I haven’t posted in a while. I wanted to get a new post out, as we finish our look at the Dispensation of Innocence. This was of course the first of the seven Dispensations, and was by far the shortest. It may have listed as little as six days, or as long as forty days. We aren’t told exactly how long it lasted.
When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they immediately lost their innocence and their sinless countenance and knew they were naked. They lost much more. They also lost:
- Spiritual, physical, and Eternal Life as God had promised (Gen. 2:17);
- Fellowship with God and the Creation (Gen. 3:15);
- Dominion over the Earth (Ps. 8:3 – 8);
- The Perfect Image of God (Gen. 1:27);
- The right to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:22 – 24);
- Their home in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22 – 24); and,
- Freedom from disease, sorrow, afflictions, and suffering (Gen. 3:16 – 19).
The man and his wife were suddenly ashamed and sought to cover their nakedness, in effect their sin, with aprons made out of fig leaves (Gen. 3:7). Their shame was the one bright ray of hope they had for the future. If they had lost their sense of the shame of guilt, they would have been no different than evil spirits, and their salvation would have been impossible. Even though the God-consciousness within their spirit had been overwhelmed, it had not been extinguished.
After this, Adam and Eve heard the voice of God as He walked in the Garden. The voice that had been their greatest joy now became their greatest fear. Sin does that. They ran to hide themselves from the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-mighty God.
God is a God of proper order. He first called out to the man, Adam. Adam answered that he had heard God’s voice, but was afraid because he was naked. When God asked Adam if he had eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam “passed the buck.” He passed the blame to his wife, Eve. He said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. [Gen. 3:12] Actually, when you get right down to it, Adam was blaming God. He was saying in essence, “If you hadn’t given me this woman, I wouldn’t have eaten of the Tree!”
God next inquired of Eve, who passed the blame on to the serpent: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.[Gen. 3:13]
After God patiently gave the couple the opportunity to defend their actions, He turned to the serpent and His attitude changed dramatically. God did not give Satan the opportunity to defend himself, but treated him as already condemned. The words that God spoke to the serpent partially are fulfilled in the serpent and partially fulfilled in Satan by the law of double reference. The words spoken to the serpent also mark the beginning of the second great covenant in scripture – the Adamic Covenant. The Word says,
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. [Gen. 3:14, 15]
The curse upon the serpent will continue even throughout the Millennium, when the curse will be lifted from other animals. This will be a constant reminder of the wages of sin to the inhabitants of the Earth (Isa. 65:25).
Satan clearly is referred to by the phrase, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, for the woman knew clearly that her false friend was the cause of all her misery. From that day forth she would regard him as her worse enemy.
The “Seed” of the serpent refers to natural snakes, the descendants of the original serpent, but also has a double reference to all ungodly men, who are called children of the Devil (John 8:44). The “seed” of the woman refers to the natural descendants of Eve, and to one “seed” in particular, the Lord Jesus Christ! Genesis 3:15 is the first prophecy concerning the Redeemer defeating Satan at Calvary!
Following the curse of the serpent (which included Satan), God turned His attention to the woman: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.[Gen. 3:16].
God next addressed Adam: And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. [Gen. 3:17 – 19]
Because Adam had been given dominion over the Earth, and was commanded to care for the Garden, it is important to understand that the curse on man extended beyond himself, to the very ground from which he was formed.
In the final analysis death was the ultimate curse upon the entire Creation. What God had spoken, He was faithful to perform: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [Gen. 2:17b]
Although God was bound to punish sin, He did not forsake the man and the woman who He cared for with an everlasting love. God made a covering for Adam and Eve from the skins of animals He slew as an example of the sacrifices they should offer in looking forward to the Promised Redeemer!
And so, the Dispensation of Innocence ended with this expression of God’s love.
Next time, we will begin our look at the Dispensation of Conscience.