Reversing the Fall – Genesis 3.16-17

First, I’d like to update you on the Marriage & Family Series:

· This will be our last sermon related to marriage.

· Next week I expect to preach a sermon on finances, which will apply to adults and children.

· The following Sunday I might preach a sermon on conflict resolution, and the Sunday after that I might preach a sermon on parenting…depending if it
conflicts w/ the material Pastor Doug and Jessica are planning for our upcoming conference.

· After that we’ll resume our study in Luke’s Gospel.

The title of this morning’s sermon is, “Reversing the Fall.”

We’re going to be looking at two of the verses from The Curse. These verses reveal the consequences Adam and Eve, and all of us, experience as a result of
The Fall. You could say it’s God’s description of what life will be like in a world that’s affected by sin.

Before we look at the verses, I want to briefly discuss what The Fall did so we can understand how it relates to our marriages…

When sin was introduced it negatively affected every one of man’s relationships. Prior to The Fall there was perfect peace and harmony, but after sin was
introduced these same relationships would experience tension, conflict and separation. For example…

· There would now be separation between God and man. Prior to The Fall man experienced close fellowship and intimacy w/ God, but after The Fall that was
ruined.

· There would now be conflict between man and man. It’s almost unimaginable to think of all the millions of people who have been murdered or taken by some
other form of violence like wars.

  • There would now be conflict between man and nature:

o This is described in verse 17

Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
and you shall eat the herb of the field.”

When Adam was first put in the garden it was a pleasant, enjoyable experience, but now man would have to toil and sweat to get the earth to produce for
him.

o Also think of the threat nature itself poses to man: consider all the destruction and deaths that have been caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes,
floods and other natural disasters.

· There would now be conflict between man and animals. God didn’t initially create animals for us to live in fear of them, but now there are certain
animals man would never consider approaching.

So the Fall introduced conflict into all of man’s relationships:

  • Man with God…
  • Man with man…
  • Man with nature…
  • Man with animals…

And you guess the other relationship that experiences conflict as a result of The Fall: man with woman.

If The Fall hadn’t taken place, there would be perfect harmony between husbands and wives. There would be perfect oneness. Perfect unity. But as a result
of The Fall there will now be conflict and struggle. Husbands and wives will literally have to fight for the peace and harmony that would’ve existed if The
Fall hadn’t taken place.

In verse 16, please look at the words your desire shall be for your husband.

Considering this is a curse and not a blessing, it doesn’t mean wives are going to love their husbands or desire them physically or some other positive
way. These words are referring to a wife’s desire to control her husband.

  • NLT
    you will desire to control your husband.
  • NET
    You will want to control your husband.

Before the fall Eve would’ve willingly and eagerly submitted to Adam, but now she will want to resist his headship and she will desire to control him…and
this brings us to Lesson 1…

LESSON 1: WIVES WILL BE TEMPTED TO CONTROL THEIR HUSBANDS.

One of the basic rules of Bible interpretation – and one I’d like to encourage you to remember for your times reading the Word – is you can often learn the
meaning of words by considering how they’re used elsewhere in Scripture.

The Hebrew word for desire is only used three times: twice it’s used in Genesis and once it’s used in Song of Solomon. Each time it’s used
it refers to control…

Song of Solomon 7:10
I am my beloved’s,
And his DESIRE is toward me.”
The NLT translates it as “I am my lover’s, and he claims me as his own”, highlighting the idea of control.

The two times it’s used in Genesis are in verse 16 and in Gen 4:7. Please circle the words desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you and write, “Gen 4:7.

Please turn to Gen 4, let’s start w/ verse 4…

4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the
Lord
respected Abel and his offering,
5
but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

When Cain’s offering was rejected, he faced two choices, and they’re the same two choices we face when we sin:

· Repent and do what’s right, which means getting the sin out of our lives.

· Or get angry and pout, which means letting the sin stay in our lives.

God sees this happening w/ Cain so He’s going to graciously warn him about what sin wants to do to him…

6
So the
Lord

said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do
well, sin lies at the door.

(Notice this…) And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

You see the similarity between Gen 3:16 and Gen 4:7. The parallelism between them is actually even stronger than it
looks: the exact same Hebrew words are being used in both verses.

Sin had a desire for Cain, and here’s the question: what was God warning Cain sin wanted to do to him? What kind of desire did sin have for Cain? Was it a
loving, kind, gentle, supportive, affectionate desire? No…

  • It was a desire to control him.
  • It was a desire to take over his mind and his actions.
  • It was a desire to force him to do things.

