It’s Sunday! Time for Another Bible Story: You Snake! The World’s First Bad Guy

How it works:

  • Listen to the story, or read the Bible passage found after the audio link.
  • Think about the questions and talk about them with a friend.
  • Finally, hear what Sophie and Timley have to say about it!

This is a reading from one of the very first stories of the Bible, from the  book of Genesis (Chapter 3:1-15):

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, ‘Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Questions to think about. Pick a couple or think of your own:

What did you hear when you listened to this story? Did the serpent or snake sound like a “bad guy” to you? Why or why not?

What does the story tell you about Adam and Eve? Why do you think the fruit was tempting to them when they had the rest of the garden to choose from?

What does the story tell you about God? In chapter 1:29-30, God tells Adam and Eve that he was giving them “every” green plant in the garden for food. Why do you think he also said that they couldn’t eat from this one tree? Do you think it’s possible that God would have eventually let them eat from that tree as well?

Can you think of situations where something sounds good at first, but then the reality is very different? What were the consequences of disobeying God?

Why do you think Adam and Eve were suddenly afraid of God? Can you ever really hide from God? How might that be a very good thing? As the story goes on, God eventually makes real clothing for Adam and Eve that will protect them better than the fig leaf clothing that Adam and Eve made for themselves. What does this show about God’s character?

Why do you think this story is in the Bible? What do you think verse 15 is talking about when it says that the people will “crush your head” and “you will strike his heal”? Did God have a plan to ultimately save his people from the ultimate “bad guy”?

Now let’s hear from Sophie and Timley. What have they got to say about it?

Sophie Topfeather (looking concerned): I don’t really understand what was so awful about the serpent, do you-oo Timley? He was just asking Eve a question!

Timley Mouse (rubbing his tail thoughtfully): Think about it, Sophie. What if your grandfather, the Great Wise Horned Owl told you not to do something, and then I asked you if that’s really what he said. How would the Great WHO take that?

Sophie (frowning): Good point, Timley! He wouldn’t like that at all. He would say that you-oo were trying to make me doubt him or even worse–

Timley (slapping his sword against his paw): It would take a pretty brave–or foolish–mouse to call the Great WHO a liar. I wonder what was in it for the snake. Why did he care what fruit tree Adam and Eve ate from?

Sophie: That’s a great question. You sure are a big thinker for being such a little mouse! Well? What do you-oo think, reader? Who-oo would care about separating God from his people? Was he successful?

Author’s Note: Sophie and Timley are characters from a novel for kids ages 8-12, Sophie’s Quest, A newly revised and even illustrated version is on its way (to be published by Brimstone Fiction), but in the meantime, if you like Sophie and Timley and want to read their adventure, let me know and I’ll send you one of the original copies at cost! Send me a note in the Contact page and we’ll work it out.

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
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