This week we have what traditionally has been called the story of the fall. Do yourself a favor...empty your mind of all the things you think you know about this passage and just let the words read out loud sink in. For example, no where is the snake associated with Satan, it is merely called 'more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made.' If you enjoyed using The Message last week, here is a link to this weeks reading as well. (The Message, Genesis 3)
Genesis 3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The First Sin and Its Punishment
|Cranach, Lucas the Elder, 1510 Adam and Eve|
cursed are you among all animals
and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
and have eaten of the tree
about which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
22 Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.
Questions to ponder:
1. Think about temptation for a moment. What is the source of temptation for Eve? (the talking snake, the good looking fruit, the promise of wisdom, the command not to do something, the desire to be like God?) What is the source of temptation for you?
2. What truth do you think is being spoken about he two realizing they are naked and sewing fig leaves together? I mean they've always been naked, nothing new here. Do you think perhaps they now can 'see themselves' through a different/more unflattering lense?
3. I think verse 8 is one of the most deeply sad verses of the entire Bible. What is different between God and Humanity after the eating of the fruit. Fear has now been introduced.
4. Thus the beginning of the "shame and blame" game! What are the results of the blame/shame game?
5. Think deeply about this: What is the REAL sin (brokenness) in the story of Genesis 3?
6. Is there anything heroic about Adam and Eve?
7. What truth or truths do you think are being communicated in this story of Genesis 3?