And instead of letting sin rule over him, God told Cain he needed to make sure he ruled over sin instead. But we know Cain failed to do this and he let sin
– the sin of anger in particular – control him so much he murdered his brother.

The point is:

· Just like sin had a desire to control Cain, wives will have a desire to control their husbands.

· Just like Cain was supposed rule over – or have authority over – sin instead, husbands are supposed to have authority over their wives.

Some months back when I first discussed wives submitting to their husbands, I talked about husbands making submission easier for their wives. I had a
couple lessons saying husbands could make submission easier by loving and cherishing their wives and by being godly, spiritual men.

But Katie told me something during that time and she was right. She said,

“It is part of the curse for women to struggle w/ submission. It might help for a man to be loving and godly, but b/c of the curse wives are going to
struggle w/ submission regardless of who they’re married to and regardless of what their husband is or isn’t like!”

And she’s right! Regardless of a woman’s personality and regardless of who she’s married to, she will struggle w/ wanting to control her husband.

So ladies, when you feel yourself struggling w/ submission, don’t be too quick to point your finger at your husband and say, “Well if you…then I…”
Instead remind yourself this is your flesh flaring up and you need to do what you can to crucify it as Paul said in Gal 5:24.

Please listen to this quote. Walter Chantry said,

Women continue to cringe before the [command] to submit to their husbands; they desire to lead rather than follow. [Women are tempted] to take the
dominant [role] in the family, to act as the head. But each instance of a wife failing to defer [to her] husband [reverses] the divinely appointed
[roles] and multiplies misery on the earth.”

—-

Next please look at the words “he shall rule over you.”

By this point in the Marriage & Family Series, we have discussed a huge amount relating to marriage. But there is something important we haven’t talked
about up to this point – and it relates to these words – he shall rule over you – and it’s the fact that all men are expected to rule – or
you could say lead – but they’ll do so differently…and this brings us to Lesson 2…

LESSON 2: (PART I) HUSBANDS LEAD (GEN 3:16 “RULE”) DIFFERENTLY…

Let me briefly pause and ask you to get an elevated view of Scripture. Try to consider a number of different men – and that’s really sort of the point of
the lesson: there are a number of great men in Scripture and they’re different…

If you look at the kings in the OT, many of them were great leaders, but they led differently:

· David was a very military-minded man: first he was a soldier, then he was a general, and even as a king he still often led his men into battle.

· Solomon on the other hand was another great leader, but he didn’t fight one single battle in his entire life.

· Uzziah was like a renaissance man doing almost anything a man could do: he built cities, fields and vineyards, he fought battles, he invented weapons of
war, he was a farmer w/ lots of livestock; he basically did everything he could do until there was nothing left for him to do and then he decided he wanted
to do what priests do too.

· Josiah was one of the most passionate and zealous leaders in Scripture.

There are a number of other kings I could discuss too, but the simple point is: lots of great men, but very different and they weren’t better or worse if
they led or didn’t lead a certain way.

If you think about the prophets, a number of them were great men, but they were different from each other:

  • Elijah was very fiery and a real loner.
  • His successor Elisha was very social.
  • Jeremiah was very sensitive and emotional.

Some of the strongest leaders in the Old Testament were the judges. They delivered Israel from their oppressors and what you notice is each of them
accomplished their goals very differently:

· Ehud was a left-handed man who used his left-handedness to conceal a dagger so he could assassinate the King of Moab.

  • Shamgar killed 300 Philistines w/ an ox goad.

· Gideon defeated 125,000 Midianites by having his men blow trumpets and break open jars containing torches…making the enemy think they were surrounded.

· Jephthah was a very diplomatic leader, sending messengers to the Ammonites.

· And we all know Samson: he used his physical strength to defeat his enemies.

They were all very successful leaders, but they all worked very uniquely.

The important point is since men will lead differently, and there’s nothing wrong w/ that:

· Wives shouldn’t make their husbands feel bad about the way they lead.

· Wives shouldn’t make their husbands feel like they should be like other men.

· Wives shouldn’t try to change the way their husbands lead.

And this brings us to the rest of Lesson 2…

LESSON 2: (PART I) HUSBANDS LEAD (GEN 3:16 “RULE”) DIFFERENTLY (PART II) AND WIVES SHOULD EMBRACE – NOT CONTROL – HOW THEY LEAD.

