Posted in jesus, encouragement, curse, adam, beauty

If earth is this beautiful…

By Elizabeth Prata

When Adam sinned, the Lord our God, creator of all, cursed the ground.

“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;
(Genesis 3:17)

I live in a rural area. Not every place on earth looks like this, I know. But I’m astounded that ANY place looks like this, after the curse.

EPrata photo
EPrata photo
EPrata photo
EPrata photo

If God’s earth is THIS beautiful after the ground has been cursed, then imagine the beauty of heaven! Look toward the reward- being in God’s family, perfected in glory, and seeing the face of Jesus, amid inexpressible sounds and sights of beauty of such scope that we cannot even imagine! (2 Corinthians 12:4)

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Posted in adam, encouragement, Eve, garden of eden, genesis 3

The Sin of Discontent

By Elizabeth Prata

Everything was perfect. The Garden was perfect. The two humans were perfect. The animals were perfect. God declared His creation “very good”. The humans’ relationship with God was perfect.

EPrata photo

We do not know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden but no matter how long it was, there was absolutely nothing to be discontent about. Adam and Eve had full run of the Garden, the animals were submissive, they had plenty to eat, they were neither hot or cold.

When did Eve become discontent? John MacArthur said in his sermon “The Fall of Man,”

Continue reading “The Sin of Discontent”
Posted in adam, beauty, curse, encouragement, jesus

If earth is this beautiful…

When Adam sinned, the Lord our God, creator of all, cursed the ground.

“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;
(Genesis 3:17)

I live in a rural area. Not every place on earth looks like this, I know. But I’m astounded that ANY place looks like this, after the curse.

If God’s earth is THIS beautiful after the ground has been cursed, then imagine the beauty of heaven! Look toward the reward- being in God’s family, perfected in glory, and seeing the face of Jesus, amid inexpressible sounds and sights of beauty of such scope that we cannot even imagine! (2 Corinthians 12:4)

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— (1 Corinthians 12:9)

Posted in adam, encouragement, Eve, eyes, Garden, sin

Seeing God with eyes closed

I’ve mentioned on my other blog that I love to play around with my photos using the online photo editors. I think it’s cool what you can do these days with a photo by manipulating it into something different or even nearly unrecognizable.

Not that new is necessarily better. I learned about heliogravure and collotype which produced stunning photographs and reproductions with clarity, tone, and detail almost unsurpassed by today’s digital photos. But I digress.

The colors of fall are spectacular. Once the summer haze and humidity clears out the night sky becomes ablaze with stars and the day sky is a deep blue like a sapphire. Years and years ago, I took this photo of a fall tree in Maine, its leaves having dropped and its bare arms crookedly reaching under an azure sky. I’ve always liked the picture.

EPrata photo

I monkeyed with the picture and made this:

EPrata photo

I like the altered photo too. Are they the same picture? The same scene? Do they depict the same reality?

They do … and they do not. By blocking out some tones and colors, it brings forth others. By reversing some aspects, it shows others.

I enjoy reading and studying the first three chapters of Genesis. I spend a lot of time there. In this instance, I was thinking about the moment when Eve and then Adam ate of the fruit.

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. (Genesis 3:4-7)

Their eyes were opened? Of course we know that isn’t literal. They were not blind before, they could literally see. Eve “saw the fruit was good for food”. In chapter two of Genesis, God brought the animals to Adam, who obviously saw them before he named them. Adam saw which tree not to eat from, because he instructed Eve likewise after she was created. So they could see.

As Albert Barnes’ Notes state,

It must therefore mean that a new aspect was presented by things on the commission of the first offence.

As the two photos above showed, a new aspect of things that had been there all along but now were in the forefront. The happy blue sky is gone, it is now darkened. The glory-white clouds are now ponderous boulders in the sky, scudding ominously. The tree which was of good AND evil, now shows the aspect of evil and ghostly death that the pair could not see before.

Gill’s shows us the depth of the loss:

And the eyes of them both were opened,…. Not of their bodies, but of their minds; not so as to have an advanced knowledge of things pleasant, profitable, and useful, as was promised and expected, but of things very disagreeable and distressing. Their eyes were opened to see that they had been deceived by the serpent, that they had broke the commandment of God, and incurred the displeasure of their Creator and kind benefactor, and had brought ruin and destruction upon themselves; they saw what blessings and privileges they had lost, communion with God, the dominion of the creatures, the purity and holiness of their nature, and what miseries they had involved themselves and their posterity in; how exposed they were to the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and to eternal death:

They had been naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25) but also unaware. Now they were aware. Their eyes had been closed to evil and thus only glory filled the lamp of their eye. Upon eating of the fruit (disobeying God) the eye’s shutter that had excluded all sin and evil was now opened, allowing its full flow into their eyes, heart, and mind.

