Most nursery rhymes seem innocent enough, but if you pay attention to the words, some of them are downright disturbing. Just think of Humpty Dumpty, who "had a great fall" and couldn't be put back together again.
That's just a fairy tale, but the Bible tells us a real story about a real fall whose repercussions we feel to this very day. It's the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, who, like Humpty Dumpty, fell—and fell hard. Let's look at five useful lessons we can learn from their story:
1. Choices will be challenged. Shortly after God created Adam and Eve, Satan questioned Eve's choice to obey God when it came to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In their conversation (see vv. 1-5), he challenged God's love, God's word, and God's truth. You too will be challenged in your faith at some point. So you need to know Satan's schemes (see 2 Corinthians 2:11) and put on the full armor of God before you go out the door (see Ephesians 6:10-18).
2. Allurement doesn't mean entitlement. In other words, just because something looks good doesn't mean you should have it. Eve ate the forbidden fruit because it was attractive to her in every conceivable way (see v. 6). But there are a lot of pretty things in this world that will end up hurting you (see Proverbs 23:31-32). Remember that you are only entitled to whatever God in His grace decides you ought to have—nothing more, nothing less.
3. Disobedience is worse than deception. The apostle Paul wrote that "Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression" (1 Timothy 2:14). In other words, Eve was tricked, but Adam knew what he was doing when he took the fruit and ate it (see v. 6). What they both did was wrong, but flat-out disobedience is worse than being tricked into something (see 1 Samuel 15:22). That's why Adam was blamed for the fall.
4. A hard heart brings a hard life. Put another way, life gets harder when you decide not to do what's right. When Adam and Eve crossed the line from obedience to disobedience, everything became harder for them (see vv. 16-19)—and for the human race: the fatal contaminant of sin entered and continues to flow through our veins. Satan might dangle something in front of you that looks good, but look a little closer and you'll notice the hook underneath (see Galatians 6:7-8).
5. A covering is better than a cover-up. After their fall, Adam and Eve made fig leaf coverings and tried to hide from God (see vv. 7-8). But God confronted them about what happened, then "made tunics of skin, and clothed them" (v. 21). This was an anticipation of the covering that would one day come through the gospel.
Only Jesus can offer a lasting covering for the fall as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again. But our King, the King of Kings, is in the business of putting broken lives back together through the covering of His Son's blood shed on the cross. The fall of Adam and Eve was real—but so is the life and forgiveness for sin Jesus offers me and you.