The Word of God is such a blessing when one approaches it with the objective to know God by its contents. When one examines "The Fall" in the Garden of Eden, it is simple to see the foolishness of mankind. However, it is such a blessing to see the character of God as He responds to the foolish decisions of His creation. In Genesis 3:8-15 God responds to Adam and Eve after their sin. The Bible provides some interesting details to explain the manner of God's response to sin. In Genesis 3:8-15 the Bible explains that as Adam and Eve were in the Garden trying to keep their shame secret, they heard the sound of the Lord God "walking." This suggests that they heard footsteps. If they heard the footsteps of God, then God has feet. However, in John 4:24 Jesus explains that the Father is Spirit. Therefore, the Bible explains that there was a form that is described as "the Lord God" that existed in a form that resembled a human form that could be heard walking in the Garden of Eden. The only other human figure described as God in the entire Bible is none other than Jesus Christ. Thus, the scriptures suggest that as Adam and Eve were in the Garden hiding from God, the One that appeared to them in order to respond to their sin could have been Jesus Himself! Unfortunately as Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking, they did not seek to go to Him to confess their sin and repent. Instead the Bible describes Adam and Eve doing what can be observed most often in today's world - they ran from God trying to hide. The Bible reveals the futility of trying to run and hide from the Living God who is almighty, all-knowing, and all-present.
However, rather than impose His sovereignty and power over His creation, God deals with Adam and Eve in a gentle manner. Genesis 3:8-15 states that God called out to Adam and Eve as He sought them in order to give them a chance to come forward in humility. When God gave the command to abstain from the fruit, He warned that disobedience would lead to death. Yet as Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible describes God as being merciful. Though He would have been righteous to destroy them both, God provided an opportunity for repentance. However, it is at this moment that the Bible first uses a word that God never intended for mankind to experience. As God called out to Adam, the Bible says that Adam responded to God saying that they hid from God because they were afraid. This is the first mention of fear in the Bible. Thus it can be examined that sin leads to fear, and fear causes distance between mankind and God. This is not good and this is not what God's original intent was in creation. Yet sin caused Adam and Eve to be shameful, fearful, and in response, distance themselves from a merciful, gracious, and loving God.
As Genesis 3:8-15 continues, God still provides opportunities for repentance. Even though Adam and Eve sought to distance themselves from God because of their sin and fear, God desired to connect Himself to His creation by showing a willingness to forgive since He provided multiple opportunities for repentance. God asked Adam who made him aware of his nakedness and who gave him the fruit to eat. Rather than own up to his mistake, Adam played the blame game. Rather than confess his error, Adam sought to make excuses. Though Adam knew he was in the wrong and knew he had been caught, Adam sought to justify his sin by placing responsibility on someone else. Not much has changed. Today people demonstrate the unwillingness to be accountable for their decisions and actions. There is always someone else to blame. There is always a set of circumstances that causes error. In the minds of many people, they can do no wrong. When sin is committed, it is the fault of someone else. The Bible is clear to explain that God cannot be fooled and God will deliver swift and just punishment for sin when mankind rejects His offer of mercy and refuses to confess sin and repent.
Genesis 3:8-15 shows that God then went to Eve to question her since Adam blamed Eve for his own mistake. In typical human form, Eve does the same as Adam and refuses to own up to her responsibility and blames the serpent. She too refuses to confess her sin, refuses to repent, and instead demonstrates more wickedness by blaming something else. The amazing thing is God's response! Once more, God would have been perfectly righteous in judging both Adam and Eve, not only for their sin, but also for their rejection of God's mercy and unwillingness to confess their sin and repent. Instead, God acknowledges the weakness of His creation and goes to the serpent who is the devil. Though Adam and Eve receive their fair punishment, God first judges Satan. In Genesis 3:8-15 God told the serpent that he would be cursed more than any other animal and would eat the dust of the ground for the rest of his existence. God stated that He would put hostility between the serpent/the devil, and "the woman," referring not only to Eve, but her offspring. God stated that hostility would exist between the devil and the "seed" of Eve, which is a reference to Messiah as confirmed in Galatians 3:16. Though Adam and Eve were absolutely guilty of their sin and would be judged for their sin, God first judged sin itself by judging the devil and made the greatest promise known to mankind in His infinite grace! In Genesis 3:15 God said that the hostility between the devil and the "Seed" of the woman (Messiah) would result in the heel of the Seed being bruised while the head of the serpent would be bruised at the same time. This is a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
God would have been righteous to destroy Adam and Eve for their sin and refusal to humble themselves as sinners. However, instead, God demonstrated His merciful nature and His righteous nature - acknowledging the weakness of His creation that was made from mere dirt, and first judged sin. God promised that the devil would be destroyed by the work of the Messiah. God judged sin by revealing that the wages of sin is death, but that He would assume death on behalf of sin in order to do work that mankind had already demonstrated inability to perform. Since both Adam and Eve refused to confess their sin and ask for forgiveness, God promised to deal with sin Himself to show the unique affection that He has for humanity. While it is true that the death of Jesus Christ was the most brutal and unjust action in human history, in the eyes of God, such work was only the necessary work that needed to be performed to offer people a gift that is not deserved; and in the context of eternity, was only a bruise to the heel. Yet, the simple wound of a bruise to the heel of God would also serve as the fatal blow to the devil since the death of Jesus Christ satisfied the wrath of God against sin, so that whosoever believes upon Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God, will not perish in sin, but instead be forgiven and receive eternal life as God originally intended. The wages of sin is death, but since Jesus Christ roses Himself form the dead to prove His identity as God, He proves Himself able to grant eternal life. Since the work of the Messiah to offer forgiveness of sins through repentance and faith has already been completed, the promise of God as stated in Genesis 3:15 is already halfway fulfilled with the rest to come very soon!
This is the character and nature of God. Mankind deserved to receive the immediate wrath of God. God showed restraint, mercy, and made the mother of all promises against sin to offer grace. This truth is even more powerful when one recognizes the manner in which God is described as approaching Adam and Eve in the Garden, likely coming in the form of Jesus Christ at this time. Thus, it is fitting that He who destroyed sin on the cross and will destroy Satan as the Messiah King appeared in the Garden to speak of the work He would accomplish in the perfect timing of the Father. Truly, God does not change! The opportunities to confess our identity as sinners and repent still exist. Jesus is still the method by which sin was judged. Jesus is still the method by which one is able to be removed from sin. Jesus is still God, working to fulfill the promises He made long ago.