When we’re glorified, the shutter of our eyes that was opened in the garden will be closed once more. We will never look upon sin again! We will only see the glory of God, unfiltered and fully Bright. As His children with childlike faith, we will see with eyes closed. Did you ever think that our eyes being closed will be a good thing?

Posted in adam, encouragement, Eve, garden of eden, genesis 3

The Sin of Discontent

Everything was perfect. The Garden was perfect. The two humans were perfect. The animals were perfect. God declared His creation “very good”. The humans’ relationship with God was perfect.


We do not know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden but no matter how long it was, there was absolutely nothing to be discontent about. Adam and Eve had full run of the Garden, the animals were submissive, they had plenty to eat, they were neither hot or cold.

When did Eve become discontent? John MacArthur said in his sermon “The Fall of Man,”

“She falls rather innocently into the conversation and the solicitor’s strategy is progressively deceptive. It begins with what appears as this very innocuous question by just this interested observer. Here’s just an animal in the garden like a lot of other animals and this animal comes up and says, “Indeed, has God said you shall not eat from any tree of the garden?” This is the first question, by the way, in the Bible. Before this there were only answers. There weren’t any dilemmas because there was nobody to introduce a dilemma. And the question is designed to start Eve on a path, a path of questioning God, a path that leads from questioning God to doubting God, to distrusting God to disobeying God. It’s a very clever plan and it’s the essence of all sin. All sin follows the same pattern. You have a right to question God, you have a right to doubt God, you have a right to distrust God that leads to disobedience.”

Along came satan, and here we find the first question in the bible. “Hath God said?” by that question released into the world…and it is this deadly force, the assumption that what God said is subject to our judgment.”


Once that assumption that we have the right to judge what God hath said, and Eve entertained it, it turned Eve’s mind in a new direction. With every human afterwards, in sinful flesh, born into a cursed world, we make room for discontent. We must cling to God in order to squeeze out the disgruntledness we tend to feel. Abel was content, and he was close to God. How do I know? Abel sacrificed rightly. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice. Cain was not close to God and he offered a wrong sacrifice that God did not accept. His discontent was expressed in his incorrect sacrifice.

With Eve and Adam though, what was there to be discontent about? Nothing. So how does a person go from complete contentment to utter sin in just a few moments? Drift from God’s word, that’s how.


The Hebrew word for pleasant in verse 3 is ‘avah’, or ‘taavah’ and it means “exceedingly, greedily, lusting.” There is a parallel event in the bible that talks about lust of this kind. The parallel is in Numbers 11:34, 35; 33:16. The place is named Kibroth-Hattaavah. It translates to “the graves of lust.” The graves of lust, one of the encampments of Israel in the wilderness, where the wandering Israelites desired to eat flesh for their sustenance, declaring they were tired of manna. God became angry, and He sent quails in great quantities; but while the meat was in their mouths, God smote so great a number of them. So many were killed, that the place was called “the graves of those who lusted.” Sin always leads to death.

Psalm 78:30-31, a series of verses to warn mankind against the sin of discontent, also records the historical incident and presents the warning in its title “Tell the Coming Generation”:

he rained meat on them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed the strongest of them
and laid low the young men of Israel.

What was it that the coming generation needed to know? Do not be discontent with what God has provided. Trust His word, His promises, and do not look elsewhere to satisfy any earthly craving.

1 Corinthians 10:5-6 repeats the warning. The heading to this set of verses in the New Testament is “Warnings from Israel’s Past”-

Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.

Desiring something different than what God promised or is already delivering is evil. It is rebellion against Him. It is the sin of discontent. Discontent will bring us to “the graves of lust”.


The evil that Eve did was exactly that- discontent. She didn’t want this fruit, she wanted THAT fruit.

The Israelites didn’t want this manna, they wanted THAT quail.

Paul taught us to be content no matter what, with whatever the Lord is doing in our lives.

for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12b-13)

Jesus Himself is the source for all the strength we need to persevere, to resist sin, to rejoice, to be content.

