Leading Question: “When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, when did they realize their sin? Immediately? After conversations with God? After they were expelled from Eden?
Theme: Garments of light, of leaves, of skins: the fate of Adam and Eve
Key biblical passage: Genesis 1-3
1. Innocence, shame, fear. The succession of garments worn by our first parents illustrate the tragic effect of sin. Initially they were naked and were not ashamed (Gen 2:25); after sin they became afraid (Gen 3:10). Perhaps the most painful blow came when God killed some of his creatures to make them garments of skin for them (Gen 3:21), replacing the fragile fig leaves which they had made for themselves (Gen 3:7).
Question: What evidence is there in Genesis that human awareness of the devastating results of sin came gradually? As reflected in Scripture, how did sin affect each of the following:
- Adam and Eve individually.
- Their marriage
- Humanity in General
- Relationship between God and human beings
Question: Adam and Eve were afraid of God, even though Genesis describes a gentle deity who simply wanted to be with them. Does Old Testament history suggest that one of the most tragic results of sin was the distortion of the human perception of God? Where could the idea of child sacrifice have come from except from a frightened and diseased human imagination?
By Abraham’s time, it seemed natural for God to demand the death of the first born. In Genesis 22, Abraham does not object to God’s command to sacrifice Isaac. But God used the occasion to show that he himself provides the sacrifice, a truth that comes clearest in Jesus’ death on the cross. The Good News Bible version of Micah 6:6-8 hints at the psychology of sin, a psychology that is put to an end once and for all by the death of Jesus on the cross:
What shall I bring to the LORD, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? (7) Will the LORD be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins? (8) No, the LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. – Micah 6:6-8, GNB