Introduction: Last week we studied how sin first entered the universe
and then our little world. Did God have a plan in place to meet this
challenge? Did Satan have a plan to increase his gains? Let’s dive
into our study and find out!

  1. Barred from the Tree of Life

    1. Read Genesis 3:22. In the last two weeks someone sent me a
      little booklet suggesting that if I ate the “original
      diet” of Adam and Eve (see Genesis 1:29) that I could
      greatly lengthen my life. What does Genesis 3:22 suggest
      was the special dietary secret to long life? (The tree of

      1. I understand that Adam and Eve were barred from the
        tree of life because they had sinned. But, why did
        the fact that they now had the same kind of knowledge
        as God had, mean that they had to die? (1. Life is a
        gift from God. By sinning, humans had forfeited the
        right to this gift. 2. God did not want to
        perpetuate sin. 3. God had warned them of the
        penalty. Genesis 2:15-17. God’s warning had become
        the major point of the controversy. Genesis 3:4.)

    2. Read Genesis 3:23-24. What does the posting of the guard
      say about the new relationship between God and humans?
      (God could not trust them.)

      1. How do you think Adam and Eve reacted to the guard?

    3. Let’s go back and read Genesis 3:21. God banished them
      from the Garden of Eden. God posted a guard at the tree of
      life. What note does verse 21 give us about the
      relationship between humans and God? (Eternal life was a
      gift from God they had forfeited, but God continued to
      give them gifts to aid them in their life.)

      1. What significance do you find in God making garments
        of skin? (This means animals died to improve the life
        of humans. God is giving Adam and Eve a perpetual
        reminder that sin brings death. God is also giving
        them a “type” (a symbol) of the future plan of
        salvation – one life for another.)

      2. People who suggest that I take up the “original diet”
        never suggest that I should take up the original

  2. The Boys

    1. Read Genesis 4:1-2. Which son had the more noble
      profession? (Cain seemed to be doing exactly what God had
      commanded. Genesis 3:17-19, 23. Abel, on the other hand,
      had that “no sweat” job of watching animals.)

    2. Read Genesis 4:3-5. What do we learn about God’s unstated
      worship requirements? (The Bible does not directly state
      what God told humans about worship, forgiveness of sin,
      etc. However, with the background of the rest of the Old
      Testament, we now know that God had instituted the
      sacrificial system among humans. When you sinned, you
      sacrificed an animal.)

      1. To what did this system of worship point? (The
        sacrifice of the lamb symbolized Jesus’ coming death
        on our behalf. See John 1:29 and Revelation 13:8.
        This is further proof of God’s plan for the salvation
        of humans.)

      2. What was going through Cain’s mind that caused him to
        be angry? What kind of “self-defense” argument would
        you guess Cain had constructed in his mind? (First,
        he was sweating with “earth work” – which was
        precisely what God had commanded. Second, he was
        bringing the results of his own work. It was a
        diverse world, each one brought his own talents to
        the table, each one understood God’s requirements in
        his own, unique way. No one had any right to judge
        him. He applied God’s word to his own distinct
        background – which was gardening instead of

    3. Read Genesis 4:6-7. Considering what God said to Cain, how
      would you characterize God’s attitude? (God is trying to
      reason with Cain. God is being sympathetic. God is
      counseling Cain. At the same time, God stands firm on what
      is required. God has a standard that does not vary based
      on our diversity of views and talents.)

      1. Do you think Cain fully understood the reason for
        God’s specific system of worship? (I doubt that Cain
        fully understood the details of the plan of
        salvation. My bet is that he just thought: “I
        brought the best of what I do. I do the more
        appropriate work. God is being arbitrary in telling
        me I must sacrifice an animal instead of

      2. What does God’s worship requirement teach us about
        the other religions of the world? (Years ago I had
        someone ask me, “How do you know that Christianity,
        instead of Islam, is the right religion?” That
        question bothered me enough that I started studying
        Islam and found that it relies upon the Old
        Testament. Both Judaism and Islam accept the Cain and
        Able story as true, yet both Judaism and Islam do not
        “sacrifice the Lamb” in their system of worship. They
        both have a “Cain problem.” God’s sacrificial system
        shows His plan for dealing with sin. Any religious
        belief that does not follow this pattern is missing
        God’s master plan for dealing with the entry of sin
        into our world.)