From whence does the sin of discontent arise? It arose in Eve the moment she separated from God’s word. Eve had a relationship with God, we presume. We know she had a relationship with His word. She repeated His word to the serpent. She was fine with standing on His word until the serpent came along.

So it is the serpent’s fault? No, he was just a vehicle. The sin in Eve began the moment she failed to adhere to God’s word, and in that little sliver of separation, the serpent got in and widened and widened it and widened it, until the sin inside her was manifested in the action she took, bringing on the Fall.

Eve had a moral choice, she could have said-

“Who are you and where do you come from?”
“Adam, what is this serpent really saying?”
“Yes, God said that, now please leave me in peace.”
“[Falling to her knees in prayer] God- help! I need to understand and the best Person to help me understand You is You!”

Eve did none of those. And her discontent grew with each subtle and crafty comment of the serpent.

Ultimately, what happened? Eve and Adam went down to the graves of lust.

We are commanded not to covet. Coveting is a sin. Why should we covet? We have no reason to!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17).

What He gave Adam and Eve was good and perfect. What He gives us is good and perfect. Why not be content with that?

Just remember, satan was successful in instilling discontent into Eve by separating her from God’s word. Learn to be content in whatever circumstance you find yourself in by reveling in His revelation of Him self to us. Whatever circumstance you find yourselves in, (even in persecution – Paul was writing from jail) know He is working, (John 5:17) and know that this work He is doing is for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28).


Posted in adam, death, encouragement, Eve, resurrection, sin

The First Mourning

Our earth is beautiful, but for all that, it is still cursed. I wonder what the Garden of Eden looked like! The place was created directly by God, and it was earth as He intended it to look.

He created Adam and then Eve, and the two were as humans intended to look.

For a while, a probably brief while, everything was perfect and in balance and harmony. Adam loved Eve, Eve loved Adam, they both loved God, the animals were friendly and submitted to man, who cared for them lovingly.

Then sin came,

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (Romans 5:12)

Eve sinned, then Adam. How did God feel? We know He feels. He takes delight, He is angry, He loves. I wonder if He mourned the eternally changed relationship He’d had with His humans, who no longer glorified Him. They destroyed the very purpose for which they were made. We know He cursed them (Genesis 3:16, 17). Perhaps the LORD mourned.

It wasn’t long after, Cain slew Abel. Cain was the first human to be born. Abel was the first human to die. Brothers, yet sin came between them and Cain killed Abel in a jealous fit. We follow what happened after that. Genesis 4 shows the conversation with Cain and God. The discovery of the murder. The penalty. And then we see Cain go off and our eyes travel down the biblical road to follow the story of sin and redemption as it is laid until its conclusion in Revelation.

But turn your eyes back to Abel for a moment. We do not know how it came about…but at some point Abel’s mother and father of all the living, Eve and Adam, must have discovered their son, laying dead on the ground, blood pooled around his head.

We know both of them were familiar with death. Their spiritual life died the moment they disobeyed (“surely you won’t die” the serpent lied in Genesis 3:4). They were familiar with death because God killed the first animal to make clothing out of its skin (the first sacrifice to cover them in their sin). We know they must have killed an animal themselves because they had to eat. The two humans who had never seen blood before grew to know it intimately once they sinned.

And then…the blood of their son. The bible does not record the discovery of Abel’s body, nor his burial (as far as I know). But perhaps the scene looked like this.

The First Mourning (Adam and Eve mourn the death of Abel); oil on canvas 1888 painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Oh, the searing pain of losing a son! A pain that would be replicated again and again through history as sin took its toll on a million mothers in epochs to come! A grief that the Father Himself would know soon enough!!

The first death was of a beloved son.

The last death was of a beloved Son.

Praise our Holy Savior for His death, for through Him we have life! Praise our Resurrected Savior for vanquishing sin!

Posted in adam, communion, Lord's table, sleep

Links for: Grace vs. Law; Lord’s Table; Historical Adam, Theology of Sleep

One thing I love about summer vacation, which is going to end Sunday night at midnight [sigh] is that I have time to read widely. I can explore the web to find new, good Christian men and women bloggers, essayists, and teachers. I can study with commentaries and listen to sermons from preachers long loved or new to me. Or even bask in the doctrinally solid animations of Chris Powers. Here are some links worth considering, from writers worth reading more of, and issues worth pondering.

