September 13, 2020 – Genesis 2:4-25

Lesson Date: September 13, 2020

Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 2:4-25

AIM: To lead students to discover the unique nature of humankind in God’s creation and God’s specific guidelines for marriage, and to thank God for marriage and look for opportunities to tell others about His guidelines for marriage.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Genesis 2 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get a container of play dough. Practice taking a piece of play dough and quickly forming it into a rough human shape. After practicing, take all the play dough and spread it out on a piece of cardboard. Bring this to class. Write the lesson title, “Man, Woman, and Marriage,” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the word “Marriage” in the lesson title written on the board. Ask: “What is marriage? How would you define marriage?”

After some responses, tell the students that modern society has redefined marriage in recent years. Tell them that a popular dictionary from the 1990s defined marriage as, “The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.”[1] Current online dictionaries, however, have removed the reference to man and woman, simply stating that marriage is between two people. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary even includes a note stating, “Same-sex marriages … were legally validated throughout the U.S. by the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.”[2]

Tell the class that our modern, secular society has redefined marriage, but today we are going to learn about marriage from the one who created it – Almighty God. In today’s lesson we will discover the origin of marriage and God’s guidelines for marriage.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Tell the students we are studying the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Be sure everyone present has a new Sunday School Member Quarterly.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the six days in which God created everything in the universe, and the seventh day that He set aside for rest).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Gen. 1:1).
  2. Review: Conditions on Earth Before Man.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:4-6.
    • Tell the class these verses give us a brief recap of the first five days of creation week, in which God created the earth, the heavens, and plant life.
    • Direct the students’ attention to the word Lord written in all caps in verse 4. Tell them this is the first use of God’s personal, covenant name, Yahweh (or Jehovah).
    • Tell the class verse 5 reveals that prior to the Flood there was no rainfall.
    • Ask: “According to verse 6, how did God water the plants?” (with a mist that went up from the earth).
    • Ask: “According to the last phrase of verse 5, what was lacking on earth?” (a man to care for God’s creation).
    • Summarize: God created a wonderful world full of plant life, but there was no man to till the ground or care for God’s creation.
  3. God Created Man and the Garden.
    • Ask: “Thinking back to last week’s lesson, how did God create the earth, land, sea, sun, moon, stars, plants, fish, and animals?” (He spoke all those things into existence).
    • Remind the class that God created all those things out of nothing.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:7.
    • Direct the class’ attention to the word “Man” in the lesson title on the board.
    • Tell the class that the word formed means to squeeze into shape or to mold much like a potter shapes a piece of pottery.
    • Do the following to visually illustrate this truth:
      • Show the students the piece of cardboard you brought to class with the play dough spread on it.
      • Ask them to imagine that the play dough represents the earth.
      • Remind them that God spoke and the earth came into existence.
      • Tell them that man is different from everything else God created: God formed man from the dust of the earth.
      • Pinch off a piece of play dough and form it into a crude human shape.
      • Tell the students God was personally involved in the creation of man (man didn’t evolve from some other creature).
      • Tell them man is inextricably tied to the earth: he was made from the dust of the earth and after he dies his body returns to dust.
    • Ask: “What else did God do for man that He didn’t do for any other creature?” (God breathed into him the breath of life, making man a living soul).
    • Tell the class modern evolutionists teach that man is nothing more than a highly evolved animal, but the Bible makes it clear that man is completely different from the animals.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:8-9.
    • Ask: “What did God make for man?” (a special garden full of trees to provide him food).
    • Ask: “According to verse 8, what two special trees did God put in the Garden of Eden?” (the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil).
    • Explain that the tree of life enabled the eater to live forever, while the tree of knowledge of good and evil gave man the opportunity to know good by obeying God or to know evil by disobeying God.
    • Read Genesis 2:10-14.
    • Tell the students the garden was well watered by a river that split into four other rivers, which then flowed off in different directions.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:15-17.
    • Ask: “Why did God put the man in the garden?” (to work, till, attend to, and protect it).
    • Stress the fact that work has always been part of God’s plan for man.
    • Tell the class God told the man he could freely eat from any of the trees.
    • Ask: “What was the one rule in this wonderful garden?” (the man was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon penalty of spiritual and physical death).
    • Summarize: God created man from the dust of the earth and placed him in a wonderful garden where all his needs were met. God forbid the man from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  4. God Created Woman.
    • Read Genesis 2:18.
    • Remind the students that previously God said His creation was good.
    • Ask: “What did He say was not good?” (that the man was alone).
    • Tell the class God said He would make a helper suitable and appropriate for the man.
    • Read Genesis 2:19-20.
    • Ask: “What did God bring to Adam, and why did He bring them?” (He brought all the animals to Adam so he could name them).
    • Ask: “What did Adam discover when he named all the animals?” (there was no helper or companion suitable for him).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:21-22.
    • Direct the class’ attention to the word “Woman” in the lesson title on the board.
    • Tell the students that God put Adam to sleep, removed one of his ribs, and made a woman from it.
    • Explain that woman is unique among all of God’s creations: she is the only creature made out of a part of another creature.
    • Do the following to visually illustrate this truth:
      • Show your play dough man to the class again.
      • Ask them to imagine you could take a tiny pinch off your play dough man and form it into a full-size play dough woman without leaving any gap or scar in the original play dough man.
      • That would be impossible for us, but it was no problem for God.
    • Tell the students that Matthew Henry said woman was “not made out of [man’s] head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”
    • Summarize: God did not want man to be alone, so He created woman out of man to be a suitable and appropriate helper for him.
  5. God Instituted Marriage.
    • Read Genesis 2:23-25.
    • Ask: “According to verse 23, what did Adam say about the woman?” (she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh; she would be called woman because she was taken out of man).
    • Direct the class’ attention to the word “Marriage” in the lesson title on the board.
    • Tell the class in verse 24 God stated His plan and pattern for marriage. In these turbulent times when society can’t seem to figure out what marriage is, it is helpful for us to be reminded of God’s original intention.
    • Ask the class to name the three aspects of biblical marriage found in verse 24.
      • First, the man should leave his father and mother. He must leave their home and be financially and emotionally ready to provide for and care for a wife.
      • Secondly, the husband and wife must cleave (cling, adhere) to one another, indicating a committed, close, and permanent relationship.
      • Finally, they should be one flesh, indicating a physical union exclusive of all others.
    • Tell the class verse 25 says there was no shame in this new marriage relationship.
    • Ask: “Do most people today follow God’s biblical pattern for marriage?” (no).
    • Ask: “What happens when people violate God’s pattern for marriage?” (hurt, heartache, broken relationships, scarred children, and physical abuse).
    • Summarize: God instituted marriage as an exclusive and intimate relationship between a man and a woman. Following God’s pattern results in blessings.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Below the lesson title on the board write the equation 1 + 1 = 1. Tell the students that 1 man plus 1 woman in a committed monogamous relationship results in 1 marriage in which the 2 become 1.

Draw a circle around this equation. Tell the class God set boundaries around marriage for our protection and blessing. Explain that God did not establish marriage between 1 man and another man, 1 woman and another woman, 1 man and an animal, 1 man and 2 women, or 1 woman and 2 men. Modern society is redefining marriage. They don’t necessarily want to do away with traditional marriage, but they want to expand the boundaries to include other combinations.

Erase one edge of the circle on the board and redraw the edge larger. Tell the students modern society wants to expand the definition of marriage and include other possibilities. In addition to the fact that other combinations are not God’s plan, when you erase the boundary and expand the definition for one group, what basis do you have to refuse to do the same for other groups?

Erase the circle around the equation. Tell the class now that so-called “same-sex marriage” is legal, what right do we have to say that polygamy is wrong? What right do we have to say that marriage between a 65-year-old man and a 10-year-old girl is wrong? What right do we have to say it is illegal for you to marry your dog and thus include him on your family health insurance policy?

Remind the students that this lesson also included God’s plan for how and when a marriage should take place. He planned for young people to leave their parents, make a permanent commitment to one another, and then become one flesh. Tell the class that modern society has turned this completely upside down. Many people today engage in sex before making any lasting commitment or even leaving their parents to become self-supporting. Violating God’s order always produces heartache.

Tell the class mankind is unique in all of God’s creation. We are made in His image, fashioned by His hands, and filled with His breath. God established marriage for humans, not for animals.

Ask: “How should we apply this lesson to our lives?” (we should confess our violations of God’s plan in the past, commit to obeying His plan in the future, thank Him for the institution of marriage, and try to tell others about God’s guidelines for marriage). Encourage everyone to do those things as you have a brief time of silent prayer. Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Tell the students if the Lord put any specific actions on their mind this morning they should follow through on His leading. Ask everyone to memorize Genesis 2:24. Encourage them to tell others about God’s plan for marriage, as the Lord gives them opportunity.

[1] The American Heritage College Dictionary, Third Edition, Copyright © 1993 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage

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