(If it’s been a while since you read Part 1 to the children, please go over the review questions at the end of that chapter before going on.)
God created people to enjoy Him forever. And the first people He created, Adam and Eve, enjoyed Him very, very much. They enjoyed the beautiful garden He made for them to live in. They enjoyed the delicious food He gave them to eat. They enjoyed the amazing animals that He made to share the earth with them. They enjoyed each other, because God had made them to be together. But more than anything, they enjoyed God Himself. Because of God, Adam and Eve had everything they could want or need. Life was perfect.
But God had an enemy. Hard to believe, but true. Satan, the devil, wasn’t content to worship God. He wanted to become God, and have everyone else worship him instead of God!1 So Satan became evil, and couldn’t enjoy God any more. How terrible to lose that privilege!
Satan didn’t want people to enjoy God either. He wanted to become a god for them and turn them away from the one true God. So he whispered lies to Eve. He told her strange ideas about God, and told her that she couldn’t be truly happy with Him. He told her that the only way to be happy was to disobey God. Do you think that was true?
Eve believed Satan. And Adam decided to go along with her. They both turned against God together. They turned against the One who created them, the One that they could have enjoyed forever. They turned against the One who gave them everything they could ever want or need.
Everything fell apart. Adam and Eve became sinners.
Think about it carefully. What is sin? Is it just things like lying or stealing or hitting your brother? Or is it something deeper? What do you think?
Sin is not believing that God is the best. Sin is turning your back on God, just like Eve did, and trying to find your life and your joy somewhere else. It’s really crazy, if you think about it. It’s like looking at a bathtub and thinking you can fill it with a single teaspoon of water. It’s like bringing your starving stomach to the table and ignoring the banquet in front of you, preferring instead to choose a crumb off of the floor. The Bible says it’s like giving up glory in order to get a statue.2 It’s crazy, but it’s what every human being does.3
Including you. Including me.
Look at your family members. Has anyone ever told you that you look alike? Parents pass things along to their children…things like eye color, skin color, and hair color. Unfortunately, all human beings pass sinfulness along to their children too.4 That’s why we’re all born sinners, every one of us since Adam and Eve had their first children. We all have sinful hearts. Of course when I talk about our “hearts”, I don’t mean the part that goes “bump-bump” inside our chests. I mean the part deep inside of us that is designed to enjoy God.
What is a sinful heart like?
A sinful heart is hopelessly foolish. That means it falls for Satan’s lies every time. It insists on trying to satisfy itself with unimportant things, with temporary pleasures and silly little toys. It can’t help it. Even though its foolishness will destroy it,5 it stays foolish just the same. It can’t believe the truth, can’t even sense it or understand it.6 You and I were born with foolish hearts.
A sinful heart is as good as dead.7 Think about a Christmas tree…the live kind, not the plastic kind. It looks beautiful when you set it up in the house. It is green and smells lovely, just like it would in the forest. But there’s an important difference between the tree in your living room and the trees in the forest. Both are alive, but the one in your living room is as good as dead. It has no way to stay alive. It cannot survive. It has already begun to die, and nothing can stop it. Why is that? Because it is disconnected from the source of its life. Even if you were to put it back in the ground, it would still die because it has no roots, no way to get the food and water out of the soil. It may not look dead yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
In the same way, a sinful heart is dead. Think about it. Everything we need for life is all around us, because God is all around us. He is everything we need. The Bible says that Jesus is our life.8 But just as a tree with no roots can’t properly connect with the soil, a sinfully dead heart cannot connect with God, cannot draw His life into itself. It may not look dead yet, but it’s only a matter of time. And you and I were born with sin-deadened hearts.
A sinful heart is blind.9 What does that mean? Think back to our story. What was it like before man was created? God’s glory filled everything, remember? Everything glowed with the light of His wonderful, awesome, beautiful, eternal, holy perfection. Well guess what… God has not changed! His glory shines just as brightly now as it did then.10 But our sin-blinded hearts can’t see that glory any more.11 Isn’t that sad? Don’t you wish you could see it now?
A blind heart looks at God’s handiwork … His wonderful sky, His towering mountains, His sturdy trees, His intricate snowflakes, His marvelous animals … and what does it see? It sees an accident. Mere chance.12 It is blind to what every created thing boldly proclaims, which is the greatness of its creator.13
It would be really sad if the story ended here…but it doesn’t. God has a plan to fix our hearts, and we’ll learn more about that next time.
-What is sin?
-What does it mean to have a foolish heart?
-What does it mean to have a “dead” heart (spirit)?
-What does it mean to have a “blind” heart?
-Who is born with a sinful heart?
-How bad is it to have a sinful heart?
1. Isa. 14:12-15
2. Ps. 106:20
3. Ps. 14:1-3
4. Rom. 5:12b
5. Pr. 1:32
6. Prov. 18:2
7. Eph. 2:1
8. Col. 3:4
9. 2 Cor. 4:4
10. Isa. 6:3
11. Rom. 1:21
12. 2 Pet. 3:5a
13. Ps. 19:1
14. Isa. 59:10a