EPrata photo

Jerry Wragg at Grace & Granite writes today about the oft-heard phrase “Gospel-centered” and how some people take that to mean grace excludes the Law. Or at least, the commandments in the New Testament. As in, “I’m saved by grace and striving to adhere to Jesus’ commands is law, so I don’t have to try.” And if you don’t think there aren’t commands in the NT, read all the way to the end of the Great Commission verse, Matthew 28:19-20. Here are a couple of sentences he phrased succinctly:

“How can anyone claim to be “gospel-centered” and depreciate the very commandments of Jesus at its center?”

But on the other hand, if we truly believe the gospel, our submission to Christ will not be for the purpose of adding anything to His cross, but rather to magnify His glory through the display of His power.

Here is Mr Wragg’s essay about Gospel centered grace and what it actually means. Gospel-Off-Centered? – Part 1


Was Adam a Historical Person? For 100 years or more, since Mr Darwin proposed evolution, we have been dealing with naysayers who claim that earth can’t be old and Adam can’t be new. That we can believe Adam evolved and still retain the essential beliefs inherent in the Gospel, the problem of death, the problem of sin, and the issue of Jesus’ resurrection. Here at Ligonier Ministries, they argue otherwise. Here is a sample:

We may frame the issue in the form of two related questions. First, does the Bible require us to believe that Adam was a historical person? Second, would anything be lost in the gospel if we were to deny Adam’s historicity? In answer to the first question, yes, the Bible requires us to believe that Adam was a historical person. Some of the clearest testimony about Adam comes from the New Testament.

May we uphold universal sin and death while discounting the way in which the Scripture says sin and death entered the world? The answer is no. The Bible does not give us that option. It clearly teaches that sin entered the world through the one action of one historical man, Adam (Rom. 5:12).

In a post-script to this snippet, may I remind us that Mr Billy Graham holds the opposite view, that one may believe God evolved Adam and did not create him in one day, and that this presents no harm to our biblical world view. He said in 1997, [emphasis mine]

The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. … whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man’s relationship to God. From, Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, 1997. p. 72-74

How can the bible be a book of redemption without the historically created, unevolved Adam, as Mr Graham asserts? As Ligonier presents,

“Absent a historical fall, the Bible’s account of redemption through the Second and Last Adam, Jesus Christ, makes no sense at all. How can it at all be meaningful to say with the Bible that God, in His sovereign and infinite mercy, has recovered and restored what was lost in the fall? To deny the historicity of Adam is no trivial matter.”

Read about the Adam issue at Ligonier to compare, and see the damage Mr Graham’s view does to both our biblical worldview, the Gospel, and our position on the sufficiency of the bible.

Wikipedia commons

Pastor Tom Genovese is a pastor in the far reaches of Downeast Maine. He posted about “A Problem at Lord’s Supper“, a sensitive essay with a view of the Lord’s Supper I enjoyed very much. He proposed,

However, we need to ask ourselves, What is it that I’m to look for in my self-examination prior to partaking the Lord’s Supper? The best way to answer this is to see why it was that Paul told the Corinthians to examine themselves. What were these Corinthians doing that made them unworthy to participate in this church ordinance? I believe verse 22 holds our answer. There were some in the church that held such a disdain for their brethren that Paul said that they “despised the church of God” to the point of shame. In verse 29, Paul tells these unworthy Christians that chastisement is a result of “not discerning the Lord’s body.”

And the rest of the essay continues with an explanation of this self-examination. Read it and see what you think.


I love to study the theology of sleep. And this is not solely because I love my naps during summer afternoons! There are many kinds of sleep in the bible. Romans 11:8 shows us one, and I use the KJV here

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals is another good spot to read more good stuff. This recent essay “A Biblical Theology of Sleep” presents interesting food for thought. Like this:

Whereas Jonah avoided God’s call by sleeping in the ship during a storm, Jesus exhibited faith in God’s call by sleeping in the boat during a storm (Mk 4:36-41).


Alistair Begg preaches a wonderful 25-minute sermon about The Use and Abuse of Words. Do the words we speak harm? Divide? Or do they edify? Are they kind? Are they necessary? Words can enhance the progress of God’s people or they can destroy praise and inhibit the progress of God’s people. Has truth vanished from your lips?  

“Listen young people, there are three things not returned:

1. The spent arrow
2. The spoken word
3. The lost opportunity”

 Listen to this sermon. As a matter of fact I’m going to do an entire blog entry about the power of words in just a moment.


