Genesis 3:6-20

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you. Spend some time in worship.




Whilst Adam warned the woman God gave to him not to eat the fruit of one specific tree, he did not explain what God had said and the woman got it wrong right from the start. As a result, Satan used her ignorance and vulnerability to seize the chance to persuade her to rebel against God. The eating of one fruit may seem to be a small matter in the scheme of life and death, but the tree and its fruit were a restraint on Adam and his helpmeet to remind them they were not God, and they should obey Him in all things.
Satan immediately challenged the woman in the place of her greatest vulnerability and drew her into a discussion about what God had said as he contradicted God’s words. He immediately assured her that what God had said was nonsense and moved on to persuade her to doubt the truth of God’s words. If God had lied to her and Adam, how could He be good? This has been and still is the lie Satan feeds to humanity. And, as always, he wove some truth into the lie. Their eyes really were opened – but not in the way he suggested to see good – rather to make them aware of sin and shame.
Satan used similar tactics with Jesus as he did with the woman and as he has with all humanity. He appealed to our physical appetite; to our longing and our emotional desires; and to our pride. Jesus refused to enter into a discussion with him and rebuked him (Matthew 4:1-11); but the woman and the entire human race want to hear more and follow his lead.
The woman had two choices. She could take the fruit and eat it; or she could turn away. Satan could not make her eat. The decision to do so was hers alone. She then encouraged Adam to do the same. But Adam knew exactly what God had said and his rebellion against God took place in full awareness of what he was doing. He too had a choice – and he too chose to rebel.
Immediately, the way they saw one another changed, and they were ashamed at their nakedness. Commentators suggest they may have been clothed in light until the fall, but the light went out when they disobeyed God’s command. Everything looked worse.
They sewed fig leaves together in an ingenious way in order to cover their nakedness. Fig leaves are slightly sticky and rough and they would have made an uncomfortable outfit.
Then they waited, knowing that the Lord God would come to join them in the cool of the day. One wonders what thoughts were running through their minds as they did so. What would God say, what would He do, how would He punish them? Guilt was new to them but it would be a common experience for the whole of mankind. Only Jesus never experienced guilt.
So they hid from God. But He called out to them like a father would call for a lost child. Obviously He knew where they were but His question was intended to give Adam the sense of being lost and to lead him to confess his sin. It expressed God’s sorrow and His desire to bridge the gap their disobedience had caused. It emphasised man’s accountability to God.
God’s questions need an answer.
Whilst Adam was aware of the way things had changed, he still wanted to be in the presence of God and he responded to Him, giving Him the reasons for their hiding from Him. When God asked Adam who had told him he was naked as He confronted the problem head on, He gave Adam the opportunity to confess and repent of his sin. But Adam was quick to blame God (You gave me the woman) and the woman herself (she made me eat). He did not accept any responsibility for his own sin.
As God turned to the woman, she admitted she was deceived by the snake and ate the forbidden fruit.
God immediately placed a curse on Satan. The creature Satan had used became a slithery, hissing, creeping snake which would crawl on its belly and eat dust. There is a natural aversion between snakes and people, and women are particularly fearful of them.
But even in this dreadful time God does not leave His people without hope, for here there is a glimpse of the salvation He offers as He speaks of the fact that, whilst Satan will bruise the heel of the woman’s offspring (in the act of the crucifixion) her offspring will crush him (in the resurrection and salvation for humankind that His death and resurrection will bring).
Now God turned His attention to the woman and laid out the consequences of her act for her and all women who will come after her. She and her kind will suffer throughout their existence – in childbirth (when she experiences more pain than any other female giving birth) but also in the way men will treat them.
But it does not end there. Adam’s willingness to follow the woman’s suggestion rather than God’s command will result in the earth itself being cursed. It will no longer produce good fruit only, but weeds and thistles, which Adam will have to work to keep under control. From this moment on, work would involve pain and exhaustion, and not just be the joy it was before the fall.
It is only now that Eve received her name. Up to this moment she had been linked with Adam, being referred to as woman. Whilst she was not yet a mother, Adam gave her this name in belief that God would bring about His promise of salvation through the children Eve would bear.


Whether you use a map or a GPS, or ask for directions, do you still get lost? How do you find your way back to the destination you are aiming for? How does it feel to lose your way like this?


  • Spend a moment in silence considering God’s three questions then share with the group, or in the privacy of your own home, respond as follows:
  • Where are you? How will you answer this today? Where are you in relationship with Him, with yourself, with others and with creation?
  • Who told you? Whose external voices do you listen to and believe? What do you tell yourself? How can you discover whether these voices – external and internal – are speaking the truth to you? How do you hear God’s voice? Which is the loudest for you?
  • What is this you have done? How do you feel about confessing your sin to God in private, or to others in a one on one session or in a group environment? Discuss your reaction to each option. What difference do you think each one would make to your confession? How will you confess and repent of sin as a result of your answers?
  • How do your answers to the above questions make you feel? Where is God’s shalom in your life at this time? How can you regain and/or strengthen this shalom?
  • How does the idea of God being your GPS (God’s provision/power/peace system) make you feel? Can you relate to this idea? Why/why not?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Lord God, so often when we confess our sin we mention a few things we have done wrong (or we don’t even name them) and we move on. We know that sin has made us wander from Your love and rebel against You. Help us to confess our sin fully, with heartfelt sincerity. Be merciful and forgive us. Restore Your shalom in our lives so we do not doubt You have forgiven us and we are now set free to follow You faithfully in the way You want us to do in the coming days.
Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Look for opportunities this week to be a peacemaker for God. Ask Him to fill you with His shalom so that it overflows and touches those around you. Let Him be your GPS providing you with His positioning, power and peace this week as you allow Him to use you wherever you are.



Genesis Chapter 3

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