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Archive for the ‘GWTW Lesson 4’ Category

32. …“Adam had lost much of his first perfection before his Eve was taken out of him; which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall, and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total, as it afterwards was, upon eating of the earthly tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ saith the Scripture. This shows that Adam had altered his first state, had brought some beginning of evil into it, and had made that not to be good, which God saw to be good, when He created him.”

33. …“There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

36. We do not know certainly how the decline in Adam began, but we should not overlook one fact: The man (the woman side of humanity being as yet undeveloped), was placed in the garden “to dress and keep it” (2:15). Two duties, not one, were laid upon Adam. This second word is the same as used in 3:24, where the “Cherubim, and a flaming sword” are placed, “to keep the way of the tree of life.” Lange’s Commentary says, “Adam must watch and protect it [the Garden]. This is, in fact, a very significant addition, and seems to give a strong indication of danger as threatening man and Paradise from the side of an already existing power of evil.”

37. That “power of evil” manifests itself a little later in the form of Satan. Did not Adam let him enter the garden? Verse 17 goes on to warn Adam as regards “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and it seems legitimate to infer that he was not only to refrain from eating of this tree, but also to protect this tree from being tampered with by others, as it was, later, when Satan induced Eve to partake of it, and then the youthful Eve gave of the fruit of it to Adam, who ate also.

68…… Eventually they both ate of the tree, and God came in the cool of the evening to deal with them. He asked Adam: “Hast thou eaten of the tree?” and the reply was, “The woman that THOU gavest to be with me, SHE gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” God then questioned the woman, and she replied: “The SERPENT beguiled me, and I did eat.” Please note the words we have put in capital letters.

69. I think we are warranted in drawing a contrast between these two answers, for in them we find a clue to what follows. Both confess, “I did eat,” and both tell truthfully the immediate influence that led to the eating. So far they are equal. But Adam is led on to say more. There was a remote cause for his downfall, through Eve,—Satan. But Adam does not, like Eve, mention Satan; and yet he does not remain silent as to a remote cause; he accuses God to His face of being Himself that remote cause,—in giving the woman to be with him. And the worst feature of the case consists in the fact that Satan was present, or near-by, at the interview, and could not have been overlooked, excepting wilfully, if a remote cause was to be mentioned at all. Satan must have rejoiced as much in Adam’s attitude towards God in charging Him with folly, as in Adam’s attitude towards himself, the tempter, in shielding him from blame. Is it not this scene, this conduct on the part of Adam, to which Job refers (31:33) when he complains, “If, like Adam, I covered my transgressions by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom?” Dr. Lange says (see par. 36), “Adam must watch and protect” the garden from an “existing power of evil.” Is not this the reason why Adam does not mention Satan, who has been let inside?

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31. After Adam was created, Genesis 1:31 tells us, “God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Therefore Adam was very good; but this condition did not last. Genesis 2:18 tells us that presently God says: “It is not good that the man [or “Adam”], should be alone.” The “very good” state of humanity becomes “not good.” What had wrought signs of this change? We are not told, but the following points should be weighed: (1) Adam was offered “freely” the tree of life (2:16), but did not eat of it (3:22); (2) was made keeper, as well as dresser of the Garden, (2:15), but Satan later enters it, (read paragraphs. 36, 37). (3) Had God simply meant by the words “not good” that one person alone was not a desirable thing, the Hebrew expression for “one alone” in Joshua 22:20, Isaiah 51:2, etc., would seem more appropriate. This expression means, “in-his-separation,”—and from whom was Adam “in separation” but from God?

32. Attention to some of these matters has been called by more than one theologian, only to be ignored by the generality of Bible expositors. For instance, William Law, a learned theologian and one of the most accomplished writers of his day, declares: “Adam had lost much of his first perfection before his Eve was taken out of him; which was done to prevent worse effects of his fall, and to prepare a means of his recovery when his fall should become total, as it afterwards was, upon eating of the earthly tree of the knowledge of good and evil. ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ saith the Scripture. This shows that Adam had altered his first state, had brought some beginning of evil into it, and had made that not to be good, which God saw to be good, when He created him.”

33. The late Dr. Alexander Whyte, of Edinburgh, in his book, Bible Characters, set forth some of the views of William Law, and also of an earlier writer, Jacob Behman, the great German philosopher (whose writings Wesley. in his days, required all his preachers to study). Whyte quotes Behman as teaching,—

“There must have been something of the nature of a stumble, if not an actual fall, in Adam while yet alone in Eden . . . Eve was created [he should say, “elaborated”] to ‘help’ Adam to recover himself, and to establish himself in Paradise, and in the favor, fellowship and service of his Maker.”

34. As to Adam’s need, God said, ‘I will make a help meet for him.” This word for “help” does not imply an inferior, but a superior help, in O. T. usage. It occurs 21 times in the O. T. Here it is used twice of Eve. In Isaiah 30:5, Ezekiel 12:14 and Daniel 11:34 of human help; but in every other use made of the word, it refers to Divine help, as, for instance, Psalm 121:2, “My help cometh from the Lord.” Please notice, further, that the expression is not “helpmeet,” or helpmate, as is often quoted. The word “meet” is a preposition, and Gesenius, the greatest authority as to the meaning of Hebrew words, defines this preposition as often implying, “As things which are before us, and in the sight of which we delight, are objects of our care and affections, hence Isaiah 49:16, ‘Thy walls are before me,’ they have a place in my care and affections.” With this preposition “before,” or “over against,” is coupled the adverb “as,”—the whole meaning “as before him,” (see margin).

35. By the elaboration of Eve, and her separation from Adam, God intended the development of the social virtues, as an aid for Adam. Again William Law says, “Could anything be more punctually [pointedly] related in Scriptures than the gradual fall of Adam? Do you not see that he was first created with both natures [male and female] in him? Is it not expressly told you, that Eve was not taken out of him, till such a time as it was not good for him to be as he then was?”

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30. We return to the story in Genesis. We conclude that the first chapter of Genesis describes the original creation of “Adam,”–mankind. (We must bear in mind the fact that the word “Adam” is applied sometimes to mankind, and sometimes to the individual being who was husband of Eve). The second chapter describes the elaboration of the first Adam into two sexes. The second chapter nowhere uses the word “create,” of Adam, but a totally different word,–“formed.” Please look up this same word, “formed,” in Isaiah 44:2, 24 and 49:5, and convince yourself that it is used there exclusively of all idea of creation. Then turn to Isaiah 43:1, 7;  45:18, and see how it is used of a process additional to creation. This is what St. Paul refers to, where he says, “Adam was first formed then Eve,”—1 Timothy 2:13. He is speaking of development, not of original creation. Adam and Eve (so far as their primal state is concerned) were created simultaneously; but Adam was “formed,” elaborated, first.

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