Community Group Study “Genesis: The Fallout”
Before your community group meets:
Read Genesis 3:8-19.
What are the immediate effects of Adam and Eve’s sin in their distrust of God? List out 4-5 things you see in Genesis 3:8-13 alone.
Genesis 3:14-19 is typically referred to as “the curse”, in these verses God gives judgment for sin’s entrance into the world. How does sin specifically affect the 3 different characters in the story? Can you see any categories of where they will feel the effects of sin
Where do typically feel the effects of sin most in your life? Does it relate to any of these categories.
We opened up our study of Genesis 3 with a look at how Eve was tempted to doubt God’s word and her identity as being made in God’s image. All sin comes from the temptation that arises from these two doubts. We wonder if God can be trusted and if we are who He says we are.
Genesis 3:8 opens up with God “discovering” Adam and Eve’s sin. As the passage unfolds, God’s response to their sin is both a mixture of mercy and judgement. This section is typically referred to as “the Curse” because God judges the serpent, Eve and Adam for their disobedience and distrust. However, notice that one two things are specifically called “cursed” – the serpent and the ground. Adam and Eve are not called “cursed”, they are judged but God will work out a plan of redemption and blessing for his image bearers, even in their sin.
Eve and Adam are judged with specific areas where they will experience frustration and disharmony with God, each other and the world he made. We can think about these areas like fault lines or fractures. Fault lines are geological regions where the earth shifts. At certain times the shifts are small and other times they’re large enough you feel the earth quake. As people in the world, we will experience sin and evil in many ways because the world is broken, but these are intensified areas where frustration, evil and brokenness will be felt in even greater magnitude.
Before we get to these areas, let’s observe something really important about God’s character first. God gives us a vivid picture of his mercy in his judgement. First of all, even though God knows that they’ve sinned, he was not surprised by the temptation in the garden, God still seeks them out with his presence (Genesis 3:8-9). Second, God asks them questions about what happened showing us that God gives a thorough examination before dispensing justice. Finally, the consequence of eating the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was death (Genesis 2:17), and what we observe is spiritual death occurs instantly in their shame, guilt and hiding from God; however God delays their physical death which shows us His heart to want to redeem and restore lost and broken sinners.
Sin’s presence can be seen immediately in our passage. Adam and Eve cover up their nakedness and then immediately experience shame, guilt and distrust of God. That distrust is manifested in their hiding from God and being afraid of his presence. Finally, they experience distrust and separation from each other in their blame shifting. Adam blames God “it was because of this woman you gave me!”… Eve blames the serpent “who deceived” her. The serpent remains silent because he has no one to blame, his mission was accomplished and he appears to silently gloat.
God’s judgment is applied specifically to the three characters in the passage:
First, the serpent, who is Satan, will be made low with forced humiliation. Satan’s key sin is pride (Ezekiel 28:1, 6, 13-17) and God forces him to be low physically by making the serpent crawl on the ground. Likewise, God numbers his days with what’s often called the “first gospel” (the first hint of the good news); one is coming who will defeat him. Satan will put up a fight, but will ultimately be destroyed by the offspring of Eve who is to come. On this side of the cross, we see this as a prophecy pointing to Jesus and his victory.
Then, God curses the woman primarily in the area of relational disharmony. First of all, children will enter the world with great pain. Second, she will have a desire for her husband. We can read this and think maybe that’s a good thing, but this word “desire” is used to describe a passion to rule over someone else (see Genesis 4:7, it is very clear that the intentions are not good here). If we go back to this idea that the curse is a “fault line” where sin is felt in an intensified way, this means that her identity as mother and wife will be a constant source of disharmony, brokenness and frustration.
Finally, God curses the man. Adam gets called out by God for his passivity and not listening to the voice of God (Genesis 3:17). Then, God disrupt’s Adam’s relationship with the ground. God formed Adam from the ground and gave him the call to work and keep it. Under the curse, the ground will work against him with thorns and thistles making work a source of constant frustration and brokenness for the man. God finally reminds Adam that he is now destined for dust which is an image pointing to his physical death.
It is important to know that these curses are specifically applied to the woman and the man, but that does not mean that women do not experience frustration and sin with work or that men do not experience brokenness in relationships. However, these are specific and intensified areas of sin that affect how man and woman were originally created.
As you read through and study Genesis 3:8-19, look for the fault lines and fractures where sin is felt but also keep your eyes open to how God provides mercy and grace even in the midst of judgment.
At your community group:
Take 15-20 minutes to share about how God has been at work in your life, prayer concerns and pray for one another.
How did God speak to you through the scripture and the sermon this week?
Scripture and Discussion Questions:
Adam and Eve chose knowledge and self-rule over trust in God when they ate of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. How is this distrust of God seen in Genesis 3:8-11?
Generally we see that sin is experienced by all people in shame, guilt, blame shifting, distrust of God in his word and our identity. However, we read that God specifically applied curses to the serpent, woman and man. What is God teaching us through these specific curses?
How does God show his grace to Adam and Eve after their sin? What does this teach us about God’s character and ways?
Read Genesis 3:20-24. Write out 7-10 observations you see in the passage.
Why does God cover Adam and Eve before sending them out of the garden? If you have access to some study bibles this may be an interesting area to research.
What are some ways that God has shown you grace recently despite your sin struggles? Spend some time praying and thanking God for his grace and asking for his help to keep growing in your holiness and trust of him.