Think about this:

  • What if Gideon’s wife said,

    “You know, it worked really well when Shamgar used an oxgoad. Why don’t you get those 300 men to use oxgoads instead of containers w/ torches in
    them?”
  • What if Jephthah’s wife said, “Instead of sending those messengers, why don’t you try to be like Ehud and go the king of Ammon and just assassinate him?”
  • What if Ehud’s wife said, “Why are you always being so sneaky? Why don’t you be a real man like Samson and use some brute strength for a change?”
  • What if Samson’s wife said, “You know, you should be more like Gideon: why don’t you try to kill the Philistines by putting some torches in containers?”

Ladies:

· This is what it’s like when you compare your husband w/ someone else…

· This is what it’s like when you try to change who your husband is and how he leads.

What I’ve seen happen a number of times – and it’s very unfortunate – is a woman will have a problem w/ her husband…

· But her problem won’t be some sin or compromise in his life.

· She’ll have a problem w/ his personality.

· She’ll have a problem w/ the way he leads or the way he does things.

And ladies, those aren’t things to confront or change! That’s who you chose to marry!

I’d like to give the ladies a good reason not to wish their husbands had different personalities, and it’s this…

· If your husband was different, there would be plenty of other weaknesses associated w/ those differences.

· If your husband was different, there would be plenty of other frustrations accompanying his new personality, or his new leadership style, or his new way
of doing things.

Let me be very practical and give you some examples…

Let’s say a wife has a very consistent, steady, faithful husband…but the truth is she thinks he’s kind of boring:

  • She wishes he was a little more exciting.
  • She wishes he had more ideas.
  • She wishes he was more adventurous.
  • She wishes he didn’t have to think about things for so long.
  • She wishes he had more vision for their family.

Now imagine her husband becomes that kind of man:

  • At first it seems really great:

o They just get in the car and take off for the day.

o He doesn’t need to think about things for hours and plan all the details.

· But pretty soon she starts struggling w/ all the change in their lives.

  • She wishes they planned things out better.
  • She wishes he wouldn’t make decisions so quickly.
  • She wishes their lives were more consistent.
  • She’d get tired of:

o Wondering when they’re going to have to move again.

o Wondering when her husband will begin a new job.

  • She’ll start saying:

o “I wish my husband would figure out what he wants to do and STICK WITH IT!”

o “I can’t keep up w/ all his new ideas.”

o “When is he going to settle down?”

o “He changes his mind so much I have no idea what to expect.”

She would start missing her consistent man; she’d start longing for her old boring husband.

Let’s say there’s a wife who has a really adventurous, creative husband. He has new ideas every week. Every time she asks him something, he has 5 different
answers and those answers change constantly. Life is never boring, but she starts wishing:

  • “I wish my husband was more decisive!”
  • “I wish he would make up his mind and stick with it!”
  • “I wish he was more of a leader.”

So let’s say she gets her strong, decisive, leader husband…and it seems great at first:

· He always knows what he wants, and when he wants something he goes after it.

  • She never has to wonder what she’s supposed to do.
  • He knows what he wants his family to look like.
  • But pretty soon she notices:

o He knows what he wants…but it doesn’t change his mind…no matter how hard I try to get him to change it!

o When he has made up his mind, that’s it: there’s no talking to him!

  • Pretty soon she starts saying:

o “This guy isn’t nearly as gentle or patient.”

o “I don’t feel like he listens to me as much.”

o “Everything is so set in stone.”

o “I wish he was a little more lenient w/ me and the kids.”

Pretty soon she’s going to start missing her easy-going, visionary husband who gave her so much freedom.

Let’s say there’s a woman who has a very decisive husband; he’s a leader…but the truth is she’s kind of tired of his strong personality:

  • She wishes he was gentler and more patient.

· She wishes he listened better and didn’t make up his mind so quickly.

· And although it’s hard to believe – and I’m sure there are no women here who would ever feel this way – she wishes he was more passive so she could get
what she wanted sometimes.

So imagine she gets her gentler, more patient husband. At first it’s great b/c:

  • He listens so well.
  • He considers what she wants and what the kids want.

· He’s a real servant, serving his family and serving everyone in the church.

