“The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle…on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the day of your life…cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life (Genesis 3:14 & 17, NIV).”
God said there is a curse on the ground (from whence man came) and that Satan would “eat dust” all the days of his life. As Watchman Nee points out in Love Not the World, Adam is “dust” and he is “from the ground.” Authority has been given to Satan to eat or rather, devour man who is dust (of the ground). Because Adam is of the ground, any and every generation to come from Adam is irreversibly cursed to be devoured by the evil one. Only death will suffice to be freed of the curse and to attain a new life separate from the curse.
“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever (Genesis 3:22, NIV).”
God says, “Like One of Us,” not “like Us,” in the Trinity’s totality. After eating of the fruit, man became “like God” in the fact that Adam and Eve then knew good and evil. We could aptly say that they knew evil intimately. Evil was inside them and they became aware of it. They merged with evil because Holy Spirit was not awakened inside of them to allow them to overcome it. And so, the transformation of being “like Us” was still incomplete and could not be tolerated to come to fruition.
“Since tasting knowledge,” He states, “he (man) might stretch out his hand and take from the tree of life (the other tree) and eat and live forever (like the Trinity).” God was saying that, in fact, man, if allowed to stay in the garden, would continue to eat of the tree of life allowing them to be as God Himself and live forever, like God yet wicked. This is why they had to be removed and eventually physically die.
Man, the fleshly man, cannot live forever. Sinful flesh cannot be accepted in the presence of God. There can be and will always be only one God. For this same reason, Satan’s pride of desiring to be as God was cast from the presence of God. Man sinned exactly as did Satan, therefore reaping the same penalty: expulsion and death eternal.
“Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken (Genesis 3:23, NIV).”
Man’s punishment was to labor over the very ground/dust from which he came, now destined to be eaten, consumed, and destroyed by Satan. Adam and Eve brought this on themselves. Although they both tried to pass the buck of guilt, that was unacceptable behavior in the presence of the Almighty. They had to take responsibility for their own actions. They sowed rebellion and reaped death. Regardless of who sinned first or last, death was the punishment for all.
How utterly wicked, vile and corrupt is the very core of man that God would have to send a cherubim (Genesis 3:24) with a flaming sword. Obviously, He knew that man would try again and again to overtake the garden to get to the tree of life to attain “godship,” to overthrow God. Let me add that God in His sovereignty, even after all of this, allows us to be like One of Them. He sent Jesus Christ, One of Them, to bear our transgressions that we may die with Him and, after death (spiritually), live a Spirit-filled life on this earth.
God is now giving us exactly what Adam and Eve wanted, but sinned to attain: knowledge. Now, we have to be obedient unto death to our fleshly nature to attain knowledge so as to live.
We’ll pick up here next week as we continue with The Root of the Problem. This is from, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam Had To Die, 2nd edition (which will be available in a few weeks). If you are interested in reading more, check out my website to order my books, or go to my Facebook ministry page where I post regularly. Blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf