Scripture Reference: Genesis 3:1-24
Suggested Emphasis or Theme: God loves us and makes rules that will help us to be happy. Satan wants bad things to happen to us so he tempts us to disobey God.
Memory Verse: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7, NIV
Adam and Eve were happy in the Garden of Eden where God provided for all of their needs. God gave them only one rule: do not eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. The serpent came to Eve and tempted her with lies and convinced her to eat from the tree. Then Eve gave some of the fruit to Adam and he also ate it. At that point they both realized their sin and guilt at disobeying God. For the first time, people experienced shame. Because of their sin, God banished Adam and Eve from the garden.
The Garden of Eden was the name of the specific location in God’s creation where He placed Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:4-25 gives more details about God’s creation and how Adam and Eve related to it. God created Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. Adam was given the responsibility to care for the garden but God did not mean for Adam to do this alone. God brought all of animals before Adam and gave him the honour of naming them. As he reviewed the animals Adam must have found it obvious that each of the animals had mates. God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and removed one of his ribs. From this rib God formed a woman. The creation of mankind was now complete. Adam and Eve were beautiful and pure. They experienced no shame or need to cover up with clothes.
They were complete in this place because God provided for all of their needs. He gave them only one prohibition: they were not to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden—commonly called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
How long did they live in obedience before they began to allow temptation to overcome? The Scripture does not mention the length of time that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden before this story takes place. Satan brought this temptation. Speaking through the serpent (Revelation 12:9), he told Eve that she and Adam could actually become “like God” or “as gods” (the Hebrew word “Elohim” can be translated either way) if they ate from the forbidden tree. When Adam and Eve decided to “become like God” by listening to someone other than God, they sinned. By disobeying God, they placed their own will and judgment above God’s.
God is pure and perfect. He cannot just ignore sin. Adam and Eve had to be punished. The serpent was cursed for its part in the temptation. Eve, whose name means “life” or “life giver,” received a punishment uniquely suited to her. The pain accompanying the life-giving process of childbirth was greatly increased. Adam’s punishment was that he would now have to sweat and toil to work the ground, to raise food, and to provide for his family’s needs. He had worked in the Garden before this time (Genesis 2:15) but this would now be more difficult.
Adam and Eve’s sin also ended their intimate relationship with God—the equivalent of spiritual death. When they were banished from the garden, they were also denied access to the tree of life; so death came into the world because of their sin.
God disciplined Adam and Eve, but He did not stop loving them. He showed his love and care by giving them better clothing before He sent them from the garden, and He gave them a way to renew their relationship with Him. Even at this time, God had already made a plan by which sin could be forgiven. He already knew that Jesus would die for our sins thousands of years in the future.
- What happened before this story?
- What happens after this story?
- List of all Bible stories and themes on this website.
Special Note: Satan is the Great Deceiver and he has tricked many people into believing that he does not exist. This is the greatest deception of all. Children need to know that the Devil is not just an imaginary creature or something as weak as a dress-up costume at a party or a toy with red suit and horns. He is powerful and evil. On the other hand, we need to be careful not to give a child more information than he/she is capable of making sense of. Talk about Satan and his evil mission to hurt us and trick us but be sure that all children understand that God is stronger than the Devil and He will protect those who love and obey Him. If God’s strength and loving protection are not emphasised, then young children can have nightmares and an unhealthy fear of the Satan. Another great deception!
Way to Introduce the Story:
Ask the children to name all of the rules that they can think of. These can be rules at home, school, traffic, libraries and hospitals, or any others that you can think of. Talk about which are easy to obey and which are difficult. “Children, when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden God gave them a rule. He told them they could eat anything they wanted except for one thing. Just one rule! Do you think that would be hard to obey? What do you think that Adam and Eve did? Let’s find out as we listen to the story.”
Adam was the first man who ever lived. God created him from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. God knew that Adam would be lonely by himself so he had a plan to create a partner for him. But before he did that God showed Adam all of the animals so that Adam could name them. While he was naming the animals Adam noticed that every animal had a partner. Would there be a partner for Adam?
God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep so that he could remove one of his ribs. From Adam’s rib God formed a woman. This woman was called Eve and she was the very first woman who ever lived. Adam and Eve worked together in taking care of the Garden of Eden as God commanded. They were so happy in the garden that they did not even feel embarrassed that they wore no clothes.
God took good care of Adam and Eve. He gave them many trees with good fruit to eat. God said, “The fruit on these trees is for you to enjoy. But do not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. If you do, something terrible called death will happen to you.” Adam and Eve did not even know what death was because no one had ever eaten the fruit so no one had ever died.
