Tuesday- Week 1
Star of Bethlehem by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones 1890
Fall of Man
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
The man said, "The woman You put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
What was Satan’s three-part reasoning for Eve to partake of the fruit?
[1. Questions whether it is sin or not; ( 'did God really say?'
2. Refutes the danger (‘you won’t die’);
3. Promotes the advantages of it (‘you will be like God’)]
What is the purpose of this three-pronged attack on God’s clear command?
[1. Place doubt in her mind about the reasonableness of the command;
2. Dispel the fear of consequences;
3. Insinuate that God is keeping something better from them]
Where was Adam during Eve’s conversation with the snake?
[Answers vary. Verse 6 says Adam was with her when she partook of the fruit, but it is not certain that he was there when Satan first approached her. ]
Why didn’t Adam speak up?
[Answers will vary. Some commentators believe that Adam did not speak up during the dialogue between Satan and Eve because he had not yet arrived.]
What was Adam’s defense for sinning?
[Blamed Eve --and God for putting her with him.]
What was Eve’s defense for sinning?
[Blamed the serpent.]
What was Satan’s reason for doing all of this?
[Answers vary: Satan had already lost his exalted place in heaven by desiring to be ‘like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:13- 14 ; Ezekiel 28 ; James 1:15); he seems intent upon separating God from His creation and separating creation from God by any means possible.]
For Further Discussion
In verse 13, Eve says “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
How can we avoid being deceived in the current times we live in?
[Fruit of the Spirit:
In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul indicates the type of character one should expect from a person who claims to be a Christian.
Does the character of the one we are trusting reflect that of a trustworthy person? Matthew 7:16-17 and Proverbs 6:16-19 indicate that there are certain tell-tale signs of bad character regardless of the person's faith claim.]
Eve notes that the fruit was 'pleasing to the eye' and the serpent had made a convincing case for the benefits of partaking of it. The Bible does not tell us any motive beyond that stated, but now that sin reigns in human hearts, we are not always innocent. We may only be pretending that we have been tricked or deceived [1 John 2:16].
Is it possible we want to believe certain lies? That the deceit lies within our own hearts?
How can we avoid being deceived by our own hearts and minds?
[Two ways to avoid being self-deceived:
Love the truth and those who tell it.
The imagery of Adam and Eve, the Serpent and the Fall of Man have been popular subjects of Western art, especially during the Gothic and Renaissance period. These depictions have left an indelible mark on the Western mindset, many of which are not biblical or even true. Some examples follow:
Does scripture indicate that the fruit was an apple, or that it is any fruit that currently exists? (Genesis 2:17). It is unlikely that the fruit that was in the garden then, still exists now. It was likely destroyed with the Garden of Eden and no longer exists. Click here for an explanation of how the apple became synonymous with the forbidden fruit.
In Western art, why aren't Adam and Eve depicted as Middle Eastern? The garden was located between the Tigris and Euphrates (Genesis 2:8-14), so Western art depictions promote a false narrative that negatively affects the church even to this day.
Why do all pictures of the serpent tempting Eve depict the serpent without legs even before the curse? (Genesis 3:14-15).
Close In Prayer
Pray that you would not be deceived by Satan's subtle lies and false narratives. Pray for the Lord to open your eyes and your heart to do His will. Pray that you would: have wisdom to know the difference between His will and your own (James 1:5); the humility to honestly reflect upon what you believe and why; and the integrity and courage to change.
Make A Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent- Week 1 or sing your favorite song together!