Enjoy your summer day, whether it is the last day of the work week for you or the first day of a weekend, or just great because Jesus gave us another day to ‘to magnify His glory through the display of His power’ it is bound to be a good one. Why am I sure of this? Because Jesus is with us, always and to the end of the age.

Posted in adam, calvinism, conrad mbewe, super bowl

Stuff from other writers you may enjoy

Here are some uplifting or interesting essays from some elders in the faith that you might enjoy. This first one is by Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman in the Grand Cayman Islands and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

And Such Were Some of You: “If we’re Christians, we’re not now what we once were. A great change has been wrought in our souls and our future.” Uplifting short story of a Muslim’s conversion. Salvation gets me crying every time.

Clint Archer writes about the biblical position of “Dad” and uses a sports analogy even this book nerd enjoyed.

Let’s not forget the moms. The Christian Pundit opines about The Stay-At-Home-Martyr? Not so, it’s about how blessed moms are.

If you have longer to spend, Pastor John Downey posted two video sermons by David Platt on biblical manhood and biblical womanhood.

Theologian Caleb Schumacher expertly addresses the Top Five Misconceptions of Calvinism. Read this if you’re confused about why all the hubbub, or just want to know more.

Conrad Mbewe writes from the land of Victoria Falls about The African Phenomenon of The Rented Crowd. Important to note when looking at photos and reports of filled-to-bursting congregations in Africa.

I thought this essay from the Reformation21 blog on “Losing Adam” was extremely interesting in light of the discernment essay I’d written yesterday about the recent attack on the accepted interpretation of Adam and Eve by Rabbi Manis Friedman. Jeremy Walker opened his essay by saying, “Losing Adam means losing so much more besides. That is because losing Adam is likely to prove the beginning of losing our Bibles.” “In the beginning” is in the beginning for a reason.

In The Daily Bible John MacArthur reminds us of God’s special provision for widows and orphans:
“Exodus 22:22 widow or fatherless child. God reserved His special attention for widows and orphans who often had no one to care for them. He also reserved a special reaction, His wrath, for those abusing and exploiting them. This wrath would work out in military invasions as the sword reduced the abusers’ families to the same status of being without spouse or parents.”

God is such a wonderful God- “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a)

Whether you’re in America or Africa, east to west, here or there, whether you’re a young man struggling with the sins of the Super Bowl half-time spectacle, a widow or orphan, a dad or mom keeping the family together, or just a sinner (we all fall under that category!) then just remember His eyes scan the earth, miss nothing, and see you there, little one, valiantly going forth day after mundane day, serving Him the best you can for His glory

Posted in adam, discernment, Eve, Garden, holy, sin

Discernment lesson- A rabbi’s new twist to the Adam and Eve story

The attack on Genesis 3 is an old attack and that is for a reason. It is the basis for everything, it is the foundation for all that comes after. It is the beginning of sin, rebellion, and God’s interaction with man. Humans want to deny their culpability in their rebellion against God, so they twist and deny and slyly change the bible’s foundational doctrine…like this rabbi does.

In discernment, first and foremost, any religious person who says that have a “new twist” on the ancient word is lying. In essence, they are saying, ‘I, and I alone, have found the one and only interpretation that escaped everyone else for 3 thousand years.’ Not.

But here is Rabbi Manis Friedman telling his story in an essay titled
A New Twist to the Adam and Eve Story

Right away, discernment bells should go off in your mind.

Additionally, I will make a comment that is sure to rankle some. Our friends, the Jewish scholars and Jewish people, are not saved. They are not under the covering of blood that saves them from the wrath of Gods and are not brethren as defined in the bible (Matthew 12:50). They may be expert in the history of the Jewish people, but they do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit in them because they have not believed on Jesus’s death and resurrection as the Messiah and become saved. Therefore it is easier for satan to work in them. We pray for all the lost, and we know that God is not finished with His people the Jews and His nation Israel, they will come to national salvation at the end of the Tribulation. (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 7:1-8). But unless a person is a Messianic Jew, they are not saved and therefore have no clue about the whole plan of God in the Old Testament to the New.

I want to link to and excerpt some part from the Rabbi’s piece in the Huffington Post today. He made some statements that a careful reading will show what he is about.

