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Bible study notes - Origins - Evil

As we consider the origins of evil in chapter five we are reminded that God made the world good and that he created humanity as “Tov, Tov” (in Hebrew) meaning ‘good good’ or as we might say ‘very good’. But with the rebellion of Adam and Eve against the one command of God not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden we see that there is a catastrophic fall from the ‘very good’ intended by God and the evil we now experience.

To remember is to reconnect or re-attach that which has been dis-membered. To remember therefore is much more than to recall. It is to make good again that which has been broken. If Tov Tov is to live in harmony with God and his creation then what we see as a result of the fall is disharmony.

In Genesis 3 we see how the origin of evil is evidenced in disharmony in at least the following 3 ways:

  1. Between God and humanity. God comes calling for Adam but he and Eve are hiding for they are naked and ashamed.

  2. Between people with each other. There will be enmity between men and women but this will be a consequence for all humanity. The first murder happens in the next chapter.

  3. Between humanity and creation. The land will be cursed and hard to steward.

Questions:

In what others ways might we see this disharmony in Genesis 3, elsewhere in scripture and in the world today?

What are the gospel remedies? What does the response of the church to evil look like like? Where can you see inspiration for this from elsewhere in the bible or contemporary examples?

Is it right to first see our fellow human beings as created in Gods image and likeness and therefore ‘very good’ before we acknowledge the reality that we are all sinners and fallen? Are people more likely to respond to the restoration of the good and God-like in them than the fact that we are all clearly fallen?

If we can see the good (the God image in the other does it mean that we are less likely to go to war? More likely to build a better society? Care for the planet?

If all of creation of ‘good’ can we conclude that any response to the brokenness of the world is a right one before God? Do the passions that we might have (eg animal welfare, politics, art, education, sport etc) have a legitimate place in re-membering?

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