Introduction: For many of us, the story of Adam and Eve with the serpent was shaped from our early childhood. The story begins in a God-given garden of delight, with a very simple cast of characters, Adam, Eve, the serpent, and God. The man and woman were given only one prohibition by God. They were commanded not to eat of one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. A vast array of other beautiful, fruit bearing trees were theirs to enjoy at will. Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God. They decided they wanted to make their own choices. So they chose to do the one thing God told them not to do. The book of Romans records the result of that one act of rebellion: “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” (Romans 5:12 NLT)
Bottom line: Contentment leads to freedom.
Something To Talk About:
- Eve forgot what she already had: Eve truly had it all. She lived in paradise, had a true partnership with a man, an abundance of food and other creature comforts. She lived in a perfect environment. There is nothing in the pollution of that atmosphere, no sinful heritage, no sinful environment. There was no stress, no worries, no regrets, no bitter relationships. And God walked in the garden: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8) Life was perfect. Eve reminds me that we too can forget what we have in God, when tempted by power, knowledge, and the false promise of more life. We believe Eve should have seen through the deceit, but we too often wondered that dangerous wonder, “Maybe this isn’t enough. Maybe I could have more. Know more. Be more.” But if Eve teaches us one thing, it is this: “having it all” doesn’t mean much if “all” doesn’t mean God.
- Eve doubted God’s goodness: The serpent’s lies in the Garden created doubt in Eve. Satan twisted the facts to suit his purposes and to lead Eve’s mind to the conclusion that God was not the generous God she had known Him to be, but rather a stingy, restrictive, joy killer. Once she had let her heart drift to the wrong conclusion, it was easy for her to believe Satan’s lie that God just wanted to keep her from being as knowledgeable as He is. After all,why would He deprive her of wisdom and the enjoyment of food that looked so desirable? Our thoughts are similar to Eve’s when we don’t agree with what God says is best for us. Behind every restriction or commandment the Lord gives to us is His loving care for His followers. He knows the tormenting consequences of sin and wants to deter us from rebellious choices that will wreck our lives. Eve learned through disobedience that God knows what’s best. We have the opportunity each day to discover His goodness by listening to His voice, obeying His commands, and trusting His wisdom.
- Where has gratitude ranked on your list of required Christian qualities up until now? Has the story of Eve changed your mind at all? If so, how?
- Is contentment really our choice? Can we actually decide that we will be content people?
- Read Psalm 116:1-11. How has the author of this psalm experienced God’s goodness? What are different ways you’ve experienced God’s goodness?
- Read Genesis 3:6 (NLT): “The woman was convinced.” What was she convinced of?
- How would you define “temptation” in your own words? Where do you think temptation comes from? What’s the difference between temptation and sin?
- Adam and Eve hid from God. In which ways do you have a tendency to hide from God?
- What is one practical application we can take away from the story of Eve?
Take One Thing Home with You
Genesis 3 relates one of the most amazing stories in the Bible. Eve was convinced by a talking snake that she needed one more thing to make her happy. Today, we read her story and wonder how did she fall for that? She had it all, she had everything she needed to make her happy. Adam and Eve were perfect. Today, it is different. People have real problems and are looking for something. But Adam and Eve were living in a perfect world with no problems. How could they fall for such a line?
The reality is they didn’t really know God. Yes, they walked and talked with God every day in the cool of the evening. But they didn’t really know the nature and character of our loving Father, or it is hard to believe they would have fallen for the lie that God was keeping something good from them. Before Satan could tempt Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, he had to make her believe that the Lord didn’t have her best interests in mind.
God had never given Adam and Eve any reason to doubt His love and care for them, but how did they know there wasn’t something better out there? Since they didn’t know what bad was, they had no way to compare how good God was. They didn’t know that God loved them so much that He would give His only Son to die for them. Their knowledge of God was very limited compared to what we now know of God.
That is not true today. We can actually know God more completely. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word in a way that makes us infinitely more prepared to resist Satan’s lies than Adam and Eve were. What are we doing with that knowledge? Hosea 4:6 (NLT) says, “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me….” We don’t know God as we should. It’s not God’s fault. He has been intricately involved in the affairs of men and has meticulously recorded His dealings in His Word. He has also given us the Holy Spirit to reveal the great truths of His Word to us. We just have a tendency to cut the class.