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Lesson 2: Crisis in Eden *

Introduction: Our study this week comes with two strikes against it. First, when we see a familiar story our immediate reaction is to think "I already know about this." Second, many Christians disbelieve the creation account. They might not say, "God lied to us," but they suggest it is figurative or an allegory. This makes no logical sense. The creation account has far too many specific details to be figurative. If it is an allegory, it is hardly an allegory for evolution. It recounts that God intentionally spoke the creation into existance, rather than suggesting chance and natural selection. It recites complexity and completion at the beginning, rather than suggesting the simple gradually moved to the more complex. The creation account is very familiar, but I think it contains vital spiritual points. Let's plunge into our Bible study and see if we can find something new, interesting and important in it!

  1. Little Gods

    1. Read Genesis 1:26. What does God say about humans? (They are created like God.)

      1. In what way are they like God? (They have God's "image" and "likeness," and they rule over the rest of the creation.)

        1. While this verse does not explain precisely what is meant by "image" and "likeness," notice that they are connected to the job of ruling. What does this tell us about image and likeness? (We rule over the rest of the creation because we are smarter. Thus, the logic is that we are like God in the thinking department.)

    2. Read Genesis 1:27-28. Does God follow through with His plan with regard to humans? (Yes. He not only proposes that we should be made in His image, but He follows through with it.)

      1. Notice that God specifically mentions creating "male and female," as part of God's image. How can that be since the Bible consistently refers to God and Jesus as male? (Read Genesis 2:23-24. When a man and a woman become "one flesh," they become like God in that they are also creators of life. This is why other "marriage" arrangements are inconsistent with God's highest plan for us.)

      2. This week I was asked to help with a funeral of a man I had never met. My only connection with the family was that I casually knew one of his sons. At the funeral I learned that he and his wife had 13 children, and they had at least 78 grand and great-grand children. One speaker thought a more correct number was over 100! Here is an example of a man and woman creating life!

  2. Exploiting God's Plan

    1. Read Genesis 3:1. Is this what God said? (Not even close. In Genesis 2:16-17 God said they could eat from any of the trees - except one.)

    2. Read Genesis 3:2-3. Why do you think Satan wanted this response? (If this is the contest for the allegiance of the human race, I would want to sweep away any claim that humans misunderstood the rule. Satan has Eve restate God's rule so that there can be no mistake about what she does.)

      1. Does Eve correctly state the rule? (There is no record that God said don't touch or you will die.)

      2. If you want to keep humans from eating the fruit, it is even better for them to think they cannot even touch the fruit, right? (While this is a common view among parents and religious youth leaders, it is wrong. Deuteronomy 4:2 instructs us not to add to God's commands or subtract from them. I believe that when Eve touched the fruit and nothing happened, it emboldened her to eat the fruit.)

      3. I recall in my youth I was told that I must not go into a movie theater. Why? Because my angel would not go in there. If I got into a life-threatening situation, there I would be without my angel! I stayed out of theaters. But, when they started showing movies on television and even in the gym of my Christian university, it unmasked the rule as being nonsense - and it undermined the authority of the rest of the rules given to me. Why didn't they just teach me to avoid movies (along with books and songs) that would influence me toward evil?

    3. Read Genesis 3:4-5. What does Satan claim is the best reason for eating the fruit? (Eve would be "like God.")

      1. Isn't this exactly what God had in mind for Adam and Eve, that they would be like Him?

      2. Why didn't Eve respond, "I'm already like God. I don't need to disobey God to be like Him?" (Eve did not trust God.)

    4. Read Genesis 3:6. Why do you think Eve distrusted God? (Her senses told her there was nothing wrong with this fruit. It looked good. Then she touched it and nothing bad happened. Then she believed Satan that she would gain wisdom.)

      1. Consider this from God's point of view. What has Eve just done? (Eve decided that God lied. God withheld something good from her. Eve believed this talking snake instead of her Friend and Creator!)

      2. How many times when it comes to sin do we disbelieve God and trust instead on our limited ability to judge the truth?

        1. Consider three truths that come out of the creation event: creation, marriage and the Sabbath. How many people accept evolution based on limited truth? How many people accept same-sex marriage, or serial marriage, based on their view of fairness? How many people worship on Sunday based on the practice of the majority? (All three of these are original, fundamental doctrines found in the creation account, and all are under strong attack.)

  3. The Dreadful Result

    1. Read Genesis 3:9-12. Who does Adam blame for his decision to disobey God? (Ultimately, he blames God. God put Eve in the garden with him.)

      1. What does that teach us about the sin problem in our lives? (We resist taking personal responsibility for it.)

        1. Have you ever heard someone say with regard to sin: "God made me that way?" "That is just the way I've always been?" "My parents did it that way?" Are these attempts to avoid personal responsibility for our sins?

    2. Read Genesis 3:17-19. What has happened to the dominion that God gave humans over the earth? (Their dominion has certainly decreased. Now the earth resists their work.)

    3. Read Genesis 3:16. What has happened to Eve? (Once again, the God-like authority of humans has decreased. They will still have the power to create life, but it will now be a painful experience.)

      1. Is the penalty of the husband ruling mere nonsense?

      2. Is it logically connected to Eve's sin? (Yes. Eve wanted to become more like God. Just as human dominion over the earth is reduced, and human power to create life is reduced, so Eve's God-like authority is reduced.)

        1. Is this fair? (If you answer, "No, this is not fair and I will resist it," isn't that the problem with Eve's original sin - she disbelieved God's judgment?)

    4. Read Genesis 3:14-15. Recall from our study last week that Satan has been hurled down from heaven. He now has won the allegiance of humans by getting them to sin. What does God tell Satan will be the outcome of the controversy between good and evil that has now come to planet earth? (Humans will crush Satan's head.)

      1. What do you understand that to mean? (When Jesus came to earth as a man, He defeated Satan. He won the war that would end in Satan's destruction.)

    5. Friend, what about your life? Do you accept God's rules as truth, and the best way to live? Or, do you rely on your limited view of what is truth and depend on it instead? The creation account shows the terrible result of disbelieving God and rejecting His rules. Why not ask the Holy Spirit, right now, to bring your attitude into accord with God's truth?

  4. Next week: Global Rebellion and the Patriarchs.
* Copr. 2016, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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