VERSE DISCOVERY: Genesis 3:1-15 (KJV, Public Domain)
Failure is something I, as well as all humanity, have grappled with throughout their life. Whether you want to give it a cute name like “fumbling the ball,” or call it as it is – “missing the mark,” they all declare the same thing in the end – I messed up. I have sinned.
Sin, unfortunately, is something a lot of people don’t pay attention to, have become desensitized to, or simply brush off with no thought of confession or consequences. Whereas, others, it brings them to their knees in humility seeking reconciliation with God and man.
Sin and the effects of sin is something every human will encounter because once sin entered the world it contaminated everything and everyone. The paradise of what was will be shut away from humanity till the saved souls experience it one day in eternity.
“By one man sin entered into the world,” (Romans 5:12), and this lesson covers the events surrounding that dreadful day which has become known as the Fall; the day when sin entered in.
Genesis 3:1-7 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
God has, from the beginning, given a precious gift to the man He created: the gift of free will. And, from the beginning, it has been man’s responsibility to use it in a just and righteous way. With that, we see the man has had the ability to choose to do right or to choose to do wrong. In these verses, the waters of that free will have been tested, and as a result, humanity succumbed to temptation and sin entered the world.
The serpent who appears in the story has become synonymous to us today and throughout the Bible as the devil or Satan. Although in the form of a creature which is being used by the devil, this adversary of old (see Revelation 12:9) has come on the scene for one purpose – to disrupt the good that God created. To work against Him in rebellion any way he can.
And to do that, he had to get to the mind of His beloved creature, man, by casting doubt about God. The very nature of the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field. That subtilty speaks of his cunningness. Where a cunning character is in this respect, there is deception and falsehood with the craftiness to work both. Therefore, whatever he says cannot be trusted and unfortunately for Eve, she and Adam find out this sad truth the hard way and a little too late.
Questioning the woman, as if they had already been engaged in an active dialogue, but weren’t, he asked, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? This type of questioning lives up to the nature of this tempter. It cast doubt where doubt probably wasn’t once before. It asks one to focus a little harder on the forbidden object when quite possibly, it wasn’t the focus before. A hands-off approach was alright with her until one question made her rethink the truth of what was.
Not fully comprehending or even slightly knowing of his deception, and the deceit behind his inquiry, Eve engaged fully into conversation with the serpent when she responded. She told him what they may and may not eat.
God supplied plenty for them. Remember, man was the last of God’s creation and God had everything in order to properly sustain and fulfill all that they would need. With Eden bringing to mind a picture of paradise, in the lushness of what was available to them, it would be more than enough that they had at their disposal to use and enjoy.
We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. Notice the s on the world trees, making them plural. Plural choices were available to them. Plural delicacies abounded in the garden. There were multiple things to eat and choose from with only one being prohibited from them.
That one came with restrictions. That one came with the only rule they had to follow to be obedient to God: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. This she knew. Thus far, this is what she abided by.
Now, the enemy works in his cunning ways to get her to do the very thing that God hath said not to do. First, he lied and convinced her the consequences aren’t as serious as she had been led to believe. Once that kind of thinking enters in and one begins to mull over the idea, it becomes easier to shirk the responsibility of those consequences with total disregard. He told her, Ye shall not surely die.
Note: Notice the conflict here in what God says versus what the serpent/devil says. God’s Word is tried, true, and solid. God’s Word is always right, and never flawed or wrong (Proverbs 30:5). God’s Word is everlasting, and it is fixed in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Anything that speaks against what God says, then and now, and does not line up with His Word, is not of God, and it’s wrong. It’s of the devil.
Eve had a choice to make. Who was she going to listen to?
Secondly, he planted his own seeds in that garden. He planted seeds of doubt. Today, we know the Bible tells us, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly,” (Psalm 84:11). But here, as he presented this “option” to go outside of the will of God, he did so by making it seem that God was holding out on them. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.
The more she listened and gave space to the serpent’s sly words, the more that option to sin looked enticing to her. Of course, right then and there she may not have seen it as sin, but anything that takes one out of the will of God, we can rest assured, is sin, no matter what it “looks like.”
