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September 15, 2013
“Knowledge of Good and Evil”
Genesis 3:8-17, 22-23
(Click here for WORD Document: Knowledge of Good and Evil Sunday School Lesson, or simply click the print button below. Enjoy!)
Once upon a time in a land far away, and in a time long ago, there lived a man and a woman. The man and the woman loved each other very much and they lived in perfect paradise together.
Then, one day, an enemy of the man and woman, who hated them very much, came with a lie to beguile them. Promising they would be like God, he persuaded them to do wrong, losing all of their perfect paradise.
Sound like a fairy tale? Sometimes people view the story of Adam and Eve in that way. It sounds so fantastic and almost like a fantasy when we read of the creation of man, the perfect state they live in and their downfall due to deception. But, this is no fairy tale, nor a fantasy. This story is very real and the results therein are still impacting mankind today.
Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
The “and” here in our lesson signifies something came before this verse. That something was an encounter with evil. The woman, somehow apart from the man, was beguiled by the devil’s lies through the use of the serpent. He told her, “For God doth know that in that day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,” (Gen. 3:5).
Listening to the serpent and seeing with her eyes the fruit, the Bible says, “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat,” (Gen. 3:6). Their “eyes were opened” and in their sin they saw their nakedness and hid. This is where the lesson picks up when “they heard the voice the LORD God walking in the garden.”
“Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” In their state of innocence, before their sin, they had intimate fellowship with God. So, when they “heard” His “voice,” they were familiar with His “presence.” Only this time it wasn’t as welcoming as it once was. His presence exposed their shame, and with that, they “hid themselves.”
What does hiding imply? To hide means there is something that one does not want uncovered. There is something that one does not want revealed. They thought to hide their sin from God “amongst the trees,” but, alas, this attempt was futile.
Genesis 3:9 “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
“Where art thou?” Our God is omnipresent which basically means He is everywhere at the same time (see Ps. 139:7-10). And, our God is omniscient which means He knows everything that’s going on from the inside out. Psalm 44:21 says that He even knows “the secrets of the heart.” With that being said, God knew exactly where Adam was. Trees could not hide man’s sin. Later in history Jonah also would find out the impossible feat of trying to hide from God. Everything is opened to God; everything is exposed; there is nothing hid from Him, (see Heb. 4:13).
Genesis 3:10 “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
Matched against the presence of God sin will make man tremble and be “afraid.” God is holy and His people are called to be holy, (1 Peter 1:16). But, when the unholy nature of man faces God, it tries to hide. I imagine, previously the voice of God was a comfort to Adam. Here in the knowledge of his sin, fear has taken over. Sin took away peace and opened the door for all other opposing emotions.
Genesis 3:11 “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
“Who told thee that thou wast naked?” Questions are designed for the purpose of extracting information from an individual and securing an answer. Once again, God knew the answer but did Adam fully comprehend what he had done? With the questioning it will cause Adam to search inside himself for an answer, a way to reply. That searching will show the impact of what he has done, peeling back layers of revelation. “How do I answer? I would have to admit this and that.”
“Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” In other words, “Have you disobeyed Me?” is what God was asking. Adam was given one rule to follow. “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” (Gen. 2:16b-17). One rule; one command.
God’s word is His “commands.” What God says outranks all else. One’s real intimacy with God is revealed in how well they keep his commandments. 1 John 2:3 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” The psalmist said, “Thy word I have his in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” (Ps. 119:11). Hiding God’s word in one’s heart will help them not to have to hide behind trees later.
Genesis 3:12 “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave of the tree, and I did eat.”
In last week’s lesson she was “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” (Gen. 2:23). She was the one made specifically for him. Here, there is an almost disdainful ire about him when he talks about “the woman whom thou gavest to me.” What intimacy they once shared, sin has now caused a rift in their relationship, hence the beginning of the blame game.
