1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed , has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden ‘?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat ; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ ” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die ! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate ; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 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 loin coverings. 8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked ; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked ? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat ?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done ?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field ; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken ; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” 20 Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. 21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. 22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil ; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever “- 23 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. (Genesis 3:1-13,17-23 NASB – emphasis mine)
What just happened?
How did the first humans go from having the Breath of Life in them, and the power to complete creation and to be God’s presence on the earth to being nothing but dust again, toiling away in dust and returning to dust when they die? [This question isn’t rhetorical. This is an opportunity for kids to narrate back the story they just heard, for practice in retention, and so you can hear from their lips what they heard and understood.]
Did Adam and Eve die when they ate the fruit, like God said?
Well, they could still talk and walk around it looks like. But some very important things changed. What were those things?
For starters, they felt ashamed. Suddenly they looked at themselves, and felt like something was wrong with them. So they tried to fix it themselves by covering themselves up to hide what was wrong.
They were afraid of God. They had never been afraid of God before. They had always talked to him and known he loved them. Now they hid from him. They didn’t want him to see what was wrong with them. They knew now that something was wrong, and they didn’t want him to see.
But God knows that something has gone wrong. He knows that they shouldn’t be afraid, or ashamed. And he knows how it happened too.
Eve wanted to impress God, or be more special, by knowing about good and evil, instead of just trusting God, instead of just breathing his breath. She wanted to breath on her own, and there was no life there. Now she and Adam are stuck with the knowledge of good and evil and no life, and the earth is changed because of it. Think about how much power God must have given them for their choice to change the earth as significantly as it did. Because they didn’t obey, the ground was cursed, thorns and thistles grew out of it, and because they lost the Breath of Life, everything was going to be hard for them to do now. Just surviving was going to be hard.
Not only that, but now they would know death. They would go back to the dust God made them from. God had to send them out of the garden. Everything had changed.
How do you think God felt about all of this? Can you tell from the story?
How do you think he felt about Adam and Eve?
Let’s look at what he does. He calls for them. He looks for them. Then he tells them the full weight of what they did, and what will happen because of it. But he doesn’t abandon them there. He gives them clothes of animal skin and sends them out of the garden into the world they were meant to rule, to make it as best they can.
But this isn’t the end of the story. Thankfully. Because God is going to find a way to put his breath back into us. This is the story of advent. This is the story of the whole Bible, how God is going to get the Breath of Life back into people.