When she looked at that forbidden tree she saw it had everything she wanted. It was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise. Or, as John so eloquently wrote: “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” (1 John 2:16).
And, because it had everything she desired, the Bible tells us she did eat. She sinned. She made up in her mind to go her own way; to throw off what God said and listen to the serpent (compare James 1:14-15).
She then gave it to her husband, and he did eat, too. Adam sinned, and he did so willfully (compare 1 Timothy 2:14). He wasn’t deceived as Eve was and with their choices made, sin has entered the world and changed it forever (compare Romans 5:19).
Now, the eyes of them both were opened. Now, they saw things as they never had before, and they didn’t like what they saw. Not only did they now know what evil in this respect when previously all they knew was good; but now they knew shame, guilt, and the wrongs that came with it. Now, they knew they were naked, and they tried to cover the nakedness by sewing fig leaves together.
Oh, how I can imagine, they probably wished they could undo it all; that things could go back to the way they were. But, they couldn’t, and the consequences of the Fall would now come.
The Consequences of the Fall
Genesis 3:8-15 “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. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 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? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 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. 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: And 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.”
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. This time, there was trepidation involved. There were fear and uneasiness where there wasn’t before. This time, His presence exposed their shame, so they hid themselves. Sin and guilt marred everything!
What does hiding imply? To hide means there is something that one does not want uncovered. There is something that one does not want to be revealed. They want to hide their wrong; they want to hide their sin from God amongst the trees – but, alas, this attempt is futile.
So, God called out, Where art thou? Our God is omnipresent, which basically means He is everywhere at the same time (see Psalm 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 and what was going on. Trees could not hide man’s sin. Later in history, Jonah too would find out the impossible feat of trying to hide from an all-seeing, all-knowing God. Everything is opened to God; everything is exposed. There is nothing hid from Him (see Hebrews 4:13).
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.
Who told thee thou wast naked? Questions are designed for extracting information from an individual and securing an answer. Once again, God knew the answer, but Adam had to fully comprehend what he had done. Questioning will cause Adam to look inside himself for an answer; a way to reply. “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 and Eve were given one rule to follow. One rule; one command. Did they disregard that 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 hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,” (Psalm 119:11). Hiding God’s word in one’s heart will help them not to have to hide behind trees in shame later.
And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave of the tree, and I did eat. In the previous chapter, she was “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh,” (Genesis 2:23). She was the one made specifically for him. Here, there is an almost disdainful ire about him when he talks about that 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.
Note: In speaking of the blame game, notice also how Adam seemed to signify too or hint at that it was God’s fault because He is the one who gave her the woman. Sin ruins relationships with God and with people.
And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? As a parent lining children up to find out who broke the lamp, God is going down the line, questioning everyone involved. The woman’s response was, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Through that one bite of forbidden fruit knowledge was gained, and with that came 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,” (Habakkuk 2:4).
Actions have consequences, for the good or for the bad. Here, it was all bad. Disobedience to God’s commands always leads one a treacherous path. That’s why the Bible says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 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 again the serpent. Upon thy belly thou shalt 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.
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. This judgement also carries with it spiritual implications of the conflict between the enemy and people, to Jesus’s ultimate victory in the end.
God’s judgement was set. Individually, Adam and Eve received further judgements (see Genesis 3:16-19). Collectively, paradise was lost in the heart where all that reigned once was peace, and it was lost physically in being evicted from Eden (Genesis 3:22-24). Because, when sin enters in, it destroys everything.
PDF Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes for teaching): Sunday School Lesson - When Sin Entered In
Sin Object Lesson Ideas:
Adult Journal Page – Adult Journal Page – Adam and Eve’s Choices
Kid’s Journal Page: Kid’s Journal Page – Adam and Eve’s Choices
Broken by Sin Puzzle: Using the pdf: Outlines People Template students can decorate their people, cut them out, and then using scissors cut their individual people into puzzle pieces. This symbolizes the brokenness that comes by doing wrong, by sinning. (Don’t forget to supply sandwich bags so they can carry their puzzles home).
Draw the Scene: When Sin Entered In Draw the Scene
Activity Sheet: When Sin Entered In Activity Sheet
Memory Verse: When Sin Entered In Memory Verse