various levels of God’s presence we might sense. He remains the same, but most true Christians will tell you they recognize the ever presence of God, but then there are times we sense the special presence of God. And whether anyone senses Him or not, He is everywhere.

His presence was with man before sin entered into man and His presence was still with man after sin entered into man, although “more distant” in some respects. Again, He is always here, but we are the ones that are personally distant from Him until we become His redeemed child.

God  is spoken of in this verse as “YHVH Elohim” (“LORD God”). YHVH means “The Existing One” and may be thought of as “I AM Who I AM”. In a previous article {1}, God’s Beautiful Gifts Of Himself To Us, by God’s grace we pointed out that God always subsisted as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is not three Gods or three separate individuals that comprise God, but is One Supreme Being Who, lovingly for our sake, subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Ghost) so that our body, soul, and spirit may be fully redeemed. To further indicate that God is one Being subsisting as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit uses “Elohim”, another noun that is always plural, but the Hebrew grammar is structured in such a way that it is singular when referring to the One true God.

What is also beautiful is that Adam and Eve heard His voice. Some translations might have “the sound of”. That could be possible, but on the other hand Wilson {2} lists other words that the Holy Spirit could have used instead of the only Hebrew word that, except for singing, expresses the thought of “voice”. Nonetheless, God still called to Adam and Eve even after they sinned. God calls everyone today by His written Word and by the conviction and drawing power of the Holy Spirit. To learn more about hearing the voice of God please see the link below {3} for my article, To Hear The Voice Of God.

II. His Loving Probing  9 & 11

Sinful mankind tries hard to hide from God. God wants to reconcile matters, but each needs to admit there is something spiritually wrong with themselves. God already knew everything that happened, but He wanted Adam and Eve to confess it, ask for His forgiveness, and ask for His help to correct the situation.

First, God asks, “Where are you?” (verse 9). Let us get right to the point. Until one surrenders to God through Christ, trusting in His finished work of redemption, each person is totally spiritually corrupted (Romans 3:9-18) from the time they are born due to Adam’s disobedience (Romans 15:17-19). This might seem to be unfair, but the Holy Scriptures point out we were in Adam when he sinned and, besides, provision was made to remove our sin and crush our sin nature.

In verse 10 we see Adam said they were hiding behind trees because they were naked. And, today, people hide their spiritual nakedness from God by hiding behind religions, ideologies, patriotism, politics, allegiance to governments, self-ability, and more. They hide behind these things to avoid direct accountability and dependence upon God {4}. 

I feel impressed by God to again mention hiding behind religion. This includes any religion, denomination, or fellowship that might be labeled Christian, even those who are part of the real true Body of Christ. I am not saying to leave a group (unless God tells you to leave), but I am saying be directly accountable to God. Some individuals remain distant from God even though whatever group they are in is part of the true Church, worshiping God in Spirit and Truth. God wants direct contact with each of us.

Whether or not they realize it, each person has a spiritual instinct. Individuals make up the world and the world, with the unsaved having “their own” moral compasses, is in moral panic at this time because it instinctively knows Christ will soon reign on earth for a thousand years as stated in Revelation 20. So,


the answer to who told them they were naked (verse 2) is it was their own sinful nature in response to the presence of the Holy God. Compare Peter’s reaction in John 21:7.

The third question cuts to the heart, or, it should. “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Disregard for God, a sign of pride, is a main characteristic of sin. Whenever anyone, including someone that has come to Christ, disregards God in any way it reveals a lack of true love for God.

Leaving all of these failures uncorrected leads to disaster. We need His detecting, corrective, and spiritually therapeutic probing of our entire being (Revelation 1:12c, 2:18). David wrote by the Holy Spirit (Psalm 26:2), “Examine me, O YHVH (Existing One), and try me; Test my mind and my heart.” Since the finished work of Christ, those that truly know Him in their heart are expected to examine themselves by the Holy Spirit. So it is written in 2 Corinthians 13:5a, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”

III. His Powerful Promise  15

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Here we see the very first announcement of Christ’s redemptive rescue for mankind. Notice satan {5} is bruised on the head, but Messiah would be bruised on the heel. Clearly this meant that Messiah would have the victory, but only after taking our sin on the cross to receive the righteous punishment by the Father. The bruising of the heel does not mean satan put Christ on the cross because Christ was very clear that He would willingly lay down His life. Satan, though, did play a part in the way Christ was treated from the time of His arrest until He died upon the cross.

“Heel” would also point to the humanity of Christ. It was necessary for Him to be veiled with our flesh in order that we might be truly redeemed. It is written in Hebrews 2:14, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

Until we surrender to God through Christ, our entire being -- body, soul, and spirit -- is corrupt. We do the works of the devil. That changes when Christ truly becomes King in our life. It is written in 1 John 3:8, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” And, if we truly love God through Christ we will take to heart 2 Corinthians 5:21 and ever live by it: “He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

IV. His Gracious Provision  21

“YHVH (The Existing One) God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”

I would like to start with the phrase, “for Adam and his wife” to point out the great mercy of God while again emphasizing God subsists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for our total salvation. Once someone becomes spiritually alive through Christ they can eventually sense both the firmness and tenderness of God in all phases of His disciplinary action in Genesis 3.

Much can be said on all such points, but it is the objective of this message to focus upon God’s provision to man. While the text does not specifically say so, we may safely assume that in order to make these coats of skin YHVH (The Existing One) God slew an animal in front of them and showed them how to make clothing. I would also say He showed them how to make a sacrifice and taught them it was an illustration of what He would later have to go through to provide redemption for mankind.

The slaying of the animal pointed the promise of verse 15 that Messiah would have to veil Himself of our flesh and die for our sins. Upon confessing we are sinners and trusting in His finished redemptive work God removes the sin from us and clothes us with the righteousness of Christ Who paid the full price for our sins that we may be totally redeemed, the shedding of His blood bringing the remission of our sins.

The garden encounter of the spiritually fallen Adam and Eve with the holy, loving, merciful God calls upon us to agree with Him that we have sinned and that we desperately need His help. We only harm ourselves by hiding behind someone or something. By fully trusting in the finished work of Christ and totally committing our life to Him we are then clothed with the righteousness of Christ. In this way, and only in this way (John 14:6), we are enabled to walk in close fellowship with Him and, upon leaving this earth, truly vibrantly live with Him throughout eternity.

Notes:

{1} The article may be found at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/gods-beautiful-gifts-of-himself-to-us / .

{2} Wilson, William: Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies (MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, VA) pp 407 & 469

{3} Please read To Hear The Voice Of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/hear-voice-god .

{4} Get further insight from a passage in Mark by reading Seeing Men As Walking Trees at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/seeing-men-as-walking-trees .

{5} Not capitalized on purpose. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by September 14, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M464 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 12-08-2017 72 0

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