Have you ever been punished? Why do you think you need to be punished sometimes?
Everything God does he does because he loves us. And everything God did in Genesis for Adam and Eve, he did because he loved them.
God made Adam and Eve because he loved them.
God gave them everything they would need in the garden because he loved them.
God even gave them one rule – do NOT eat from the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil – because he loved them. And he wanted them to choose to love him too.
And when Adam and Eve sinned and ate from that tree anyway, God punished them. Why? Because he loved them.
Listen to these verses and see if you can hear what Adam and Eve’s punishment was:
Genesis 3:22-24. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Can you hear how Adam and Eve were punished? That’s right, God sent them out of the garden. God made them leave and blocked the way back in with a scary angel with a flaming sword.
But why? Why did God punish them like this? Why did he kick them out of the garden? Did he hate Adam and Eve now? Did he never want to see them again? No. Our verses said that God did this so that they would not eat from the Tree of Life. God was protecting Adam and Eve. If Adam and Eve were to eat from the Tree of Life, they would live forever WITH their sin. They would full be full of sin – forever and ever. And that would be terrible. In the same way, when your dad and mom punish you it is to protect you from becoming more selfish. Punishments can be loving too.
God loves us very much and he never, ever wants to live without us. He wants to live with us forever. But he also can’t live with us forever if we are still full of sin. And so that is why Jesus came to earth. Jesus came to us so that God could live with us forever. And Jesus died for our sins on the cross, being punished in our place, being separated from God instead of us, so that we would never have to be separated from God again. When we trust that Jesus died for our sins, he then removes all our sins so that we can be with God no matter what and never get kicked out of his presence again.
Because of Jesus we can live with God forever.
With Jesus we never again have to be afraid that God is mad at us, because he has forgiven us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Make a list of rules that are meant to protect us. Talk about how God loves us so much that he would protect us from things that would hurt us, just like he did with Adam and Eve.
Thank you for taking my punishment for my sin on the cross. Help me to obey you today, not because I’m afraid of being punished, but simply because I love you.
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