CREATION AND ‘THE FALL’ GENESIS 2–3
Bible Background: It’s important to note that there is not 1 story, but 2 stories of creation in the opening chapters of Genesis. Chapter 2 is the personal, ‘hands-on’ story of God creating the first humans. Everything is wonderful for just a brief time in the story. Then, temptation and the choice to not trust God upsets everything. Think of Genesis 1 & 2 as separate and complementary stories of creation!
Digging Deeper: 1. Genesis 2:4 starts with a second version of how humans came to be! “God breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life!” Then God puts the man in the garden (of Eden) to “till and keep it.” Next, God creates woman, because God sees “It is not good that the man should be alone.” Next, the writer introduces the possibilities and problems of temptation and free-will.
2. Tradition identifies the ‘serpent’ as the devil. The story itself says nothing about that. The serpent is also a creature which God has made! All the serpent does to get the woman’s attention is to ask “Did God say….?” In the dialogue that follows the serpent suggests that eating the forbidden fruit would make them “like God, knowing good and evil.” What could be good or bad about that desire?
3. At the heart of this story is not whether eating forbidden fruit (not an apple or a fig, by the way!) is the problem, but whether the woman and man are willing and able to trust God to know what is best for them. When is it hard to trust that God knows our needs and has our best interests at heart? Name some of those areas of life that maybe should be ‘off limits’ to humans, and should be left to God’s wisdom and judgement….for example, what are some of those times when we, or judges, or lawmakers, or medical or military decisions take over the role of God?
4. Traditionally, this is known as “The Story of the Fall”, as in, how the human race fell into sin, or fell out of the grace of God. What’s your take on this? Does this story describe how everything changed in a moment from perfection to brokenness? Or is the writer trying to say with just a few word-pictures, of why life and the choices we make and the relationships we have with God and with each other are so complex? Where for you is the ‘good news’ and the ‘bad news’ in this story?