2. “Did God REALLY say that?”

Bible Stories for Big People

A Supernatural Overview 

The Bible is a fascinating read for many people. Others see it as irrelevant and contradictory. Still others think they know what’s inside, but they’ve never opened the cover to find out for themselves. And then there are those who actually experience it daily.

My sincere hope is that my new series, “Bible Stories for Big People,” will provide unexpected insight for all of the above, in a uniting kind of way. In a supernatural kind of way. — P.M.Y.

2. “Did God REALLY say that?”

We learned in an earlier study (“A Supernatural Overview”) that Satan is a fallen angel who disguised himself as a “serpent” and was present in the Garden of Eden (Ezekiel 28:13-17 and Revelation 12:9).

The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him(Revelation 12:9, New International Version)

“‘You were the seal of perfection,
    full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
  You were in Eden,
    the garden of God

You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
    for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God …

You were blameless in your ways
    from the day you were created
    till wickedness was found in you.

Your heart became proud
    on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom
    because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth …

(Ezekiel 28:12-17, NIV)

Now, with that knowledge, let’s go back to the Garden of God (Eden) and look at the Bible account of what happened there “in the beginning” …

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the groundtrees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

(Genesis 2:5-9, NIV)

God gave the man an occupation to challenge his intelligent, creative mind:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (Genesis 2:15, NIV)

The man was gifted absolute freedom in the garden that the Lord God had made. But God issued ONE WARNING to the man:

 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:15-17, NIV)

Genesis 2:18-22 explains how the Lord God took one rib from the man while he slept and created a companion for him so that he would not be alone….

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

(Genesis 2:23-25, NIV)

The serpent was more “crafty” that any of the other wild animals that the Lord God had made. One day, when the man and his wife were near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent (the devil in disguise, according to Revelation 12:9) appeared near them, asking the woman directly, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman replied, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent assured the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Notice that the man — who was created first and received the original warning from the mouth of God himself — said nothing. And this is what happened next …

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:6-7, NIV)

Digging Deeper …

The writer of the book of Romans, in the Bible’s New Testament, explained in retrospect what actually took place in that moment supernaturally 

Here is how it works: it was through one individual that sin entered the world, and through sin, death; and in this way death passed through to the whole human race, inasmuch as everyone sinned. Sin was indeed present in the world before Torah [God’s Law] was given, but sin is not counted as such when there is no Torah [Law given by God through Moses]. Nevertheless death ruled from Adam until Moshe [Moses], even over those whose sinning was not exactly like Adam’s violation of a direct command. In this, Adam prefigured the one who was to come. (Romans 5:12-14, The Complete Jewish Bible)

The writer of Romans onfirmed the identity of  “the one who was to come”

For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners Therefore, since we have now come to be considered righteous by means of his bloody sacrificial death, how much more will we be delivered through him from the anger of God’s judgment! For if we were reconciled with God through his Son’s death when we were enemies, how much more will we be delivered by his life, now that we are reconciled! 11 And not only will we be delivered in the future, but we are boasting about God right now, because he has acted through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have already received that reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11, CJB)

A prophecy connectionAdam brought sin upon himself, his wife, and every human who would be born on planet Earth when he disobeyed a direct command from his Creator, which was set in place for the protection of their innocence. The Messiah Jesus — God in human form — took upon himself through obedience, the sin that had entered through a supernatural “portal” (opened by Adam’s disobedience), and covered the entire earth.

ONE MORE THING: Did you notice that Eve added words into her statement that GOD DID NOT SAY TO ADAM? She told the serpent that God had said they must not touch the fruit that grew from the tree in the middle of the garden. Scroll back in this post to see for yourself that God did not attach that limit onto their freedom … Eve did.

COMING NEXT: Truth and Consequences

Copyright 2015, Paula Meiners Yingst

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