Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 3: Hiding Out

At this point the first couple knew only good, not evil. But after one bite, they became intimately acquainted with evil. If Satan had said,"For God knows that when you eat of will be like me, knowing good and evil," he would have been telling the whole truth. Too late they became aware that God's word was good and that the Serpents word was evil; they saw the goodness of God's image deformed by the wickedness of sin; and they felt the closeness of God's presence replace with a fearful sense of dread. Sadly, there are some things that once done can never be undone. Thankfully, God still pursues people by name, calling out,"Where are you?"

Today's lesson is based upon Genesis 3:7-13.

1.a. Based on their actions, what type of insight did Adam and Eve develop?

They realized that they were naked.

b. How do you think this experience differed from Satan's promise in verse 5?

Satan didn't describe this action as having any negative connotations. He didn't describe such things as guilt that they would experience. They found out that knowing good and evil comes with good and bad consequences.

2. What did Adam and Eve hear, and how did they respond to the source of this sound?

They heard God in the garden, and became afraid--knowing what they had done--and hid.

Why did Adam and Eve hide from God? Most commentators agree that sin develops guilt, and guilt leads to fear. For the first time in their lives they were afraid of God. In a futile attempt they sought to hide from an all-knowing God. Fellowship was broken. Communion was replaced with confusion.

3. How did God respond to Adam's absence? What does this tell you about His character?

God came looking for Adam and called for him. This tells me that even if I don't come to Him, He is going to actively seek me!

4.a. Describe Adam's emotional state.

Adam is afraid! He knows what he has done is wrong, so he feels guilty. He might even feel angry at Eve for giving him the fruit. He is afraid of what God will do/say, too.

b. Why do you think he felt this way?

He knows he went against God's command, and that this was wrong.

5. Underline the word naked, which is repeated three times in this text. Define what you think it means in this story.

It means literal nakedness in the physical form, but it can also mean laid bare with all our weaknesses and sins exposed.

6.a. Who did Adam blame, and who did Eve blame?

Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent.

b. Explain their reasons for blaming someone else.

Like all of us, they didn't want to be responsible for their own sinful behavior.

7. What do you think motivates us as humans to become blame shifters? How do you think we could break this pattern?

We want the attention to be off us, and want to have someone else to be responsible for what we do. It doesn't feel 'good' to take the blame. With practice and God's help, we can humble ourselves and say that yes, we are wrong.

8. Eve's and Adam's eyes were opened so that they developed a conscience. As Christian women, our conscience and spiritual discernment enable us to fight against the works of the flesh. Read the following passage, and describe which fruit(s) of the Spirit can conquer which works of the flesh. (Example: love conquers hatred.)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries...But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:19-23.

Love conquers hatred, joy conquers outbursts of wrath, kindness conquers dissensions, goodness conquers jealousies, faithfulness conquers adultery, gentleness conquers murders, self-control conquers fornication, lewdness, uncleanness, drunkenness, and revelries.

9. We've seen the downward spiral Adam's and Eve's sin caused: They were afraid, they became ashamed, and they hid themselves. Use these three sentences to describe a time you fell into the same downward cycle.

I felt afraid when...
I was discovered somewhere that I wasn't sure I should be.

I was ashamed when...

Others knew I was where I wasn't comfortable being alone.

I tried to hide by...

Covering up my cleavage, which made it look like I had nothing on, and made it worse.

10.a. We know that the first couple tried to shift the blame for their sin. Adam accused Eve, and Eve blamed the Serpent. Psalm 51 records David's confession of sin with Bathsheba after being rebuked by the prophet Nathan. Read the psalm, and describe the view of God that David expresses.

David views God as forgiving even though He doesn't have to be.

b. What does David request?

to be washed clean of his sin and be able to start anew.

c. Ultimately who has he sinned against?


d. What does God require of the sinner?

He requires confession and a change in behavior, and a desire to improve and walk with Him.

e. If there's something you've been trying to hide or shift the blame about, confess it to God right now an experience the relief felt by King David and others through the ages.

The day's lesson ends with a quote from Angelus Silesius:

Silence, O sinner, stop! Accuse not Eve and Adam.
Without that incident, its you who would have done it.