Lesson 2: A Humanitarian in the Face of Rebellion

Study Guide Pages 11-18

Blatant disrespect makes our blood boil. Our temperatures immediately rise when we see someone trashing the flag. Or when a child deliberately disobeys their parents.

It’s even worse when we are the one being disrespected. We draw a line with our teenager telling them not to cross it. Instead, they look us right in the eye and then intentionally step across it.

This is what Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit. Theirs was the ultimate act of disrespect. God had done so much for them. He had created them perfectly. He had given them a perfect Paradise to live in. And he only gave them a single command to obey. “Don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Even this command was a blessing. For by obeying it, Adam and Eve had a tangible way to demonstrate their love for God.

But they didn’t obey. Even though they understood it perfectly. They knowingly ate the fruit. God had drawn the line, and they intentionally crossed it.

Their actions don’t get any better. Instead of running to God and confessing what they had done, they hid from him. When God confronted them, Adam had the audacity to blame God.

“The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

Genesis 3:12

Talk about blatant disrespect! If anybody deserved to have God rain down lightning bolts on them, it was Adam and Eve.

But that isn’t what God did. Yes, he made them suffer serious consequences for their sin. He drove them from Paradise. He told them how their sin would result in their experiencing hard labor. But that’s not all he did. He also clothed them. And most importantly, he gave them hope. He immediately promised that one of their descendants would defeat the devil for them and save them. He didn’t put them on probation. He didn’t make them wonder if he would totally reject them. He gave them immediate comfort and reassurance.

It’s difficult to react graciously in the face of rebellion and disrespect. That, however, is what God did with Adam and Eve. This is what he does for us. That is why he is the ultimate humanitarian.

Key Bible Verses

Adam and Eve’s desired to be like God. They ate from the forbidden fruit and brought sin into the world along with all of it consequences.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3:6

Adam and Eve rebelled against God and destroyed their perfect relationships with him and each other. However, God promised that he would send a Savior who would rescue them from sin, death, and Satan.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:15

Questions to Consider

  1. Why did God give Adam and Eve the command, “Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”?
  2. Why was eating from the forbidden tree the ultimate act of disrespect? (What did this disrespect say to God?) Why did it have such serious consequences?
  3. The Fall damaged three different relationships. What were those relationships, and how was each damaged? How do we still see the effects of that damage today?
  4. Some have falsely taught that the Fall was “good” and even “necessary” for humanity. Is listening to Satan ever a “good” thing? (Read more about this “good fall” concept in the For Further Study section)
  5. In what various ways do humans continue to behave in ways first modeled by Adam and Eve?
  6. How was God’s act of driving Adam and Eve from the garden one of grace?
  7. How does God’s treatment of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden help us understand his relationship with us now?

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