  • But pretty soon she starts getting frustrated b/c:

o It takes him so long to make up his mind.

o She sees the kids running around and misbehaving and he isn’t as quick to say something about it. There’s no way this would’ve happened before. It really
bothers her that he’s not firmer w/ the kids.

o She even wishes he was firmer w/ her: she doesn’t like that sometimes she feels like she can walk all over him. It’s harder for her to respect him. She
almost wishes he’d stand up for himself a little more.

Pretty soon, she starts missing her strong leader-of-a-husband.

So ladies, be thankful for your man!

  • Be thankful for the way God has made him.

· Don’t compare him to anyone else. Don’t wish he was like anyone else.

· Be thankful for his strengths…and even be thankful for his weaknesses.

· Remember every husband has his own strengths and weaknesses, and you could even say: every husband’s strengths have weaknesses…and every husband’s
weaknesses have strengths…if you can wrap your mind around that!

Ladies, you don’t need to embrace sin in your husband’s life, but you need to embrace the way God has made him. When you want to change your husband’s
personality or when you want to change who he is as a man, you’re wanting to change who God made your husband to be: you’re saying you don’t like what God
has done.

—-

But I do need to make one vey important point for the men, and I really can’t say this strongly enough…

We can talk all we want about men leading differently and having differently personalities, but there is still one thing that makes men successes or
failures. While each man is different, there is one thing that makes men great. You see it w/ the judges, the kings, the prophets, and it’s the same thing
that makes a man great or makes a man a failure today: his heart for God.

LESSON 3: IT’S NOT PERSONALITY OR LEADERSHIP STYLE, BUT A MAN’S HEART FOR GOD THAT MATTERS.

Let me defend this from Scripture…

If you’re familiar w/ Kings and Chronicles, kings were said to be good or bad if they were or weren’t like David, and often when a king was bad it would
say he was like Jeroboam.

Now when it said a king was like Jeroboam:

· Does it mean the king rebelled against his king like Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon?

· Does it mean the king had some situations in his life that were similar to the situations in Jeroboam’s life?

No, it means the king didn’t have a heart for God just like Jeroboam didn’t have a heart for God…and that’s what made him a bad king. That’s what made him
a failure.

When it says a king was like David:

  • Does it mean that king was a shepherd like David was?
  • Does it mean that king killed giants like David did?

No, it means that king had a heart for God like David did – The Man After God’s Own Heart – and if a man had a heart for God like David did, that made him
a great man…regardless of what his personality or leadership style was like.

The point is men weren’t good or bad leaders b/c they led a certain way or did things a certain way: they were good or bad leaders b/c they loved God and
served Him…or they didn’t!

And it’s really the same today, and if a man is a good leader, which is to say he’s a man that loves God, that is going to play out in how he leads his
home…

We can talk about husbands leading their families differently, but there are some things every godly man is going to do regardless of what his personality
or leadership style is like. No matter who you are and no matter what you’re like, if you’re a man:

· God is calling you to pray w/ your family.

· God is calling you to be a student of the Word.

· God is calling you to disciple your children.

· God is calling you to involve your family in the body of Christ.

Here’s what you can’t say:

  • I don’t pray w/ my family b/c that’s not really my leadership style.
  • I don’t take my family to church, b/c that’s not really my personality.
  • I don’t read the Bible, b/c I’m not really into reading. That’s not who I am.

If you’re not doing these things you’re failing as the spiritual leader of your family regardless of what your leadership style or personality is like.
While there’s a lot of liberty and freedom regarding what men are like and how God has made us, there’s no license to be a poor spiritual leader.

Gentlemen, let me ask you to keep two things in mind. First…

  • No matter what you do…

· No matter how many projects you do around the house…

· No matter how much time you spend w/ your family…

· No matter what good things you’ve done for and w/ your family…

You can’t be a great husband w/o being a spiritual leader.

Second, whatever you do in the work place, even whatever you do in the church, it pales in comparison to what you need to be doing in your home. 1 Tim 3:5 says If a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? So while
it’s wonderful to serve in the church – it’s wonderful to serve your brothers and sisters in Christ – God says it’s even more important to serve your wife
and children by leading them well spiritually.

—-

Now let’s go back to Gen 3:16

Please look at the words “he shall rule over you. We need to make sure we understand these words correctly…

This looks like God is telling Eve that Adam is going to have authority over her as a result of the fall. In other words, it looks like God is establishing
headship as part of the curse. But if you remember the sermon from two weeks ago in Gen 2, the first lesson was, “GOD CREATED HEADSHIP BEFORE THE FALL.” We
talked about how headship was created as part of God’s natural, healthy, divine plan for husbands and wives.

