Life and Death in Genesis
By Graham Dull
Genesis has much to say about life and death.
In the third chapter, we read —
Gen 3:3 You must not eat of it, or you will die.
Gen 3:4, 5 You will not die… You will be like God. (NIV)
Which statement is true?
Some find it impossible to tell which is true, but Genesis has more to say about ‘living forever,’ and ‘death.’
(Gen 3:22) Man cannot be allowed to eat from the ‘tree of life’ and live forever.
(Gen 4:8) Cain killed his brother Abel.
These verses show that as the result of his sin, God will not allow mankind to live forever. (God said that this ‘cannot be allowed.’) God is not going to allow sin and sinful beings to exist throughout eternity. The curse of sin and death is self-evident in that Cain killed his brother.
Christians generally recognise that of all the verses cited above, Genesis 3:4, 5 reveals the most profound, superior, and everlasting truth: ‘Being like God, you will not die.’
God said (3:3), Satan said (3:4, 5), God said (3:22).
Who do we believe? Answer: It was — the devil — who deceived them (Rev 20:10).