Introduction: There is an old saying: “You get one shot at the king;
either you kill him or he kills you.” Imagine the thinking of Satan:
if you were given one opportunity to test the loyalty of Adam and
Eve, wouldn’t you bring your best argument, your best temptation?
Everything was riding on that “one shot.” Let’s jump into our lesson
and consider Satan’s decision on how to test the loyalty of God’s
newly minted humans!

  1. The Shot

    1. Read Genesis 3:1. So far, I’ve been arguing that the
      Biblical account of the Creation is literal. Is this text
      also literal? Is a snake really speaking to Eve?

      1. Why does the Bible tell us that the snake was the
        smartest animal around? (It suggests that if any
        animal could speak, this one could.)

      2. Is this just a very smart snake? (A New Testament
        story gives us a strong clue. Mark 5 contains the
        story of the demons “Legion” who possessed first a
        man and later a herd of pigs. The demons spoke
        through the man, according to the Biblical account,
        and they could have spoken through the pigs. I think
        that is what is happening here. Satan takes control
        of a snake. Because snakes are so smart, Eve is not
        shocked to hear a snake talk.)

      3. Why does Satan ask about eating from trees?
        (Remember, this is the “test,” the “one shot.” You
        don’t want anyone arguing later that Eve “missed the
        meeting” about eating from the trees. Satan did not
        want a dispute about whether she understood God’s

    2. Read Genesis 3:2-3. Think back to last week. Does Eve
      answer correctly? (She is both wrong and ambiguous. Review
      Genesis 2:16-17. God did not say anything about “touching”
      the fruit. According to the Bible He merely said “Don’t
      eat.” Plus, there were two trees in the middle of the
      garden: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the
      Tree of Life. ( Genesis 2:9))

      1. Was refraining from touching the fruit a good idea?
        (If you are going to avoid eating it, it helps if you
        avoid touching it.)

      2. Was Eve doing the right thing in saying that if she
        touched the fruit she would die? (Read Deuteronomy
        4:1-2. I think it is a serious mistake to confuse
        what is a “good idea” with what God actually said.
        When you teach your children about sin, do not
        confuse in their minds what is actually sin and what
        are good ideas to avoid sin. Otherwise, when they
        violate your “good idea” and find no harm, they will
        think that the same is true with sin.)

    3. Read Genesis 3:4-5. This is Satan’s “shot” to obtain the
      loyalty of humans. Analyze Satan’s approach. What does he
      do? (First, he flatly contradicts God. Second, Satan
      suggests that God has lied to Eve so that she will remain
      inferior. She can be like God.)

      1. How would you characterize Satan’s temptation to Eve?
        Is it appetite? Is it trust? Is it greed? Is it
        vanity? Is it pride?

      2. Compare Genesis 3:22 with Genesis 3:5. Was Satan
        telling the truth? (In part.)

      3. Did God hide the fact that He did not want humans to
        know about evil? (Review Genesis 2:17. God gives the
        tree the label “knowledge of good and evil.” He does
        not explain why they should not eat it. He just tells
        them the penalty.)

        1. What lesson is there in this for you today? (We
          laugh at parents who answer the “Why?” of their
          children with “Because I told you so!” I
          determined that I would always give my children
          a reason for my rules. Perhaps that was the
          wrong approach. On some things we need to learn
          that God does not need to explain His rules to
          humans other than to say, “I’m God and you are

        2. Is the mere retelling of the fall of humans an
          explanation of God’s rules?

  2. The Fall

    1. Read Genesis 3:6. Why did Eve eat the fruit when she knew
      what God said? (The text says that the fruit was desirable
      to look at. It looked like good food. It would give her

      1. Why would the appearance of the fruit be a major
        factor in Eve’s decision? (What she saw contradicted
        what she expected from a tree that God said would
        cause death. Surely a “death tree” would have ugly,
        or at least suspicious-looking fruit.)

      2. Was Eve’s sin a gradual one? (I think a major problem
        was that Eve misstated the law of God ( Genesis 3:3).
        She touched the fruit before she ate it. Because she
        did not die when she touched the fruit, she was led
        to believe that God was not trustworthy and she would
        gain wisdom by eating it.)

      3. How many times have you thought that God was
        untrustworthy when the real problem was your failure
        to read and understand God’s word?

    2. Why did Adam eat the fruit in violation of God’s command?
      (Read 1 Timothy 2:14. Paul tells us that Adam was not

      1. Paul seems to conclude that Adam is entitled to some
        credit because he was not deceived and Eve was
        deceived. How do you look at this? (All sin is sin,
        but I look at deliberate disobedience in a far worse
        light. Consider how you compare the two when your
        children disobey you.)

    3. If you were giving advice to Eve, what would it be? (She
      should have been on full alert when the serpent
      contradicted God ( Genesis 3:4). She should have been more
      familiar with God’s word. She should have trusted God and
      not her own intellect. She should have been satisfied with
      the knowledge God had given her.)

    4. What advice would you give Adam? (With Eve, it seems there
      is room to get this right “next time.” With Adam, he just
      seemed to flatly disobey God.)

  3. The Promise

    1. Let’s read the ultimate results of this story. Read
      Genesis 3:14-15. Is God speaking literally, or

      1. If you say “literally,” what “offspring” does Satan

      2. Does this just mean that we won’t like snakes, that
        they will bite us down low and we will stomp on their
        heads when we see them?

      3. If you say “figuratively,” explain to me:

        1. What is meant by striking the “heel” versus
          “crushing the head?”

        2. What is meant by enmity with the serpent and his

        3. We say, “love the sinner and hate the sin.” If
          you said that “offspring” figuratively means the
          followers of Satan, then are we not expected to
          have enmity against “those people?” (Revelation
          12:17 clearly states that we are at war with
          Satan. Logically, that includes his followers.)

          1. How do you reconcile Luke 6:35 (“love your
            enemies” or Romans 5:8 (“while we were
            still sinners, Christ died for us”) with
            the idea of enmity against the offspring?
            (Love towards our enemies is a weapon of
            war against them ( Romans 12:20).)

      4. What does the “crushing the head” tell us about the
        outcome of the war with Satan? (We will win. He will

  4. Results of the Fall

    1. Read Genesis 4:1-2. What is Eve’s attitude towards her

    2. Read Genesis 4:3-7. What is Cain’s problem? (He was not
      “doing right” when it came to his choice of offerings.)

      1. Look deeper. Why is this such a serious matter? (The
        sacrifice of a lamb looked forward to Jesus’ death on
        our behalf. Bringing to God what is logical – given
        your line of work – is the “works” approach to
        salvation. Like his mother, Cain decided that he
        could make his own judgment on how to obey God.)

    1. Read Genesis 4:8. What motive does Cain have to kill Abel?

      1. What does this tell us about Satan? What is his
        attitude towards humans? His attitude towards you?

      2. Imagine the thoughts of Eve and Adam about this
        murder. Would they blame themselves?

    2. Friend, consider the nature of sin. We go from simple
      deception, distrust and a desire to be like God, to pre-meditated murder in a single generation. Consider what
      Satan has in mind for you! Whose side will you choose?

  1. Next week: Destruction and Renewal.