When God placed the man and woman in the garden of Eden there was one thing He told the man that he couldn’t eat – fruit from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:17).

But we see in Genesis 3 that they disobeyed God, sin entered into the world, God’s good creation was damaged and humanity was expelled from paradise. And over the ensuing centuries (as outlined in Genesis 4-11) their descendants continued to sin and rebel against God and suffered more consequences. And the cycle continues to this day.

The stories in these chapters, the emotions that people experienced, the things they did and the implications of those actions help us to understand so much of the evil we see around us today as people continue to treat people badly and refuse to acknowledge God in their lives.

But we also see God refusing to give up and continuing to reach out His hand in blessing and restoration to His people – and this gives us hope and confidence as we look ahead to the future.

And we are asked to decide whether we are going to be those people who choose to disobey God or like the people in the stories who choose to live in relationship with Him.