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Bible Study Lesson 4

The mess we are in

We can look around and see quickly that the pristine universe provided to us is no more. When and How did this mess all start?

God tackles that question immediately in Genesis, Hebrew for the Book of Beginnings.

Genesis 1 :26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [g]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.”

God’s first instruction to us humans is that we are made in His likeness. Children think of God as an old man on a throne. He is not some scary being in heaven out to cause you grief. He does want to communicate with you. But since people are afraid He made the Bible available to us so He can speak to us.

The words “Fear Not” appear 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year, so we must treat fear as our enemy. Fear will prevent us from hearing God.

His second instruction was to tell them they had authority over His creation, to manage creation, including the animal kingdom and to be productive. Adam was placed in charge with Eve under his authority because, as everyone who is in business knows, only one person can be in charge. He was with Eve when she took the fruit so he was held responsible for what ensued for the rest of time.

But God did have one caveat – they could not eat of the fruit of one tree, and one tree alone in the garden where he had placed them. Well, you know what happened. If you tell little kids they can’t do something, they look for a chance to have some excitement. But Adam and Eve were not little kids.

The two of them got to talking about that command with a snake and they ate the fruit. Some people will tell you that Adam was not there at the time.

Nonsense.

Adam was there; the Bible says so in verse 6. Yes, Eve took part, thought it was a grand idea. But the snake, Adam and Eve all got a set of problems as a result.

Here is the passage:

The Temptation and Fall of Man

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was [a]pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves [b]coverings.

The Problem of Self-Will

In the beautiful, pristine garden where there was no visible evil, this original pair could not see the horrors they were bringing on themselves and the human race by rejecting the will of God.

You could say human history started on that day. From then on it was, as the rest of Genesis tells us, a long descent downhill to a world of depravity and degradation.

And for us in the 21st century, a long start upward to regain what we have lost by now accepting and doing the will of God as individuals faced with the same question – will we submit to the will of God or not? That is the question you will spend the rest of your life answering for yourself.

Don’t forget to highlight these passages in your Bible.

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