He begins by restating the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. So far, so good. He does say that “within an hour of those explicit instructions,” that they ate the fruit but the bible does not say how long of an interval occurred between God delivering the instructions and the time they ate of the fruit of the tree. It could have been long and it could have been short, as little as a day. Butthe bible does not say it was an hour. So he took a liberty there.

Then he asks, ‘Hasn’t it ever struck you as a bit odd? Why would G-d choose to start the Torah with such a horrible story?”

He didn’t. He started the Torah with the book of Bereishit, which we know as Genesis 1, and the Creation. He began by revealing His power.

Now, asking questions of the bible is good. I ask all the time, not to doubt (like Zacharias) but to wonder (like Mary) ,(Luke 1:5-17) My questions are like, “Wow, I wonder why He did that? I want to study that more!”

But the question the rabbi asked about beginning the story of human history seems more like Zacharias’s question to me, “hath God really said…” More of a doubting nature, questioning the event itself. God began the story there because that is where the story began. Period.

Then the rabbi says the Garden was “a place where the evil inclination cannot even exist, and after being given just one simple commandment they break it within the hour.”

First, he is obviously wrong. Evil inclination did exist, because satan was there. He had already fallen and he was evil through and through. (Ezekiel 28:15). Unless the rabbi does not believe that the serpent speaking to Adam and Eve was satan, which he was.

And there is that ‘one hour’ thing again. The rabbi makes it sound that because Adam and Eve disobeyed so quickly, something else must have been going on. ‘They couldn’t have been so weak as to be unable to resist one ‘simple’ command… Come on….’ However the rabbi’s sly approach denies the strength of the sin nature, which is exactly what God was showing us here.

And then his sly work deepens. He writes, “And if there is no evil inclination in the Garden of Eden, how could they have transgressed this one commandment, and so soon?! If G-d Himself told us to eat from any tree that we wanted, except for one, wouldn’t we listen?”

The rabbi builds upon his false premise that evil couldn’t have existed in the Garden, and cements his proposition that because it happened so quickly something else was happening. He is essentially saying that man has the internal strength to resist sin and to perfectly listen to God on our own. Now his essay is really getting deep into treacherous waters of non-belief in the meaning of the plain text.

Rabbi: “But when He asks Adam to refrain from eating from a tree, Adam’s response is, “I’ll try”? That can’t be; it’s not possible.”

Where has the rabbi been for all of human history? Why does he not take the example from his own people’s history, one of continuous disobedience to what God said not to do?! It’s not possible? Of course it’s possible, it happened over and over! But he is chipping away at the authority of God’s word by denying the fact that we succumb to sin so easily when tempted.

Then the rabbi says that God is a bad psychologist. “It is also bad psychology. When you tell a child, “Don’t touch that crystal vase,” you do not add, “if you do…” What do you mean “if you do”? You don’t! You never introduce the possibility that they will break your rules. When you say, “If you do…” you’re in effect saying that it’s possible that they will touch that vase.”

So God is never to tell us not to do anything against His wishes because we’re children and He knows we will disobey anyway? Doesn’t that make God into a slave to OUR sin-nature?

Rabbi: “And where did Adam learn to blame someone else? His automatic response to G-d’s query was that Eve had forced him to eat the fruit. This man was only a few hours old, having been created just that morning, and he’s already blaming others?”

If the rabbi read Genesis 3:7 he would know that after they disobeyed, a sin nature came alive into them, their eyes were opened, and they knew shame. Before the Fall, they did not know shame (Genesis 2:25) After the Fall, they did. And blame, too, obviously. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:7).

Adam did not remain sinless/righteous after he disobeyed. He then knew the full pantheon of good and evil, just as God had told Adam would happen when He said not to eat the fruit. (Genesis 2:16)

Rabbi: “The whole story as we know it appears quite problematic. But the main problem is, if you would want to start teaching your child the Torah, would you start with this story? Even if it did happen, why talk about it? And right in the beginning of the book? Maybe the story isn’t all that simple.”

Here it comes. Wait for it…

“Adam and Eve consciously remembered being in heaven when they were informed that their souls would have a special spiritual mission to fulfill in a physical world.”

Really? I can’t find that in my bible.

