Trillia Newbell: Grace and mercy

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, July 15th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. WORLD Radio commentator Trillia Newbell now with some thoughts on how the grace of God gives hope.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: The story of the fall in Genesis 3 is all too familiar. We know what happened. We know the serpent tempted Eve, Adam cowardly stood by his wife and then ate the fruit from her, and sin entered the world. 

They both became completely aware of their nakedness, and what was once completely pure, instead, brought shame. So they covered themselves with fig leaves. 

Then we get to a somewhat humorous scene in Genesis 3:8. It’s as if Adam and Eve completely forgot that they were created by God. They heard the sound of God and hid.

Didn’t God create the garden? Wasn’t this the same God that took Adam’s rib and made him a helper fit for him? 

But don’t we all so easily forget, too? 

God knew where Adam was, but He seems to play along: “Where are you?” Adam confessed his fear and said he hid because he was naked.

The reality of what took place in the Garden is actually not at all humorous. Verses 14-19 describe the new difficulty, pain, and suffering that is the result of a fallen world. The world would not be the same for Adam and Eve—their Eden was gone. 

And the curse continues today. Childbirth is still wrought with pain, relationships filled with conflict. Work is laborious, and then we die.

Thankfully, we know the end of the story, too—and it’s not hopeless! God put into motion a plan to defeat sin and death. Eden was gone, but not forever. God will one day make all things new.

But even before Jesus forever restores all things, God was working his great mercy on Adam and Eve. In verse 20, Adam names his wife Eve, and we learn she becomes the mother of all things. 

Eve means “life-giver.” God could have called Eve something that would be life-inhibiting, but in a sense he restores her humanity. It’s a sweet reminder to Eve that despite her grievous disobedience, she is still his daughter and image-bearer. What a gracious God!

And then we see that God made garments for Adam and Eve. They could now walk freely—covered. 

Many people, even Christians, disagree about aspects of Genesis. Exactly how and when the world came into being is the subject of much debate. But without Genesis 3, you don’t have a gospel. 

And in fact, you can see the gospel all through these verses. Just as the sin and shame Adam and Eve experienced needed covering, so does ours. And just as God made a way for Adam and Eve to be made right with Him, God has made a way for you and I to be made right with him. The first Adam made way for the Second Adam.

God has always had mercy and grace in store for His people. Out of a hopeless situation came the greatest hope the world has ever known. 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.

(Photo/Creative Commons)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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