8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
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.”
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Sin entered the world. God’s good creation fell. Satan spewed his poison. Eve drank it in with her ears. She stretched out her hand and took the forbidden fruit. She put it in her mouth and ate. Eve gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. The fruit looked good and tasted good. But once the fruit was in their bellies, once the sin was in the past, all hell broke loose. They knew their shame. They tried to cover themselves. They acted stupidly.
All sin is like this. Sin looks wise and promises to make you more, make you complete. When you sin, it feels good and you are not afraid. You feel nice and right. While you are sinning, you block out any notion that you are acting contrary to God’s will – otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. But once the sin is done, things change. You feel guilt. Your eyes are opened, and you fear. You fear others because you know your shame, and you try to cover yourself and your sin. But worst, you fear God and flee from God because you know you deserve punishment. But where can you flee from God? Running from God is stupid. Sin makes you stupid. Watch how stupid.
First, Adam and Eve attempt the impossible. They try to avoid their Creator. They try to hide themselves in the dumbest place – behind leaves and trees. Adam and Eve could have buried themselves under the mountains and God still would have found them. Adam and Eve have been caught, but they still try to flee. God shows up. The leaves haven’t worked. Their little aprons blow away. “The Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”
Adam answers, “I heard your voice and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Sin has destroyed Adam’s logic. He was afraid at God’s voice? Adam had heard God speak before. God had told Adam to name the animals; told him to eat of the all the plants and trees; told him to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. God’s voice never scared Adam before. But Adam says he was afraid of God now because he is naked – even though he had always been naked. Adam’s nakedness was God’s creation and was not shameful before. But Adam has become a different person. He is making up lies to excuse his sin. But all of his excuses simply show his guilt.
God asks, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?” God is giving Adam another chance. God is basically saying, “My voice didn’t scare you. And you haven’t been ashamed of your nakedness before. Are you frightened by Me because you ate from the forbidden tree?”
So, Adam is caught. His guilt is out in the open. With his own excuses, Adam has revealed himself to be the sinner he now is. His stupidity is out in the open, but rather than repent, he acts even more stupidly. “The woman. It was her fault. She gave me the fruit, and I ate. And You gave that woman to me. So God, it really is Your fault. I sinned because of You, God.” He simply won’t repent. Adam won’t say, “Yes, God. I sinned. Forgive me, and be merciful to me.” Instead, Adam tries to justify his sin. Instead of running back to God, he keeps trying to flee from God. And Eve does no better. She responds to God, “The serpent, that You allowed to wander around the garden, he deceived me, and I ate. So God, it’s all Your fault.”
Sin makes us stupid. The last step of sin is to insult God and say that sin is God’s fault. We sinners should fear God’s punishment. But God is slow to punish sin, and this text proves it. God could have simply erased all of creation with a simple word. Instead, God seeks out the sinners. God was repeatedly giving Adam and Eve a chance to repent, but both Adam and Eve refused. This text reveals how sinners react toward God – they run and flee and accuse even God. But this text also reveals how God reacts toward sinners – He is patient, merciful, and gracious.
Before He says anything more to Adam and Eve, God curses the serpent. And in cursing the serpent, God preaches the first Gospel to stupid, guilty sinners. God promises that an offspring (lit. ‘seed’) would come from the woman who would crush Satan’s head. After millennia, God’s promise came. Jesus was born. Satan pursued Him through Herod, and Jesus had to be kept safe in Egypt. Satan pursued Jesus into the wilderness where he tempted Christ just as he tempted Adam and Eve. But Jesus prevailed.
Jesus went on the offensive. Jesus bound Satan and expelled demons wherever He encountered them. Jesus forgave sins. He battled against sickness and death. In a last ditch effort, Satan used one of Jesus’ own disciples to betray Him. The devil used a sham of a court proceeding to condemn Him. With all of his might, the serpent lashed out at Jesus, put Him on a cross, and Jesus died. But through that wound inflicted by Satan, Satan’s head was crushed. The devil was utterly defeated and vanquished forever. Jesus rose from the dead and lives and reigns to all eternity.
Whatever sins you have committed, stop trying to excuse them. Stop trying to flee from God. Don’t be stupid. Instead, flee to God. God is seeking you out and saying, “Where are you?” Repent. Confess your sins. God is here with forgiveness. Jesus gives His body and blood for you. He enters your body to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Take and eat the body of Christ which was broken for you and makes you whole. Take and drink the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of your sins. Here is God looking for you. Here is God seeking to restore you. Here is life. Here is rest. Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.