Since headship was established before The Fall, God can’t be establishing headship w/ these words. So the question is, what is He saying? God is describing
for Eve – and all women – what some men will struggle w/ after The Fall. The ISV and NET both translate these words as he will dominate you.

And this brings us to Lesson 4…

LESSON 4: HUSBANDS WILL BE TEMPTED TO (PART I) DOMINATE THEIR WIVES.

The Fall affected both sides of the marriage relationship: husbands and wives received sinful natures. They will both have different struggles: while women
will be tempted to control their husbands, husbands will be tempted to dominate their wives.

The Fall is the beginning of the Battle of the Sexes:

· It’s the beginning of feminism and women’s lib, w/ wives desiring to control their husband’s and reject their headship.

· This is the beginning of male chauvinism, w/ men being harsh, cruel or domineering.

Please listen to these quotes on verse 16:

  • Ronald Allen said,

    “We can paraphrase the last two lines [of verse 16] as, ‘You will now have a tendency to dominate your husband, and he will have the tendency to
    act as a tyrant over you.”
  • John MacArthur said, As the woman tends toward rebellion, the man tends toward [tyranny].”
  • Matthew Henry said, “If the woman had not sinned, she always would have obeyed with humility and meekness. If the man had not sinned, he would always have ruled with wisdom and love.”

God called man to lead before the Fall:

· If The Fall had never taken place, he would’ve led w/ perfect love, compassion and kindness.

· After The Fall man is still expected to lead, but now he will struggle w/ being harsh, cruel or overbearing.

—-

Now look at verse 17 to see the other area where men will be tempted…


17a Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall
not eat of it’:

Notice before God confronts Adam about eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, He points out how Adam heeded the voice of his wife. When Eve offered Adam the fruit, he faced two choices:

  • He could obey God who gave him the command; submit to Him.
  • Or he could obey his wife and submit to her.

While we know Adam and Eve sinned by eating – that was the sin – it’s important to know HOW the sin took place…and it involved a reversal of the roles by
both of them:

· God established Adam’s headship in chapter 2.

· Satan attacked that headship in chapter 3 by going after the woman.

· Eve succumbed to the devil and in the process usurped her husband’s authority by ignoring the command he had given her.

· Adam then chose not to lead but to follow his wife, ignoring the command God had given him not to eat. He turned his back on God to obey his wife,
abandoning his role as the leader. John Lange said,

“Instead of the protector and guide of his wife, to guard her from the fall, to bring her back to God, he becomes, in his cowardly renunciation of his
dignity, subject with her to evil.”

The important thing to notice is when Adam and Eve sinned they both violated God’s divine and clearly established roles for marriage. John MacArthur said,

“The woman sinned because she acted independently of her husband, disdaining his leadership, counsel, and protection. The man sinned because he
abandoned his leadership and followed the wishes of his wife. In both cases, God’s intended roles were reversed.”

And when Adam heeded the voice of his wife, it revealed the other temptation men face…and this brings us to Lesson 4, Part II…

LESSON 4: HUSBANDS WILL BE TEMPTED TO (PART II) NOT LEAD.

For some men, their great struggle might not be dominating their wives. For them it’s being passive or lazy. You could say their greatest temptation is not
leading at all.

And both of these temptations have serious consequences:

· It’s a terrible thing for men to mistreat their wives by being harsh or cruel.

· But it’s also terrible for men to mistreat their wives by not leading.

And here’s the interesting question to consider…

Between these two temptations men face, which one do we see men commit more frequently? This is a little bit of a trick question, b/c in many parts of the
world, the more common sin is for men to be cruel w/ women. We see that especially in Muslim countries where women are treated little better than objects.
But in our country – while there are definitely some cruel men – the more common temptation seems to be passiveness or laziness.

And why is this the case? My suspicion is it relates to acceptability:

· The world and the church think it’s unacceptable for men to be cruel to women…and it is unacceptable.

· But it’s generally accepted – or even encouraged – in our country, including even in some churches, for men to be passive and lazy when it comes to
leading in the home and in the church.

And consider it’s really impossible for someone NOT to lead. The only way there could be a family where nobody leads is if you had a family that sat at
home every day and did absolutely nothing. If a family does anything, I don’t care how little it is:

  • Someone has to lead.