Genesis 3:13 “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
Now God is going down the line questioning everyone involved. The woman’s response, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Through that bite of fruit knowledge was gained, with that the realization that she had been deceived or “beguiled.” Some say hindsight has 20/20 vision. But the Bible says, “The just shall live by faith,” (Hab. 2:4).
Genesis 3:14-15 “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:”
Actions have consequences, for the good or for the bad. Here, it was all bad. Disobedience to God’s commands always leads down a treacherous path. That’s why the Bible says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Ps. 119:105). God’s commands shine the way to keep man from that pathway that leads to destruction.
God then speaks to the “serpent.” He’s not questioning him for information. For now, it’s time to deal with the matter at hand, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed.” “Cursed” is a word no creature wants to hear. God has spoken against the “serpent.” He said “upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” The serpent would be the least favored of all animals and would pay tremendously for his part in the fall of man.
Speaking of the “dust thou shalt eat,” David Guzik wrote on his commentary at Enduringword.com:
“This was true of the serpent as an animal, but it is also true of Satan. To eat dust has the idea of total defeat (Isaiah 65:25, Micah 7:17). God’s judgment on Satan is for him to always know defeat. He will always reach for victory, but always fall short of it.” (Click here for commentary)
“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” If one has ever seen the movie “The Passion of the Christ” they may very well remember that very vivid scene when Jesus rose up from prayer in the Garden of Gethsamne and crushed the head of the serpent under His feet. The prophecy that God speaks in this verse foretells Jesus’s victory over Satan once and for all. “It shall bruise thy head.” For if the “head” is “bruised” than the body is defeated and broken, both literally and metaphorically.
Genesis 3:16 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
In layman’s terms, “It’s going to be hard for you.” God designed a woman’s body to conceive and bear children, but now because of sin, “sorrow” is attached to that. With the word “multiply” added it implies much “sorrow.” The labor process and child-birth are very painful experiences that a woman has to go through to bring that new little babe into the world.
“Thy desire shall be thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Let’s talk about that word “desire.” Some believe this portion of the text goes along with what was just said regarding child birth. That despite the pain she feels she will still “desire” physically for her husband. And, for some this “desire” is looked upon as her wanting to have his position and take control; a battle of the sexes, if you will. In Genesis 2:24 it says, “And they shall be one flesh,” but now there appears to be some contentions and struggling. Their unity has been frayed by their sinful desires.
Genesis 3:17 “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”
One moment of sin marred the life of man as long as he is on this earth. Here, we see the words “cursed” and “sorrow” making reappearance. This time it is the man who would suffer anguish for his role in disobeying God’s commands. Previously, God gave him the position of “dressing and keeping the garden” while he dwelt in the garden, Gen. 2:15. Outside of the garden the “ground” that he would work would have its own labor and toil.
“All the days of thy life.” In Genesis 3:19 (not in today’s lesson) it says, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.” “Sweat” is its own indication of how hard and unpleasant this was going to be for man.
Genesis 3:22-23 “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
“The man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” In Genesis 3:7 it tells us, “The eyes of them both were opened.” Innocence is now gone and “good and evil” has been uncovered and revealed to them both.
There’s an old phrase that states, “Ignorance is bliss,” which means “not knowing something is often more comfortable than knowing it,” (click here at Dicitonary.com for resource). As soon as their eyes were opened they knew things that they didn’t know before and it did not make life easier or happier for them. As a matter of fact, with that knowledge, their world was turned upside down. Now, they probably wished they didn’t know so much about “good and evil,” for now, their lives have been changed forever.
“Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” One of the hardest aspects of parenthood is when a child loses his parents trust. Once lost it can be hard to regain. Adam and Eve disobeyed the first rule so what would prohibit them from taking of “the tree of life” also? Not wanting to risk them living forever in their sinful state God took protective measures.
“Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden.” Banished; kicked out; made to leave – nothing about any of those words feel good. They were no longer allowed to enjoy the paradise they once knew. Sin stripped them of the privilege to reside in this perfect place. They were now to go out and deal with the elements of earth the best way they could through hard work and toil till the day they died.
