Day 2

The Temptation and the Fall

from the Genesis reading plan

Genesis 3:1-24, Romans 5:12-21, Romans 16:20

BY Guest Writer

We have a painting in our home, one depicting a distraught Eve being comforted by a pregnant Mary, who is wiping away Eve’s tears. Her eyes focused on Mary’s belly, she reaches out to touch it, even as her own heel is trampling the serpent’s head (Romans 16:20). It’s an achingly beautiful, succinct depiction of what we lost in Eden, and of God’s never-ceasing pursuit to return us to right relationship with Him.

God’s pursuit of relationship with us is there from the start, in the beginning of His Word. From Genesis 1 and 2, we discover how God formed the earth and everything in it, including man and woman, who He made in His image (Genesis 1:27). He gives Adam and Eve the radical opportunity to rule over the world with Him, cultivating its growth. And out of His relational love for them, He gives them a choice about how they will live and work in this world: will they choose to follow God’s way and His wisdom and instruction for life, or will they choose a different kind of wisdom, one that relies on self-sufficiency and autonomy, apart from Him?

God has already provided Adam and Eve with everything they need to carry out this task, instructing them on what is good for them and what is not (“the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” [vv.16–17]). Prior to the serpent’s persuasive lie (3:4–5), enticing them to their own brand of knowledge, humanity dwelled in perfect harmony with God and one another. But after choosing to eat from the forbidden tree, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked” (3:7). From this point forward, discontent and shame would be a part of the human condition, disobedience would drive a wedge between creation and Creator.

When God asked Adam and Eve where they were that day in Eden (3:9), He already knew, of course. It makes me think the question was certainly more for their sake than His—it had to be. He asks where we are, too, all the while knowing all the dark places we run to, the many ways we attempt to hide our hearts from Him. But He pursues us all the same, fully aware that while He will ultimately defeat the serpent, that same enemy still actively seeks to destroy us (John 10:10), to lure us away from the God who adores us.

I looked at that painting again today. We’ve had it for maybe a decade, but to this day, if I look at it too long, it never fails to wake me to the indifference of my own sin, to the lie of self-sufficiency—it wrecks me.

Honestly, that’s where I’m at today. What about you?

If God were to ask, “Where are you?”, what would you tell Him? Do you believe it’s safe to come out of hiding? Do you trust that our Creator knows what’s best for His own creation? The God of Genesis 1 and 2, is the same God here in chapter 3; He does not change (Hebrews 13:8). He is still in the business of covering our shame with His own righteousness—even when we disobey Him (Genesis 3:21; Romans 5:8,19). Wherever you are, He waits for you.

Kara Gause is a content editor for She Reads Truth, happily residing with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Post Comments (111)

111 thoughts on "The Temptation and the Fall"

  1. Anastasia says:

    Right now I look at this through the lens of stuff and always wanting more of it. I go through phases and I think it’s time for a detox. There’s lots to save up for and I need to remind myself just how much I don’t really need all these things, just that they’re helpful. HE will provide me with everything I need.

  2. Valerie Payton says:

    I’m loving how this study is prepared and laid out!

  3. Lara V says:

    Google “Mary Comforts Eve” or “Mary Consoles Eve” to see the painting. I searched for it after reading this and am glad I did. It’s beautiful.

  4. Yolanda Harbon says:

    He covers OUR shame with HIS righteousness. I’ve heard this for years, and yet when I read it now, I’m seeing it in my heart truthfully for the first time! I have shame in me, there’s no doubt, and yet here is our father God cloaking me, and all of us, in His righteousness! Oh man oh man! Sorry, just gotta go and journal this now! ❤️

  5. Elaine Clark says:

    Interesting how I’ve never thought about Eve’s interpretation of Gods command to not eat of the fruit. Eves interpretation was ghat she couldn’t even touch it.

  6. Deja Gibson says:

    I realize how much we’re like Adam and Eve. We try to fix our problems when we mess up. Just like how they sewed fig leaves together when they realized they were naked. But even in our wrong doing God is still searching for us. He is with us always. My heart is no longer hiding from the Lord ( as if I could hide it from him anyway lol)

  7. Cynthia Ramain says:

    Yes, Kimberly… I have! Not particularly with these two examples, but with the 40 day/40 night floods with Noah. I understand the world at that time was riddled with debauchery, but I always imagine there to be a few good Christians and how God justified it. Then I realize he always has a plan and everything he does is FOR us, his children. And maybe those few were saved before their death in a way we will never know. I think it’s ok to question as we are human, and as long as it doesn’t separate or change our relationship with God. Hope that helps❤️

  8. Kimberly Zoss says:

    Does anyone else have a hard time understanding that our loving God gave us pain? Women have the pain of childbirth and men in their food?? When I think of Jesus, I can’t imagine him wishing pain and suffering on us. God is forgiving, but in his fury with Eve and Adam it doesn’t seem so forgiving by bestowing pain on them.

    1. Katelyn M says:

      For me, it always goes back to God allowing suffering in order to use it to bring us back to Him. It shows us that we need Him and helps us to rely on Him (not ourselves). He’s just, so there needs to be a price for sin, but He redeems it! It’s like how He drove them from the garden so that they wouldn’t gain eternal life, which could be seen as “mean’. He did that so that we wouldn’t be in this broken and sin filled world forever – so we would go home to Him. That’s love!

    2. Elizabeth Amrien says:

      Yes, I have heard the faith described as a journey from longing to wonder. Longing, whether for comfort, joy, truth, or just release, is what sets us on the journey toward wonder. Wonder is the experience of the shepherds at the foot of the manger, and it is our experience too when we comprehend what God has done for us.

      I don’t see the pronouncements in Genesis as punishments from God (as in, now I am going to do this) but as a statement of how reality unfolds in absence of grace. It is really a statement of how sin comes into the world and what life in sinful conditions looks like (it’s hard, it’s painful, it’s full of temptation, and struggle). Sin alters the very nature of reality … as well as our experience of it.

      1. Georgia Di says:

        Great point Elizabeth, I share this perspective, it feels like a statement from Him describing what their choice brings as a consequence to the absence of grace

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