Sunday School Material 9-15-13: Knowledge of Good and Evil

(Genesis 3:8-17, 21, 23; 9/15/13)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God punishes sin. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on our sins, so we will not have to deal with God’s punishments.

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Read Genesis 3:8-13

I. Confronting the Problem. In our Sunday School material God confronts Adam and Eve. They are trying to hide from God. When asked about what happened regarding, the forbidden tree, Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent.

Applications -

- Hiding from God. Notice in vs. 8 that sin led to Adam and Eve trying to hide from God. In like manner, sin leads us to trying to avoid fellowship with God. It disrupts what should be peaceful and harmonious fellowship with God.

Sin also makes us do things that are so irrational like trying to hide from God. Where can we hide from God? Let’s work on avoiding sin, so our fellowship with God will not be unnecessarily strained.

- Blame shifting. Notice in vss. 12-13 of our Sunday School material the blame shifting. Adam blamed Eve and to some extent God, since God gave Eve to him. Eve blamed the serpent. An early step in dealing with sin is to take responsibility for your part.

Although we may be influenced, we are always responsible for our actions. Let’s work on being responsible for our actions, instead of shifting blame to others. For example, no matter how distracting people may be in the church, you still owe the Lord your best in service.

Read Genesis 3:14-17

II. Pronouncing Consequences. God pronounces curses. He starts with the serpent who is cursed to crawl on his belly and have enmity (i.e., hostility) between him and humanity.

The woman is cursed with a painful delivery of babies and to be ruled over by her husband. And the man is cursed to have to carryout painful work, in order to get food from the ground.

Applications -

- Jesus over the devil. Notice in vss. 14-15 of our Sunday School material that the serpent is cursed by God. The commentator talks about the possibility of the serpent initially traveling upright and then being cursed to crawl.

There is mention of the common fear of serpents among humans. But most interesting is the Christology of the curse. That is, many scholars hold that the off spring of the woman is a reference to Jesus Christ. The serpent is a picture of the devil. 

Even though the off spring of the serpent may strike the heel of the woman’s off spring (i.e., the devil may cause some trouble for Jesus), the off spring of the woman will crush the head of the serpent’s off spring (i.e., Jesus will defeat the devil).

Let’s live as if we believe that Jesus rules over the devil. Such living should be known for obeying the Lord more than fearing what the devil may do and more than yielding to the devil’s temptations.

- The cursing of the woman. Notice in vs. 16 that the woman is cursed by God. Without debate, her curse includes a painful child bearing.

However, there is debate about the rest of her curse. Is the curse that she desires to be the ruler of her husband or at least not under his rule?

Is the curse that she has a great desire to have a husband? What is clear is that her sin led to a curse. Let’s live as if we believe that sin leads to negative consequences.

An unknown preacher said that sin always takes us further than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay, and cost us more than we want to pay.

Living by this application calls for us to focus on loving God and other, as we love ourselves, instead of focusing on the things of this world.

- The cursing of the man. Notice in vs. 17 of our Sunday School material that the man is cursed. He is cursed with having to work the ground in pain and hard work. The curse is not that he had to work. He was working before he sinned.

The curse is that he will have to engage in painful and hard work. Sin can distort and disrupt things that use to give us joy and satisfaction. Let’s work on dealing with our sins, so we don’t have to bear the punishment of our sins.

Read Genesis 3:21, 23

III. Enacting the Pronouncement. In our Sunday School material God made some cloths for Adam and Eve. The cloths were made from skin, which implies some animal had to die.

Adam was banished from the Garden of Eden. He is tasked with working the ground from which he was taken.

Applications -

- God’s loving discipline. Notice in vss. 21, 23 that God administered loving discipline. On one hand, Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden.

But on the other hand, God gives them cloths to wear. God banishes them from the Garden, including the Tree of Life, to prevent them from living eternally in sin.

Let’s work on trusting God’s discipline. When God punishes us, we should not lose heart. He punishes those whom He loves. And the punishment is aimed at that which is good for us.

Conclusion: Let’s work on our sins, so we will not have to deal with God’s punishment. God has much for those who obey His will.

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