· Someone has to have an idea or a thought that gets the family to do something.

And if men aren’t going to lead – if they’re going to be passive and lazy – someone is going to and it will usually be the wife. In some families, if it’s
a child-centered home, it will be the kids.

—-

What I’d like to do now is show you two examples in Scripture of Gen 3:17 taking place – two examples in Scripture of men not leading –
and how badly it went so we can learn from these situations. In Gen 3:17 circle the words Because you have heeded the voice of your wife and write Gen 16:2 and 1 Kin 21:25.

Please turn to the right a few chapters to Gen 16. Let me provide some context for these verses…

It’s been 10 yrs since God first promised Abraham and Sarah a child. When God has promised you a child, you probably expect to wait about 9 months. You
don’t expect to have to wait 10 yrs, say nothing about the 25 yrs they’ll actually end up waiting. Because of the wait, two things have crept into Sarah’s
heart:

1. First, doubt and unbelief.

2. Second, a desire to control her husband.

Please look at verse 1…


Gen 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2a So Sarai
said to Abram, “See now, the

Lord
has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.”

Now right here, Abraham faces the exact same two choices Adam faced:

  • Trust God and obey Him.
  • Or trust his wife and obey her.

Look at the rest of verse 2…

2b And Abram HEEDED THE VOICE OF SARAI.

You can circle these words and write, “Gen 3:17.” It’s the same thing God said to Adam: “ Because you have heeded the voice of your wife.” I looked up the original Hebrew and it’s the exact same words.

Now here’s the question: how did this go for Abraham and Sarah? Did this work out well? It caused real problems for both of them:

  • Sarah usurped Abraham’s authority…

· And Abraham submitted to her instead of leading like God commanded.

There was a switching of the roles just like w/ Adam and Eve, and the lesson for us is it causes real problems when this happens.

Next please turn to the right to 1 Kin 21…

We’re not going to read all the verses, so let me explain the story…

Ahab is the king of Israel, and he’s a wicked, spineless man. He happens to be married to a wicked, domineering woman named Jezebel. Ahab wants a vineyard
that belongs to a godly man named Naboth, but Naboth knows God wanted land to stay w/in families. So even though Ahab offered him a lot of money and even a
better vineyard, he still declined. This made Ahab go home upset and pouting, and when his wife Jezebel asked what happened, he told her the whole story.

Now look at verse 7…

7a
Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel!

If you pause right here, this means, “You’re in charge, so do what you want!” But this isn’t really true she’s actually the one who’s in charge…b/c Ahab
was a spineless, wimpy man.

Jezebel continues…

7b
Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

Now what could Ahab have done right here?

  • He could’ve said, “No, you will not. Naboth said no. God forbid him from giving me his vineyard, and that’s that.”

· Basically, he could’ve led and prevented his wife from taking control of the situation and doing something evil.

But he didn’t do that, and in a tragic act Jezebel has Naboth murdered. Please look at verse 8 and notice the emphasis on Jezebel doing all this…

8
And SHE wrote letters in Ahab’s name
(she takes so much control of the situation she writes the letters as if she’s him)

, [she] sealed them with HIS seal, and [she] sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth. 9 SHE wrote in the letters, saying

(as though she was Ahab the king),


Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people; 10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him,
saying, “You have blasphemed God and the king.” Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.

And tragically in the following verses, this godly man Naboth is murdered exactly according to Jezebel’s plan. Look at verse 16

16

So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Now here’s the question…

Since this was Jezebel’s plan, and since she’s the one who carried out all the details, is God really going to hold Ahab responsible for everything his
wife did? I mean it wasn’t REALLY his fault, right?

God sends Elijah the prophet to confront Ahab. Look at verse 19

19

You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Have YOU murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the
Lord: “In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours.”’”

God held Ahab completely responsible for Naboth’s murder. In verse 19 God said, “Have YOU murdered [Naboth and taken his vineyard]?

It’s similar to the situation w/ Adam and Eve: Eve ate first and gave the fruit to Adam, but God still held Adam responsible.

And it looks even more like the situation w/ Adam and Eve. Please go to verse 25…

25
But there was no one like Ahab
(that’s pretty bad when you’re so bad God says there’s nobody else that even approaches your ‘badness’…)who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, BECAUSE JEZEBEL HIS WIFE STIRRED HIM UP.

