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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Reading #2 The Second Week in July

Week #2  Summer 2015

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

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,[a] knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Cranach, Lucas the Elder, 1510  Adam and Eve
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
    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.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children,
yet your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to the man[b] he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
    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.”
20 The man named his wife Eve,[c] because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made garments of skins for the man[d] and for his wife, and clothed them.
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.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 3:5 Or gods
  2. Genesis 3:17 Or to Adam
  3. Genesis 3:20 In Heb Eve resembles the word for living
  4. Genesis 3:21 Or for Adam

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?

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