(Genesis 3.1-13)

This is the story...

...the old people from long ago told their children about how bad things came into the perfect world God had made.

Things were going along quite nicely in the perfect place that God had made for Adam and Eve. But then one perfect, warm sunny day, Eve was walking through the garden. And there, in the middle of the garden, she met the serpent.

You need to know that the serpent was the one we call the devil, or sometimes we call him Satan. Satan is an angel who decided he didn't want to do what God said anymore, so God sent him out of heaven. And from that day on, Satan became God's enemy.

Now, the thing is, Satan is a liar. He has always been a liar. And he is tricky too. And because he is God's enemy, he hates everything God loves, and does everything he can to ruin it.

So the serpent said to Eve,

"Did God really tell you that you couldn't eat the fruit from any tree in the garden?"

That's not what God said at all, and Eve knew it. So she said to the serpent,

"God said we may eat the fruit from any tree in the garden - except the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If we even touch that fruit, we will die." Well, that wasn't quite true either, was it. God never said anything about touching the fruit.

The serpent answered, "That's not true at all! You will not die! God only said that because he knows if you eat that fruit you will become like him. You will become wise. You will know the difference between right and wrong."

And this is where Eve made her big mistake.

Instead of leaving right then, she stayed a while. She saw that the fruit on the tree looked very good. And she started thinking how nice it would be to be like God and know everything. But she also knew that God had said not to eat the fruit from that tree. Except now she was starting to think maybe it would be okay anyway. That fruit did look good. And the more she looked at it, the more she wanted it - and the more she forgot what God had said.

That is how temptation works. It is when you know something is wrong, but you want to do it anyway. And pretty soon the wrong thing you want to do starts to look good. And you think maybe just this one time it will be okay to go ahead and do it. You think the bad things that always come when you do what is wrong won't happen this time.

But they always do.

That's why things are wrong, because when you do them someone always gets hurt, sooner or later. But Eve wasn't thinking about that. She was only thinking about how delicious the forbidden fruit looked.

So Eve took some of the fruit, and she ate it.

And she gave some to Adam, and he ate it.

And all of a sudden they knew that they were naked.

Before that they were like little kids who run around naked and nobody cares - because little kids don't know any better. That's how Adam and Eve were before they ate the fruit God told them not to. Before that, they didn't know any better. They didn't know the difference between right and wrong. Now they did. Now they knew they were naked. And they were embarrassed.

Later that day...

God was walking through the garden in the cool of the evening as he liked to do. But when Adam and Eve heard him coming they hid from him in the bushes. They were embarrassed and afraid. God called to them, "Adam! Eve! Where are you?" (Of course, God knew where they were).

Adam answered from behind the bushes, "Right here, Lord... I heard you coming... so I hid from you... because I am naked."

"Who told you that you were naked?" God asked. "Did you eat the fruit I told not to eat?" God knew that he had. He always knows.

"It wasn't me!" Adam said, "the woman you gave me, she made me do it!"

So God said to Eve, "Is that true?"

And Eve said, "It wasn't me! The serpent made me do it!"

They were in big trouble now.

Next time...

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Paul Dallgas-Frey

Originally written sometime in 1997
Revised a bit November, 2004

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