Adam and Eve’s story of trading their friendship with God for worldly knowledge is the greatest tragedy in human history. The consequences of their mistake altered a perfect reality far different from what we see around us. Find out how their story affects your life today.
(This story is based upon true events, though the names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.)
Chrystal and Amber had been best friends for over three years. They did almost everything together, and they shared almost everything too. That is except for one tightly kept secret known only by Amber. Perhaps it was innocent naïveté at first then shame later on followed by fears of everyone “knowing your dirty laundry,” but she never dared broach the issue—not even with Chrystal. Until one night while on a Club Beyond/Malachi service project in the Czech Republic. Written in a letter to her leader she confessed in blue cursive ink, “My dad is molesting me.” Courage finally overcame fear. Light triumphed over darkness; truth overpowered lies. Chrystal was bewildered; Amber was relieved. They embraced each other in mutual support as never before.
Do you know anyone like Amber? Maybe you know her story all too well. Have you ever wished you could “replace” your dad with someone else? In seven years of direct work with military teens, I wish I could say that this was the only case of abuse I heard about among teens. The night I learned of the abuse, I wondered, “Why now on a trip like this?” Then I remembered a testimony given by Amber’s small group leader weeks earlier at a Club meeting. She shared with the group the story of her own rape experience and the long process of healing that followed. It was a tearful, heavy night. But unknown to anyone else, the leader’s story deeply connected with Amber’s. Looking back with hindsight I firmly believe it was her leader’s open transparency that gave Amber the courage to tell somebody. Nor do I believe it to be coincidental that Amber opened up to this particular leader.
Friends, your story matters! Nothing ever happens in isolation; everything is connected. Even events that happened long ago can have a lasting impact even to today. We are now about to learn about a tragedy that had lasting consequences; it was the day Adam and Eve and the rest of the whole human race rejected their first daddy and got a second daddy in His place.
In another study, we examined how God created the world and Adam and Eve as his special representatives on earth. They were to reflect, or image, their Father and Creator. In other words, their identity was totally and completely wrapped around God. The world at that time was blissful. Everything existed in perfect harmony—no pain, suffering, evil, or fear were ever known or felt in Genesis 1 and 2. Wow! It literally was heaven on earth. Can you imagine such a place!? And check this out: just as God ruled the universe, Adam and Eve were given responsibility to rule all creation on earth. Seems unreal doesn’t it? What dignity, meaning, and value God instilled upon humanity! Yet, as Amber’s story illustrates and as you (military teens who know the horrible consequences of war) know all too well, our world looks altogether different from what is described in the Bible’s opening chapters. With that as the preface, read Adam and Eve’s story in Genesis 3. Their story, which happened thousands of years ago, is inextricably connected to ours. I challenge you to connect the dots!
Scripture: Genesis 3:1–24
- Consider Eve for a moment. It was easier for her to believe the serpent’s lie than trust in God’s truth (Genesis 2:17). Do you find that that is also true for you? If so, how so?
- In Genesis 1, we see that God evaluates each aspect of his creation and declares it good. In Genesis 3, Eve looks at the fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and makes her own evaluation (see Genesis 3:6). In what ways have you observed either yourself or your friends evaluating life by the light of their own reason rather than God’s? Does it appear to be working for them? Why or why not?
- Given what Adam and Eve did, do you believe God’s judgments were fair? Why or why not?
- Adam and Eve rejected God as their daddy when they ate the fruit. In doing so, the tempter, in the guise of a snake and later known as Satan, became their new daddy. What did it mean for them to have Satan as their daddy? What does it mean for us today?
- Describe in your own words why Genesis 3 is considered the greatest tragedy of human history.
- Remember that two-minute exchange from Remember the Titans?
- Gerry Bertier, like Adam, also had two daddies. But he could only have one daddy at a time. Would it have been possible for him to have two daddies at one time? Is it possible for you?
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Lord, I confess to you that I never fully realized how tragic Adam and Eve’s decision was for the whole human race. For the first time, I am now finally beginning to see that Adam and Eve could not represent, or image, both you and Satan at the same time. Will you help me understand where I get my identity? Help me to make right choices. Amen.