Why does God give humanity a choice to obey him? Listen to the podcast, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 1.
Once you’ve listened to the short podcast, take the time to reflect on these questions:
From what you've learned so far, what are a few ways the Bible describes God's character?
How do these specific characteristics make God trustworthy?
What would it practically look like for you to trust and rely on God today?
If you would like to dive deeper, use these Scriptures and questions for personal study or small group discussion.
God created humanity in the image of God and called them to partner with him in expanding his creation. But partnership requires trust, so God gave humanity the freedom to make their own choices. Sadly, the first humans made the choice to trust their own wisdom over God’s. This began a downward spiral of selfishness, violence, and pain for humanity. But God intervened with a plan to restore humans to their place of true partnership.
Note: Feel free to reflect on all the questions or just a few. You can also return to this study throughout the week and focus on one question per day.
How did Carissa’s message challenge or encourage you today?
Knowing good and evil seems like a good thing, but in this story we see humans choose their own definition of good and evil over God’s. How does the story help us understand what is not good about eating from the tree of knowing good and evil?
Consider the irony and deception in the snake’s words when he says, “When you eat from the tree, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Review Genesis 1:26-31 and 2:15-17. How are the humans already made like God? And what do they already know about what is good and bad?
In order to reject God’s warnings, what did the first humans have to believe about God, themselves, and the fruit? Be specific. Now consider a time in your life when you neglected God’s warnings. How can you relate with the first humans?
In order to appreciate and heed God’s warnings, what do you need to believe about God, yourself, and something you struggle to avoid? Be specific and write out your answer. Why do you or don’t you believe the truths on your list?
Review Genesis 3:7-8 and identify what kinds of things are lost after the first humans reject God’s warning. How have similar consequences followed your own regrettable choices?
The consequences that humans face for neglecting God’s warnings are difficult, but God promises hope. Review God’s promise in verse 15. What do you observe? Identify a specific area in your life where you sense your need for redemption. With this in mind, how does this promise specifically impact you today?
How can these reflections turn into a prayer? Take time now to thank God for Jesus, who fulfilled God’s promise and made a way for us to live in fellowship with God again. Be honest with God about the ways you have trusted your own understanding over his wisdom. Lift up the list you wrote in question four and ask for God’s Spirit to rewrite it on your heart.