In Genesis 3, the unity that existed with God (in the beginning) is broken (general and human). Becoming a bastardised shadow of its former glory. By breaking unity with God Adam disqualified himself and his race from taking part in the union of all things in God, leaving creation without a head. Yet the fall of mankind was not heralded by a clash of cosmic forces or terrestrial rumblings and the destruction of the very fabric of the cosmos. Instead it came with a realisation by a man and his wife that they were naked (exposed), not only to each other but before God, and they were ashamed of it.

What was the fall of man? In short the fall was the beginning of mankind’s rebellion against God, leading to the bastardisation of the union of man and severing of mankind’s union with God and the rest of creation. These are the events and actions described in Genesis 3:
• Adam and Eve broke Gods command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
• The Serpent, a lower creature than man, questioned the command God had given to mankind,
• Eve, who was created from Adam, judged the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to be “good” for food, when God had judged it “not good”,
• Adam accepts the judgement of Eve over the judgement of God, and
• Adam and Eve reassess/judge the nudity of their flesh (that they were created in) as bad, in contrast to the judgement of God which was “good”.

Combined these observations form the substance of mankind’s rebellion against God and the destruction of unity in creation.

In Genesis 1 mankind was created to rule over creation under God. Man was given dominion over “…the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 ESV). This dominion was only to be exercised by mankind in their capacity as the image bearer(s) of God. Therefore man’s rule over creation was contingent on Adam and Eve ruling consistently with who God is (who they were created to be). Meaning that mankind must accept God’s judgement of creation as “very good” and produce a rule that is as equally consistent with who God is. This also means they must uphold God’s judgement of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, i.e. it is “not good” for food (eating it would be inconsistent with their rule under God).

When Eve was deceived by the serpent she judged the fruit as “good” for food based on the serpent’s wisdom (lies). The Bible shows that Eve knew God’s command and understood it, because she repeats it to the serpent with more detail than was initially given to Adam in Genesis 2 (Genesis 3:3). Instead of upholding the judgement of God Eve entertains the serpent’s lies, ultimately accepting the serpent’s (and her own) judgement over God’s.

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.
(Genesis 3:6 ESV)

To make the situation worse Adam was with her when she took the fruit and ate, yet he did nothing (vs7). The command not to eat was given to Adam by God before Eve was created, implying that he was the one who taught it to her. So after Eve had eaten she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate. While Eve was lied to and deceived by the serpent Adam ate willingly, without compulsion, making his failure and the fall of mankind completely his fault.

As the head of the human race Adam was entrusted with a headship that needed to reflect the headship of God over all things. It was also Adam’s responsibility as head of his specific union and marriage to make sure that Eve knew, understood and obeyed the judgements of God, leading by example. Instead of asking his wife “where did you get this fruit?” he surrendered to her judgement without a word. Adam undermined his own headship by endorsing the headship and judgement of his wife instead of God’s.

My next post I will discuss the fall of mankind in more detail.

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