    4. Read Genesis 4:8. Put yourself in the place of Adam and
      Eve. How do you think Adam and Eve felt about this?

      1. Did they blame themselves for this murder?

        1. Should they have?

      2. How did we get from perfect, sinless, God-created
        humans to a murderer in one generation?

      3. Read 1 John 3:11-13. What answer does this text give
        to our murderer in one generation question? (Humans
        choose sides. Those who choose evil hate those who
        choose right.)

        1. Is this “hating righteousness” the essence of
          Satan’s plan to expand his kingdom?

      4. Sin has now shown its true colors. Satan, the
        serpent, has shown the ultimate result of his way of
        life. Since God had His plan for dealing with sin in
        place, why didn’t God call an end to sin right then?
        Why wait 2,000 years to fulfill the plan? Why not
        send Jesus right now? Isn’t the error of Satan’s way
        and his plan for conquest now clear to all observers?

  3. Abraham and Isaac

    1. Read Genesis 22:1-2. Would Abraham’s reaction to this
      instruction from God be the same as ours? (I assume that
      other “gods” sanctioned child-sacrifice and Abraham knew
      about this practice. There are at least five references in
      the Bible (see, e.g., Jeremiah 32:35) which specifically
      state that child sacrifice is “detestable” to God. In our
      case then, the oral word would contradict the written
      word. That was not true for Abraham.)

      1. Read Genesis 21:12. What other contradiction did
        Abraham have to sort out? (That Isaac was the
        fulfilment of God’s promise for many descendants.)

    2. Read Genesis 22:6-8. What do you think Abraham meant here?
      What do you think he believed would happen?

      1. Given God’s promise for Isaac’s future, given the
        love of a father who has a son late in life, was
        anything more important to Abraham than his son,

    3. Read Genesis 22:9-13. Why did God put Abraham through
      this? ( Genesis 22:1 & 12 indicate that God was testing
      Abraham. I think there is a larger explanation that is
      revealed in Genesis 22:8. God provided the Lamb for our
      sins. This test of Abraham is intended to forcibly bring
      home the point to fathers and mothers the extent of God’s
      love for us. It is intended to bring home the point that
      while giving up our children will not cure the sin
      problem, God is looking for our unselfish obedience in
      response to His sacrificial love towards us.)

  4. The Snake

    1. Read Numbers 21:4-5. Since we are on the topic of parents,
      do you parents hear something familiar in this text about
      the exodus from Egypt? Does this have the general sound
      of young children?

    2. Read Numbers 21:6-7. Why is this an appropriate response
      to complaining? (The complainers were rejecting God’s
      provision for their life. On another note, it might be a
      good idea to post this text in the place where your church
      has fellowship dinner.)

    3. Read Numbers 21:8-9. The story seems to get more bizarre.
      If you are dying from snake bite, why would looking at a
      model of a snake be the logical cure? (I believe the
      theological point for us is that we must face our sins to
      be forgiven. The serpent represented sin. God wanted the
      Israelites to face their sins. In the plan of salvation
      which God had in place, we must face and confess our sins
      as a condition to taking advantage of God’s provision (the
      death of His Son) for our salvation.)

    4. Friend, from the Creation, God had in place a plan for
      your salvation. That plan was fulfilled in Jesus sinless
      life and death on our behalf. Will you face your sins by
      confessing them and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on your
      behalf? The alternative is a life where “the plan” is to
      hate those who choose Jesus.

  5. Next week: Jesus and the Sanctuary.