One day Eve was walking through the garden alone when she heard a strange voice. Eve started looking around to see who was talking to her. While she was looking at the tree in the middle of the garden, she saw a snake. Eve was surprised that a snake was talking to her! What Eve didn’t know was that it was really Satan who was talking to her through the snake.
“Did God really say you should not eat the fruit from any tree in the garden?” the snake asked.
“God said we may eat the fruit from any tree, except for the one in the middle of the garden,” Eve said. “God said something terrible would happen to us if we ate any of the fruit from that tree.”
“Nothing terrible will happen to you,” the snake hissed. “In fact, God knows that if you eat some of that fruit, you’ll be like Him! You will know the difference between right and wrong.”
Eve looked at the fruit on the tree and thought, “The fruit is beautiful. It looks like it would taste good too. Besides, if it will make us wise like God, nothing terrible could happen to us.” So she picked some of the fruit and ate it.
Then Eve also gave some of the fruit to Adam.
When Adam saw the beautiful fruit Eve h ad brought him, he took the fruit from her and ate it. Suddenly Adam and Eve began to feel unhappy. Nothing seemed as beautiful or as nice as it had before. Adam and Eve knew that something terrible had happened: they had disobeyed God.
When they heard God in the garden, they ran away and hid.
“Adam!” God called. But Adam didn’t answer.
God called again, “Adam! Where are you?”
Finally, Adam said, “I heard You calling, and I was afraid. So I ran away and hid.”
God knew what Adam and Eve had done, but He wanted them to tell Him, so He asked, “Did you eat from the tree I told you not to eat from?”
“Eve gave the fruit to me,” said Adam.
“But the snake told me to eat it,” said Eve.
How sad God was! “You have disobeyed Me,” He said. “Adam, you and Eve must leave the garden. From now on things will be harder for you. You will have to plant your own gardens for food and you will not be as happy as you were here.”
Adam and Eve were sad too. Something terrible had happened to them, just as God had said it would. Adam and Eve knew they had done wrong and deserved to be punished. So they put on the clothes God gave them, which were made from animal skins instead of leaves, and walked slowly, sadly out to the beautiful garden that had been their home. They were never allowed to come back to the garden.
Ways to Tell the Story:
This story can be told using a variety of methods. Always remain true to the facts found in the Bible but help children connect to its meaning by using drama, visual aids, voice inflection, student interaction and/or emotion.
Click here for visual aids and story-telling methods.
Click here to download these illustrations and slideshow. Be selective. Each teacher is unique so only use the illustrations that best relate to the way YOU are telling the story in THIS lesson. Too many illustrations can be confusing so eliminate any that cover other stories or details you do not wish to emphasise in this lesson.
- What was the name of the place where Adam and Eve lived? The Garden of Eden
- What was the one rule in the Garden of Eden? Do not eat from the tree in the middle of the garden.
- Who told Eve that she should eat from the tree? Satan (in the form of a snake)
- What did Eve do after she ate the fruit? Gave some to Adam.
- What did Adam and Eve do after they knew they had disobeyed God? They hid from God
- When God sent Adam and Eve out of the garden, what did He say would be different out there? Things would be harder and they would have to make their own gardens for food.
- What did God give Adam and Eve when they left the garden? Clothes made of skin.
Learning Activities and Crafts:
- Write situations on cards (appropriate to your students) and let the children take turns drawing a card and acting out situation in two ways. God’s way and Satan’s way.
- Memorise today’s memory verse. Click here for ideas to help children memorise scripture.
- Sing songs that mention God’s Power Over Satan:
- Make play-dough or salt dough snakes.
- Give each student two paper plates or paper cut into circles. Have them make one into a happy face and one into a sad face. Tell them to hold up the happy face when you say something that is “obeying God” and a sad face when you say something that is “obeying Satan.” Then describe various actions and let them hold up the proper face. (Example: helping, swearing, cheating on a test, being kind, etc.
- Pre-school snake craft: Tear paper and glue or tape onto snake from missionbibleclass.org
Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
Other Online Resources:
- Colouring sheet and puzzles–Garden of Eden (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring Sheet and puzzle pages–Adam and Eve Tempted (Calvary Curriculum)
- Colouring pages (Church House Collection)
- Colouring page of Adam and Eve (Christian Answers)
- Colouring page of Adam and Eve and the serpent (Christian Answers)
- Colouring page of Adam and Eve’s exit from the garden (Christian Answers)
- Old Testament Worksheets (HubPages)
- Various activities and crafts1 (Church House Collection)
- Various activities and crafts2 (Church House Collection)
- Adam and Eve toilet paper roll figures (Sunday School Crafts)
- Visual aids to print (Bible Fun For Kids)