Fall

Stage 2

Overview

Overview

Adam and Eve chose to reject God their ruler (or king). The effects of rejecting God were devastating. He withdrew his blessing from them and from all creation. This is known as ‘The Fall’.

As a result, humans no longer relate rightly to God, to each other, or to the creation in which we’ve been placed.

The people tried to build a tower so huge that they could make a “name” for themselves apart from God. The tower of Babel represents human pride, self-made religion, and an attitude that says, “I can do without God”. People followed in Adam and Eve’s footsteps, crying out to God, “We know better—we’ll do things our way!”

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (ESV)

Genesis 11:4

God’s response to humanity’s actions at Babel was to confuse their language, so that they could not complete the tower, and scatter them over the whole earth. However, we will see that God did not give up on humanity.

More detail
The Fall and God’s intervention in the building of the tower of Babel reveal more to us about how God relates to the world.

Who God is

We see that the Creator hates it when humans reject his Kingship.

The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. (ESV)

Genesis 6:5-6

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (ESV)

Romans 1:18–20

What God does

The Fall shows us that God responds to Adam and Eve’s rejection of himself by bringing judgement upon all humans and all creation.

The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.” (ESV)

Genesis 3:14–19

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned… (ESV)

Romans 5:12

How God works

God punishes sin by reversing the blessings he had originally bestowed. The goodness and orderliness of creation are turned upside down. Humanity’s rule over creation is disrupted. God sends Adam and Eve out of Eden and scatters their descendants across the earth. (ESV)[/quote]

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. (ESV)

Genesis 11:8–9

Questions

  1. What is God’s response to sin?
  2. Read through the ‘More detail’ section. What’s something that strikes you about what God reveals here?
  3. What is the consequence of sin for humanity?

Ponder

  1. How widespread is sin (both in the passages listed here, and in the world around us)?
  2. How might the tower of Babel incident affect our attitude to human technology, and plans for human unity and achievement?

Prayer ideas

Pray that God would mercifully delay his judgement so that many can repent. Repent of your own sin and evil.