In order to create a new doctrine, and that is what the Rabbi is doing here, you need to stray off the path. But false teachers don’t grab you by the hand and yank you off the path, They lead you gently. He has brought us to the edge of the path with his questions and false premises and building on those premises as if they were true. Sly questions incrementally drift us to the edge of the narrow road God set before us. Hebrews 2:1 says we must pay careful attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away. Illegitimate questions nudge us off the way and soon we are drifting to the edge. Eventually, the false teachers leave the left foot on the path but take their right foot off it into new territory. It doesn’t feel totally unfamiliar to you because one foot is still on familiar terrain. This is to get you to feel comfortable with the new terrain before he leads you totally off it. Now we take one foot off the path on our veering away into new doctrinal territory.

He sets up quite an argument, beautiful in its false logic, superficially logical in all its evil. Read it. I will post the summary statement here–

“Adam wanted to ensure that his children would all remain righteous. How do you do that? Don’t eat from the tree. If you don’t eat from the tree then you’ll stay in the Garden of Eden, you’ll never die, there will be no sins, and all of your children will be pious. Eve didn’t want that. She wanted her children to be forced to struggle, to have to repent for their inevitable shortcomings. She eventually convinced Adam that one who must struggle to find G-d is worthier than a naturally righteous man.”

Yeah, because who wants that. Perfect obedience to God and living a perfect, righteous life in perfect fellowship with Him? Nah.

Rabbi Friedman says that when God asked Adam if he had eaten the fruit, God was not angry. He was smiling, happy that the humans had figured it out. God is a riddler and woman is clever.

What the rabbi is saying in his piece are several things:

1. God tricked humans with a double-back command
2. Adam was too dumb to figure it out
3. Eve was smart and led the man to the right conclusion, (incidentally paving the way for feminism)
4. A typically Pharisaical hierarchy is cemented by this doctrine, that all Jews are equal, but some (struggling righteous Jews) are more equal that others (naturally righteous Jews). (HT to Animal Farm by George Orwell)
5. Some men are naturally righteous (not so says Romans 3:10)
6. Pure, unadulterated grace is less desirable than man’s self-effort at righteousness

Let’s get back to the beginning for a moment. The Rabbi had asked, ‘is it really that simple’? And proceeded to confuse things. But it is that simple. God said not to do something. They did it. He was angry. He proved He was angry by punishing them with departure from the garden and cursing all participants. He told them they were lost by promising them a savior. It is so very clear.

Back to the Rabbi: “Eating from the tree was not an act of rebellion against G-d, nor was it succumbing to their appetite, for they had no desires other than to serve G-d. The choice they had was between one holiness and another. Their motivation came from their G-dly souls. It is known as the “sin” of the tree for sin means stepping down from an innocent place to a lower place, and they certainly did — not out of weakness but out of devotion to their mission.”

Of course they had desires other than to serve God, The verse in Genesis 3:6 says so.

And in another HT to Orwell, the rabbi’s treatise on the “new” way to see the story of Adam and Eve is typical doublespeak. The rabbi’s evil conclusion- Rebelling against God is holy.

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. For example, in Orwell’s book 1984, we learn that in the dystopian, atheistic world of Orwell’s future, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

In Rabbi Friedman’s world, Sin is Holy.

Hath God really said…?

Posted in adam, compassion, God

God’s incredible compassion

Do you need a reminder about how MUCH God loves us? Oh, He is so compassionate!!

“And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

Satan had just deceived Eve and Adam. They both had listened to the devil’s lie and partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, disobeying God. (Genesis 3:6-7; Gen 2:9). There was one rule and they broke it, and sin entered their heart and the world.

What a terrible moment! An awful thing happened…two humans living in perfection and walking in direct fellowship with God, rebelled. Listening to satan’s lie they decided that God was holding out on them and they sought more.

They learned different very quickly. However, the damage was done. God cursed the serpent, and the wife, and the husband. (Genesis 3:14-19).

But then, then, His incredible love and compassion reigns. The consequences of their act will remain, but God ‘made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.’

He didn’t say, ‘I’ll teach you to make clothes.’ He didn’t say, ‘Figure it out for yourselves, you deserve it.’ He made clothes, and then HE clothed them. What love!!

But it gets even better. God made clothes for them out of skins. The presumption is that an animal died if God made the clothes out of skins. And if skins were used, blood was shed.

So… the first blood shed on earth was done by God, and for the purpose of covering his sinning children.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Now we have Jesus covering us:

Lars Justinen, artist, “Robe of Righteousness”

The first Adam was covered by God, and the Last Adam IS the covering of God. (1 Corinthians 15:45). Rejoice in His incredible love for us, brethren. We serve a compassionate God.