Genesis 3:24 (not in today’s lesson) says, “He drove out the man; and he place at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Forcefully, God evicted man from a place that was designed just for him to meet his ever need. Man would forever miss this place where there was no trouble or toil. He may even try to re-enter, but God put angelic guards in the way to prevent access. It’s like the sheriff who seals the doors after an eviction. What once was their possession was now unlawful for them to own. They would not be allowed to trespass.
Below you will find resources to help support the lesson for this week. Enjoy!
Wordsearch With No Picture: Knowledge of Good and Evil Wordsearch
Crossword With No Pictures: Knowledge of Good and Evil Crossword
“How Many Words Can You Make?” PDF: Good Evil How Many Words
“Knowledge of Good and Evil Tree” PDF: Good And Evil Tree (On the squares on the tree, students can write or draw 5 ways we can obey God. Enjoy!)
“Adam and Eve Coloring Sheet” – PDF: Adam Eve Coloring Sheet (Use this coloring sheet to have students draw their own Garden of Eden in the background. Enjoy!)
“Garden of Eden Coloring Sheet: – PDF: Garden of Eden (Print coloring sheet and let the students draw a picture of their own Adam and Eve in the coloring page. Enjoy!)
“Tie the Snake” – This is such a simple craft to put together especially if your husband, brother, or father has old ties (and they all do :)) laying around unused. Keep him flat or stuff him with batting, newspaper or whatever floats your boat 🙂 Attach some googley eyes and your students have an interesting snake puppet of their very own. Enjoy!
“Spiral Snake” – Go to Coloring Pages 101 to print out the coloring page. Let children decorate it any way they want to. Cut out the spiral snake and hang by a string, drape over something or just let him slither on the floor. This is a very easy project for students and teachers alike. If you want to get fancy, perhaps gluing sequins, stars or other stuff to add a bit of sparkle to our little guy. Enjoy!
More Interesting Snake Crafts:
“Slinky Link Snake” from The Education Center (Remember those old Christmas chain links we would make as kids. Their back in snake form. Simply attach the head and you’ve got yourself a snake. Go to the site for further instructions. Enjoy!)
“Simple Snake Craft” from Gift of Curiosity (This one uses pipe cleaners, googly eyes and beads. Easy!)
“Slithering Snake Craft” from Chicago Parent (This one uses tubes from paper towels. Genius!)
“Slithery Snake Craft” from I Heart Crafty Things (This one uses printable downloads and brads. Simple!)
“Accordion Snake” from Crystal’s Tiny Treasures
Below are more resources and links for lesson support:
“The First Man” from Children’s Chapel (Several activities to choose from. Enjoy!)
“Adam and Eve” from Calvary’s Kids Pages (Several activities to choose from. Enjoy!)
“Adam and Eve Disobey God” from Ministry to Children
“Adam and Eve Lapbook” from Lapbook Lessons
“Adam and Eve Bible Crafts” from Christian Preschool Printables (Here you will find several printable activities to choose from. Very Easy! Enjoy!)
“Adam and Eve – The First Sin Bible Lesson” from Ministry to Children
“Adam and Eve Bible Printables” from Bible Story Printables
“Adam and Eve Printable Craft” from Sunday School Lady
“Adam and Eve Craft Worksheet” from Sunday School Resources
- “Created Male and Female / God’s Image: Male and Female” Sunday School Lesson, Genesis 2:18-25, September 8, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)
- “Corporate Confession of Sins/Community of Confession” Sunday School Lesson, Nehemiah 9:2, 6-7, 9-10, 30-36, August 11, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)
- “God Created All / God Creates” Sunday School Lesson, Psalm 104:5-9, 24-30 September 1, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)
- “Gifts for the Temple” Sunday School Lesson, Ezra 8:24-30, July 28, 2013 (wordforlifesays.com)