Male Contentment

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:17-19

Adam had it easy: eat fruit all day, play with the animals, look up at the stars at night, look out onto the ocean – and do it all again tomorrow and the next thousand years. That all changed with sin entering the picture. Now he would be required to labor day after day to grow the food. Was it such a harsh punishment? Probably not but he would be paying for it the rest of his life. In fact, men today derive purpose from the work they do. When men meet each other, “what do you do?” is often one of the first three questions they ask of one another.

The trick today, however, is for the man to be fulfilled in the work he does – whether it is a saleman, construction worker, professor, or a programmer. Contentment is a very underrated emotion.

So Gentlemen, are you contened doing what you’re doing? Ladies, are you contented with loving your husbands just the way they are? Those two questions are more related than you know.

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Eve’s Punishment

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

Eve’s two-fold curse was labor in childbirth and being subservient to her husband. Neither of those make her lesser of a woman despite what modern culture teaches. Being a mother and wife are great and necessary roles.

I recall a professor in Bible School talking about a wife being subservient to her husband. “If this is what God has deemed to be good, why do women always try to rebel against what God said should be?” Of course, men are responsible for the well-being of their wives, so any kind of mistreatment or abuse would not be condoned, and God will deal with them harshly. In other words, if man mistreats those God has put under His care, the man will be held accountable. Likewise when the woman asserts her authority over a man, she too is in danger of violating God’s prescription for men and women.

God designed men to be men and women to be women. They both have their roles in society. Happy is he or she who is contented in that role.

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The Serpent’s Curse

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15

Even in the Lord’s curse of the serpent, he put in a prophetic word, he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” It’s exactly what the serpent tried to do at Calvary. But Jesus was victorious in the end – as He always is. So while the serpent was defeated, he’s certainly not dead.

He is still as deceptive and cunning as ever. He now has a a third of all the angels to assist in his deception. THe and his angels have thousands of years to perfect their deception. So, while he is powerful and wicked in his deceptions, we have the truth of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit on our side.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

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Why Adam? Why Eve?

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13

It’s funny that Eve blamed her problems on a snake. Who else could she blame? It’s true that she was deceived, but Adam was also there and he too was deceived.

Why Adam? Why Eve? You had everything you could ever want. You had it all, but you wanted more. You couldn’t resist. You had the creator of the universe by your side to call on if you needed.

Sound familiar?

That’s us, isn’t it? Sure, it’s easy to blame the fall of man on them, but we have everything we could ever want now, as well as the Creator to call on.

So, why do we do it?

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The Blame Game Begins

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” Genesis 3:13

Like a parent getting to the bottom of an incident in the house, God was questioning the guilty parties. Of course He knew exactly what happened. They were both guilty, but neither wanted to admit it. In life they say the cover up is worse than the crime. They didn’t cover up their crime necessarily, they just didn’t want to admit that what they did was wrong. They weren’t remorseful and didn’t apologize for their actions.

Nothing’s changed over the years. Men and women still sin, still blame others for their sin, and don’t feel the need to repent or apologize.

We still feel the effects of Adam and Eve wherever we go. We see the destruction and pride and lack of guilt and remorse. We see broken relationships, hostility, and self-promotion. We not only see it but often are part of that culture.

Sometimes we just have to step back and remember that God sees all, knows all, and is ready to restore us to fellowship even when we’re not ready to come to Him willingly.

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Uh Oh!

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:11-12

Again, the Lord asked Adam a rhetorical question. He knew the answer and that blame game would start. In fact, the Old Testament is filled with “and everyone did what was right in his own eyes” sentences. We’re a selfish people if you think about it. Very few want to take responsibility, and most of us would rather pass the buck to someone else.

Back in the 70s a very popular phrase emerged, “the devil made me do it,” again passing the buck. In the end, though, Adam blew it. He was there in the garden with Eve and the serpent. He should have done what he could to protect his wife. Instead, he blamed her.

Gentlemen, she is yours to protect. Cover her with your prayers and support her in any way possible. Be there for her when she needs you.

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Always Waiting

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Genesis 3:10

Adam was afraid of God. The omniscient, omnipotent God was in the garden for a reason, Adam. He was seeking out His creation. Obviously God knew what Adam and Eve had done. Adam was busted and was avoiding God. He now admitted that he was afraid. You can almost see in your mind’s eye Adam cowering with his hands shielding his face as he speaks with God. It actually seemed to be the start of a confession. Almost. That he was still talking to God is amazing, but I’ll assume that when you have daily communion with the Lord Almighty on a level Adam had, staying silent wouldn’t have been an option.

And I think that’s the takeaway from today’s devotional, restoring fellowship.

Restoring fellowship with God is never easy on our part. It takes humility and courage (sometimes in the face of overwhelming evidence) to admit you were wrong. But God is always there, always patient, always watching. He wants you to own up to what you’ve done.

He’ll wait. He’s got time.

And He knows where you live.

There’s no need to be afraid.

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The Pursuer

9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9

The Omniscient God asked where Adam was. He knew where Adam was. He knew all along, but He wanted Adam to admit some things. Adam was no longer coming to God. So we see the first instance of God pursuing us. What a fantastic image: God pursuing man.

It’s the other way around in life, isn’t it? We hear of men and women who throw away careers to go to far away places in search of God, but the reality is upside down. Now, God can reveal Himself to those people who are truly searching for “enlightenment.” They may not be ready to be pursued by God Almighty. But all the ways they devise to reach God will fall short. They always do.

God is still pursuing you. And me. He knows everything about us and is still calling us.

Are you hiding?

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In the Garden Alone

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8

How difficult is it to hide from the Lord? Well, it’s impossible, but Adam and Eve tried. Sure, they hid because they were now ashamed but they didn’t want God to know what they did. They obviously didn’t know the character or nature of God. He knew what they did long before they did it. Just like He knows what we do or say long before we do it.

Stop for a moment and think about this verse. The first man and woman on the planet were in the garden with the Creator of the Universe. What could be a more pleasant and peaceful scene than that? But sin marred it. Sin always mars peaceful, pristine environments. It always ruins relationships, always sows distrust and dischord. Except for the moment, sin doesn’t satisfy, and then regret sets in.

The song lyrics “I come to the garden alone” are based on this verse. The image in the song is where a person is alone with God, and walks and talks with Him. That’s the ideal. The reality is what Adam and Eve experienced, not wanting God to know or see or talk to them. They wanted to avoid God.

You and I may not always have “I come to the garden alone” experiences, but we shouldn’t avoid God either. If we do avoid God, then the remedy is quite simple: don’t avoid Him.

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