Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Questions to Consider
1. Review what we learned about Eve – the kind of person she was, her responsibilities, the world in which she lived – from lesson 3 (link above).
2. Read Genesis 3:1-6 in light of 1:26-28 and 2:19-20. There are three constructs in these earlier passages to note: a) Eve was made in God’s image, b) Eve was to exercise dominion over Creation, and c) no animal was found suitable as (“corresponding to”) a helper to Adam so that God had to specially create Eve. How did these three constructs impact (or how should they have impacted) Eve’s interaction with the serpent? Was she acting and speaking as an image bearer and representative of God? Was she exercising dominion over this creature? Was she being the helper to Adam that God created her to be?
3. What is the serpent’s question to Eve? (1) How did Eve answer? (2-3) Compare 3:1-3 to 2:16-17. What are the discrepancies between what God said and what the serpent quotes Him as saying? Between what God said and Eve’s answer to the serpent? Did God give the instructions in 2:16-17 to Adam and Eve? (hint: see 2:15-18) How might this account for the difference in God’s actual instruction in 2:16-17 and Eve’s understanding of His instruction in 3:2-3?
4. Examine the serpent’s remarks to Eve (1,4-5). How would you characterize this deception – was it an obvious, 100% lie, or a twisting of the truth? In what specific ways did each of the serpent’s statements twist God’s words? Eve had both the spoken words of God and personal knowledge of His nature and character. How could Eve have been a good Berean in her interaction with the serpent? How were the serpent’s remarks a form of “extra-Biblical revelation” (when someone purports to speak for God outside of God’s written Word)?
5. Remember that, at this time (3:1-6), Eve was in a face to face, personal relationship with God, unmarred by sin, much like a Christian’s relationship with God in Heaven will be. Think about how she would have wanted to relate to God in this perfect situation. Would it have been tempting to Eve to do something that she knew was blatantly wrong (ex: murder, lying)? Considering how she would have wanted to please God, honor God, and know Him better, in what ways was the serpent’s temptation a “perfect fit” for Eve? Was he tempting her to do something she thought was evil or something she thought was godly?
6. Think back over your answers to questions 4 and 5. Do you see any similarities between Satan’s twisting of God’s words and the way false teachers twist God’s Word today? How can you be a good Berean when you examine the words of a pastor or Bible teacher? Why is it so important to compare everything you’re taught to God’s written Word for yourself, even if the teacher says she’s telling you what the Bible says? As a Christian woman, desiring to please God, honor God, and know Him better, as Eve did, do you see how you might be deceived by false doctrine or “new and improved” ways to please Him that He has not commanded in His Word?
7. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” How does this statement relate to Eve in 3:1-6?
8. Why did the serpent approach Eve (1) instead of Adam? Consider the many strengths God has hardwired into women and how the serpent manipulated Eve, using her qualities of trust, giving the benefit of the doubt, kindness, etc., against her. How do these Scriptures relate to this aspect of Eve’s temptation?
9. Examine verse 6. What three things did Eve see about the tree? How did the tree tempt her sense of practicality, her flesh, and her emotional desires? In what ways can today’s false teachers tempt women in these three areas? Should we give in to these feelings, desires, and temptations as Eve did, or should we obey God’s Word in spite of temptation and our feelings and desires as Eve should have?
10. How did Eve’s sin influence Adam to sin? (6) How did Eve sin against God by failing at her job as Adam’s helper? In what ways do we influence our husbands, children, fellow church members, and others to sin when we give into temptation? How would this passage have ended differently if Eve had acted as a good Berean and properly fulfilled her role as Adam’s helper?
Examine a teaching video from a “Christian” celebrity such as Paula White, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, or T.D. Jakes. Listen for phrases such as “God says…”, “God wants you to…”, “Christians are supposed to…” and other definitive statements the teacher wants you to believe are from God or from the Bible. Each time you hear such a statement, pause the video and ask yourself, “Where does the Bible say that (in context and rightly handled)?” Use your Bible, Bible Gateway, or a concordance to “examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so.” Are there any ways in which this teacher is twisting God’s Word or tempting your flesh, emotional desires, or sense of practicality, to believe something about God or His Word that isn’t true, or to disobey God?
Suggested Memory Verse
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”