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Black Picket Fence

Lessons Learned from the Garden: Black Picket Fence

In Genesis chapter 3 we read about the showdown between Adam and the serpent in the garden. The serpent approaches the woman and begins to challenge the Word of God. Please understand this is the tactic of the enemy. He first usurps authority by not addressing the man and going directly to the woman. Then begins to question what she knew about God’s Word. Either way, Adam remained a silent observer as this all went down.

During the exchange the woman boldly proclaimed that they were not to eat of the tree or even touch the tree or they would die (Genesis 3:3). So, initially she stood her ground. However, there is a problem with her statement. God told Adam not to eat from the tree. He never told Adam not to touch the tree (Genesis 2:17).

This is the first picture of how religion works. I’ll show you. God said to not eat from the tree. However, with our humanistic approach and reasoning, we often like to build “fences” around the tree; logically thinking if I can’t touch it then there is no way I can eat from it. We tend to be so afraid of transgressing against God’s Word that we build extra legalistic barriers and then hold everyone else to our rules. And over time people have added more and more rules. We have built so many fences around the tree.

Great example: The Torah contains the 613 Levitical laws given by God. The jewish rulers decided to add what is called Mishnah, (another 3000 laws) to keep them from transgressing against the 613. Next came the Talmud (another 6000 laws). All this in place of just taking care of the 613.

Brothers and sisters, you need to see this too. The woman said not to touch the tree. But God gave every indication that they WERE to touch the tree. He said to dress the garden and keep it. (Genesis 2:15). But now with the black picket fence around the tree, one cannot even do the initial work God has given. No more fences.


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