Listen:  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Let’s read Genesis 3:22-24, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

This incident occurred immediately after Adam and Eve had sinned by the act of disobedience in the Garden of Eden.  The Lord first passed judgment on the serpent, then on Eve, and then on Adam; perhaps showing the order of responsibility for the sin of eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  After pronouncing sentence, the Lord makes coats of animal skins for Adam and Eve to wear.

We learn so much about the Lord, His mercy and His care in this portion.  First, we see a hint of the truth of the Trinity as the Lord speaks of Himself in a plural sense in His words, “Behold, the man is become as one of us…”  Also in verse 22, we have the term, “Lord God” used.  The first time we have that expression was in Genesis 2:4 which says, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”  This expression only occurs after the creation of man in Genesis 1:27.  As Elohim, God is the Creator.  As Jehovah, the Lord is in relationship with His people.

The Lord God declares that, “the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”  Before their sin, Adam and Eve existed in a state of innocence.  Not perfection, but innocence.  Perfection gives the thought of not being able to sin, but we know that the pair in the Garden were certainly capable of sin.  So, we see there was a hint of truth in the serpent’s words to Eve in Genesis 3:5 when he said, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”  The new similarity between man and God was that man now understood the difference between good and evil.  Small infants may not know the difference between good and evil, but they do know to obey the voice of their parents.  This was the case with Adam and Eve before the sin, but now those days were over!  I can imagine the sadness in the Lord’s voice as He spoke of man’s lost innocence.  Once innocence is lost, it can never be recovered.

In a remarkable act of mercy, the Lord drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden so they would not be able to eat of the tree of life and live forever in that sinful condition.  If they had eaten of the tree of life, they would eternally have bodies subject to sickness and disease.  How merciful is our God that He would not allow that to happen!  Perhaps, too, Adam may have tried to eat of the tree of life to avoid the Lord’s punishment of death in Genesis 3:19, “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.”  God is merciful, but He is also righteous.  His sentence could not be reversed.

So, Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden to live lives in accordance with their punishment.  Cheribums, or angelic beings, were stationed at the entrance of the Garden with a flaming sword to make sure they never returned.  (112.1)