Read to Read Again
Daily Reading: Genesis 1-3
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
So it begins, so it is. Genesis is a book of beginnings. Many things in this book set the manner of the way things will be throughout the ages. One such thing is how the Lord God in Heaven communicates His Word. A simple story paints the picture. It is the story of Adam and Eve, but one you may never have considered.
On one occasion, “the serpent” came to Eve and asked her a question. His question begins with Yea hath God said… Frankly there is nothing wrong with this question for this is how we learn about the things of the Lord. Yet the serpent was not interested in learning, it was interested in confusing, tempting, foiling God’s plan, and ruining Eve, Adam, and by extension the entire human race. The question was about eating the fruit of every tree in the Garden of Eden. In today’s verses as recorded above, Eve gave a good answer. But notice…
God did not say this directly to Eve. Or at least we have no Scripture proving that He did. The response that Eve gave the serpent were the words that God spoke to Adam before Eve was created (Genesis 2:16-17). Logically it follows that God gave Adam the command to not eat the fruit of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” which was in the midst of the garden. Adam then taught this command to Eve and Eve related it to the serpent. But Eve added “neither shall ye touch it,” which was probably a self-imposed boundary added to God’s Word by she or by Adam to protect them from ever eating of the tree. If they never touched it, they would never eat of it. The command of God was not to eat of the tree. But Eve ultimately did, she looked at it, desired it, touched it, and ate of it. She then gave the fruit of that tree to Adam who chose to eat of it also. He chose Eve’s way over God’s way. They died that day, just as God said they would, they died a spiritual death, which ultimately caused their physical death.
In this story the pattern is laid out that exists even unto today. God gives His Word to His messengers that have the responsibility to give it to all others. Adam gave God’s Word to Eve, the only other living person on the globe at the time. God gave His Word to the patriarchs who gave it to their families. God gave His word to the Prophets who gave it to Israel and the world. God gave His Word to Jesus who gave it to the New Testament world. Jesus gave God’s Word to the disciples who gave it to those of their day. The disciples gave God’s Word to the people of their day through preaching and teaching, as it is also given today, through pastors, teachers, preachers, parents, and Christians in general. The very essence of disseminating God’s Word today is the same as it was in Adam’s day, the same as it was in Nehemiah’s day wherein the entire pattern of communicating God’s Word is given. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading (Nehemiah 8:8). This then is the pattern; this is the essence of preaching which is simply the act of broadcasting God’s Word as given by Him to faithful men. Which is exactly what Paul meant when he wrote these words to Timothy in II Timothy 2:2. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
This pattern started all the way back in Genesis and is carried throughout all books of the Bible concluding with the book of Revelation.
William T. Howe Ph.D.