This should be sobering to men and women…

Ladies, this shows the great influence you have in your husband’s life. Circle the words stirred him up, and write, “What I can do.” You have the potential to stir your husband up too. Jezebel stirred her husband up to do evil, but you can stir your husband up
to do good.

For the men, we have to see how even though Jezebel stirred him up to do evil, God still held Ahab responsible.

The fact is, whether it’s Adam, Abraham or Ahab, God expects men to lead and we can’t turn around and say, “Well, my wife made me do it” or “It was my wife’s fault.” God is going to hold us responsible for what happens in our marriages and families. We can’t be passive and lazy.

—-

Now we’re coming to our final lesson and I want us to consider what we’ve seen this morning. I want us to think about how serious of a problem The Fall
developed for marriages…

Prior to The Fall there was perfect peace and harmony between Adam and Eve, but sin turned God’s ordained roles into struggles of pride, selfishness, and
self-will. Husbands and wives are called to be lifelong companions, but now we have sinful natures that are at work trying to destroy what God has joined
together.

So here’s the question:

  • How can a marriage survive this kind of conflict?
  • How can a marriage survive the effects of The Fall?

· Can the effects of The Fall be reversed so our marriages aren’t doomed for constant turmoil, strife and conflict?

This brings us to our last lesson…

LESSON 5: REVERSE THE EFFECTS OF THE FALL BY OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS FOR MARRIAGE.

We have a recipe for reversing the effects of The Fall in our marriages, and it’s the commands God has graciously given us.

This is our final message on marriage, and we’ve really been building up to this for the last few months. We’ve come full-circle:

· With all the familiarity we have with God’s commands for marriage…

· With all the familiarity we have with God’s divine roles for marriage…

· Most importantly, w/ the Gospel and the power it gives us to obey what God has said…

We’re equipped to deal w/ the consequences of The Fall in our marriages.

Consider this…

The Fall has the potential to ruin the relationship between husbands and wives. When people resist God’s commands:

  • They’re giving themselves over to The Fall.
  • They’re giving themselves over to their sinful natures.

· Just like Cain, they’re letting sin rule them and rule their marriage.

But when two people are willing to submit themselves to what God has said in His Word the effects of The Fall can be reversed in their marriage:

· God’s commands take chauvinistic, harsh, unloving, passive, lazy men and makes them loving, tender, compassionate, godly leaders.

· God’s commands take controlling, manipulative, insubmissive, domineering women, and makes them submissive, respectful and gentle.

The best way for husbands and wives to have a marriage like Adam and Eve had BEFORE The Fall w/o the Curse is to obey the commands we’ve studied in the NT.

  • When a wife is tempted to say, “I want to control my husband. I want to tell him what to do.” She needs to tell herself the words of Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
  • When a wife is tempted to say, “I don’t have to listen to my husband. I don’t have to look up to him.” She needs to tell herself the words of Eph 5:33 Let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
  • When a husband is tempted to say, “Who does she think she is? I am in charge and I am going to make sure she listens to me.” He needs to tell
    himself the words of Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.

· When a husband is tempted to be insensitive and roll his eyes and think, “Why is she crying…again? Why is she so upset?” He needs to tell
himself the words of 1 Pet 3:7 Husbands, dwell with your wife with understanding [treating her] as the weaker vessel.

The solution to The Fall is for men and women to surrender themselves to Christ, put their confidence in the Gospel to change their hearts and lives, and
obey the wonderful commands God has given us. Doing so allows us to reverse the affects of The Fall in our marriages, and have relationships that are
characterized by love, joy and peace.

LET’S REVIEW THESE LESSONS:

LESSON 1:
WIVES WILL BE TEMPTED TO CONTROL THEIR HUSBANDS.

LESSON 2:
(PART I) HUSBANDS LEAD (GEN 3:16 “RULE”) DIFFERENTLY (PART II) AND WIVES SHOULD EMBRACE – NOT CONTROL – HOW THEY LEAD.

LESSON 3:
IT’S NOT PERSONALITY OR LEADERSHIP STYLE, BUT A MAN’S HEART FOR GOD THAT MATTERS.

LESSON 4:
HUSBANDS WILL BE TEMPTED TO:

· (PART I) DOMINATE THEIR WIVES.

· (PART II) NOT LEAD.

LESSON 5:
REVERSE THE EFFECTS OF THE FALL BY OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS FOR MARRIAGE.

Author: Scott LaPierre