Victory Series Bible Study Week 9: Effects of the Fall
Today, our study delves further into the effects of the Fall on humanity, with a special focus on the psychological woes that have befallen us. Our focus passage takes us back to the beginning again: Genesis 4: 1-26:
"4 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
18 And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
19 And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
21 And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord."
After the Fall from grace, Sin warped Adam and Eve's thought processes away from the purity that existed in Eden towards anxiety, fear and a host of other psychological maladies. This stemmed from their previously discussed spiritual death, and extended out to all their descendants (including us). In lacking a spiritual relationship with God, they and us lose the psychological security and discernment necessary for a healthy inner life.
Genesis recounts the dramatic shift in the lives of Adam and his descendants. Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve faced only one wrong choice. After the fall, all humans face bad choices on an almost constant basis. All of us are plagued by anxiety, fear, anger and uncertainty. We no longer feel our way into good behavior (Genesis 4: 6-7). Apart from God's presence in our lives, our only real power is to make choices. We can choose to make good, productive and healthy choices, or we can choose not to. More often than not, most of us choose not to since it feels better.
It should be remembered that, prior to the Fall, Adam and Eve were unconditionally accepted by God and by each other, Now, every soul struggles with feelings of absence, unbelonging and rejection. The remedy to this for us as men of God is met through our relationship with God and Jesus. However, for those separated from God (including Adam and Eve), they have no choice but to seek their sense of belonging in the natural order of our fallen world, finding their own meaning through their own strength and resources. The inevitable result of this attempt is insecurity, not tranquility. Our insecurity is forever tied to our natural state of spiritual death.
"14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2: 14
Questions to consider for the coming week:
-What must happen for us to resolve mental and emotional problems today?
-Why do so many suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety?
-How does the world tell us to find security, acceptance and significance?
-How can Edenic qualities be attained to secure our needs of today?
-Do you believe that a new life in Christ can meet the needs of your life? Why or why not?
I hope you all have a fantastic week. Stay strong, Gents!