Adam and Eve Disobey
- Tell how Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
- Imagine how God feels when we disobey.
- Know that God loved and forgave Adam and Eve.
- Pray for God to help us obey and to forgive us when we disobey.
The seeds of this sad story can be found in Genesis 2, where God set some boundaries for Adam and Eve with regard to their life in the garden. The potential sticking point was his prohibition against their eating from a certain tree, mysteriously called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course, next to it was the tree of life, from which they could freely eat.
Why the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and why the prohibition? Isn't it a good thing to know good and evil? This ban points to the most important aspect of the relationship between human beings and God: we are not God, nor do we know everything. Rather, we trust that what our good God gives us is for our good.
An odd creature slithers his way into this pristine garden---the serpent. We don't know anything more about the serpent, and he isn't designated here as Satan. This story shows us that evil, its origin, and its purpose are very mysterious. The important thing is that the serpent is another creature, like Adam and Eve.
Note the insinuations the serpent makes about God. He makes the assumption, and passes it on to Adam and Eve, that by prohibiting this one thing God is holding something back. Instead of just trusting and obeying God, they can be like God, knowing everything in the same way he does. Every word the serpent utters seeks to undermine their trust in God's goodness. And finally, the fruit just looks too good; they grab it and eat.
At that moment the pristine life in God's garden falls apart. The first clue is their recognition of their nakedness. Chapter 2 made the point that they were naked and not ashamed, but now they felt degraded. Nakedness represents transparency and the possibility of evil intent. The big cover-up begins.
God appears in the garden for his daily walk with his beloved couple, but they hide instead of going out to greet him. They're gripped by mortification---it isn't just that they've done something wrong; in some inexplicable way they are wrong. Something has happened to fundamentally change them and their place in God's world.
God calls them, and they come slinking out of the bushes. It's judgment time. Adam, Eve, and the serpent are all given words of judgment. Their lives will never again be the same. Pain, drudgery, domination, and alienation will take the place of their carefree life in the garden.
But even as the darkness descends on the garden and Adam and Eve are sent far away, "east of Eden," rays of hope shine through. The first is that, in judging the serpent, God promises enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent; the serpent will strike the heel of the woman's descendants, but the woman's seed will crush the serpent's head (v. 15). What might that mean? Then God looks at this pair in their hasty covering of fig leaves and makes animal skins for them. God covers their shame with sturdy clothes as he sends them out of the garden. What might that mean?
We now call this primal story "the fall." Just as the stories of Genesis 1 and 2 define the glorious possibilities of life in this world, so this story describes what the human race has become in our sinful rebellion against our Creator.
What is mysterious about evil in this story?
How does the serpent cajole Eve, and how does this parallel the way temptation works in our lives?
Why did Adam and Eve have to leave the garden forever?
You might want to take the kids step-by-step through the serpent’s temptation, pointing out what is happening in each step and how that might work in our lives today
Make sure you don’t close this story with complete gloom. Show the class the signs of grace and hope that are here, and point to how they might come to fulfillment
Before the session begins you’ll want to highlight John 3:16 in your Bible.
Welcome each child by name and with a big smile. Once all have arrived, gather them around you for your opening song, the Scripture song “It Was Very Good.” By now your kids should know the lyrics quite well. You may want to divide into two groups, with one half singing the lead and the other echoing back the words.
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DWELL helps kids find their place in God's Big Story. Learn more about this popular and trusted children’s ministry curriculum.