Bible Study Notes Rev. Betsy Perkins
Disobedience and its Consequences
The story of the Fall speaks to us of the sin which entered God’s good creation and teaches us about the consequences of sin. Again, it is helpful to think of this story as a parable which speaks Truth, without entering into arguments over the historical and scientific accuracy of the literal details.
“The event of Genesis 3 is often referred to as the ‘fall’. It is an odd expression. To begin with, did they fall or did they jump? Falling is usually something that happens to you; the snake went out of its way to trip them up, but Adam and Eve decided to do what they did… They did not fall from a state of bliss; they failed to realize a possibility. Human beings ‘fell short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).” John Goldingay
Naked = ‘arumim; Cunning = ‘arum
o What was God’s original intent for the relationship between humans and creation/creatures? How is that relationship distorted in verse 1?
o How are God’s original message, intention and character twisted by the snake? How is God also misrepresented by Eve?
o Why did Eve choose to eat the fruit?
o Was the incident a temptation or a test, or both?
o What was the first and most immediate consequence of their disobedience?
“Where are you?” (3:8-13):
o How are we to understand God out for an evening stroll?
o What do Adam and Eve try to do in their responses to God in verses 12-13?
The Consequences (3:14-24):
Eve = Mother of all that lives (To live = hayah; Eve = hawah)
o Who/What receives curses (verses 14 and 17)?
o What are the consequences for the snake?
o What are the consequences for the woman?
o What was God’s original intent for the relationship between men and women? How does sin change that relationship?
o What are the consequences for the man?
o John Goldingay writes, “Men and women were created to work; work is not a result of sin in the world.” In what ways is work are part of God’s good creation (1:28, 2:15) and what ways is work affected by sin?
o Are these ‘natural’ consequences of their actions or a specific punishment by God?
o What is the significance of Adam naming the woman in verse 20, rather than when he first met her?
o In verse 21, God provides clothing for Adam and Eve. What does this demonstrate about God?
o How did sin affect the relationship between God and the first humans? How does it continue to affect the relationship between God and humanity?
o Read Romans 8:19-22. How has sin affected the whole creation?
o What relationship between the earth and the man are we reminded of at the beginning (2:7), middle (3:19) and end (3:23) of this story’s events?
What does this story reveal about us as human beings?
What does this story reveal to us about sin?
What does this story reveal to us about God?
In light of this passage and our discussion, what one truth about God and about yourself stand out as something to “take to heart” this week?
Are there steps you will take, by God’s grace, to more fully apply it to your life?
Resources: Robert Alter, Genesis, 1996
John Goldingay, Genesis for Everyone, 2010
Max Lucado, Life Lessons with Max Lucado: Book of Genesis, 1997