1. Eden and the Expulsion
a.) Eden, interpreted through the reversal of the curses, is given to Adam and Eve, like a gift from God. Eden offers them food, "and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out from the ground -- trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food," (Genesis 2:9) and a place to live a simple life. Adam's task is to work the land, and in return he would be provided for with no hardship or struggle (Genesis 3:17-19). Prior to the curses, Adam and Eve lived in a state of equality. To Eve God gave the curse, " Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16). Ultimately, Eden is a place where Adam and Eve can live eternally (Genesis 3:19).
b.) Adam and Eve's sin is their betrayal of God. By going against what he asks them to do, " but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:17) they show their unfaithfulness to God. Adam and Eve trust the serpent more than they trust God. Their act of sinning is accomplished by eating the fruit from the forbidden tree in Eden, " The woman you put here with me, gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it" (Genesis 3:12). Adam and Eve disobey God and instead they obey the serpent.
c.) The most immediate consequence Adam and Eve face is their introduction to the notion of shame and embarrassment (Genesis 3:10). Adam and Eve now cover their bodies because they have the wisdom to feel ashamed. The far-reaching consequences, stated in the text, include the loss of all the benefits of living in Eden. The far-reaching consequences touched all the immortally, " for dust you are and to dust you will return" (Genesis 3:19). For women, childbirth will be painful (Genesis 3:16). And for the rest of eternity women will live under the rule of their husbands (Genesis 3:16). For man, life will no longer be easy and he will have to work hard for everything, "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life" (Genesis 3:17). Once Adam and Eve acquire the knowledge of good and evil God believes they can no longer exist in Eden. For now they have gone against God's word and are like the all-knowing God in their wisdom. For this, they are banned from Eden.
2. Salvation, Election and the Covenant
a.) God performs many amazing acts for Israel against the Egyptians. These acts give distinction to Israel and show the power and might of God (Exodus 14:21). The Israelites witness these acts and realize their election as a distinct nation of God. God creates an agreement with the people so that He can test them and so that their fear of God will protect them from sinning, "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possessions" (Exodus 19:5). With this, God provides a mechanism for the agreement, called the Torah. God states that if this covenant (the...