Check out Genesis 2-3 to see just how quickly sin can cause things to spiral out of control. And it is based on the lie that we know better than God what is best for us. We all fall for that lie. In what areas are you believing it?

In Genesis 2, man and woman are living in a beautiful garden at perfect peace with the Lord. Just a couple of observations from the text:
  • The earth was watered by a mist canopy, rather than rain. I imagine it being similar to the weather in Seattle all the time, where there is rarely a lot of rain but an almost daily mist in the air that keeps everything green and beautiful – kind of like in a greenhouse. (Genesis 2:5-6)
  • The Lord formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. God is the giver and sustainer of life. Our life is eternally in His hands. (Genesis 2:7)
  • God forbids them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17), but tells them that they can eat from any other tree in the garden. I believe that the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil gave man moral experience outside of the wisdom of God. Experience gained by “fearing the Lord” (Proverbs 1:7) will result in wisdom, while that gained by disobeying God will result in slavery. Look out slavery, here we come…
  • The proper relationship between husbands and wives was set out in Genesis 2:24-25. Male and female coming together as “one flesh” is a sacred experience, and is meant for the marriage bed alone. Our culture has turned it into just an act that we commit to get off. Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed in the garden. But soon they will exchange the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25), and they will live in shame.

I really hate sin. In my almost 48 years I have watched sin destroy a lot of people, a lot of marriages, and even a lot of churches, including one that I planted. Yet, even with all that experience with the destructiveness of sin, I don’t hate it enough. I still speak harshly to my family sometimes. I’m too quick to judge others and not quick enough to forgive. I still fight wanting “stuff” more than I want the Lord. I could go on and on. I am in constant need of God’s grace.

You know what happened in Genesis 3. But let me point out three things that enticed Adam and Eve to sin in Genesis 3:6 that the apostle John points out in 1 John 2:16 still entice us today:

  • “the desires of the flesh” (1 John 2:16a). Instead of finding pleasure in God and glorifying Him, we find it in gratifying our flesh. I could be specific, but I don’t think I need to. Eve saw that the tree was “good for food”, even though God had already given her every other tree in the garden to meet that need for food. All of the needs that we seek to meet through sinful means, God has already graciously provided for us.
  • “the desires of the eyes” (1 John 2:16b). Eve looked at the tree and it was a “delight to the eyes.” I look at an iPad and my eyes light up. It’s cool. I must have it. 😉 Steve Jobs has made billions of dollars making things look delightful to our eyes.
  • “pride in possessions” (1 John 2:16c). The tree was “desired to make one wise.” We look for wisdom apart from the Lord. We want our own wisdom rather than His. In fact, we want to be our own God, set our own path, make our own agenda. We don’t need God. We can do just fine without Him.

Immediately, we see the tragic consequences of our rebellion towards God playing out. Here are just a few, although this passage is so rich that I could write several blogs on these verses:

  • Shame (Genesis 3:7)
  • Trying to hide and run from God, as if that was really possible (Genesis 3:8). Hiding is related to shame, of course, because we are aware of our separation from God that sin has caused.
  • Fear of God, which could have been a good and healthy thing by keeping his commandments, is now a dark and unhealthy attitude because we know we are due judgement (Genesis 3:10)
  • Blame and rationalization (Genesis 3:12-13)
  • The gate was opened to the spiritual war with Satan that we are all either fighting in (for those who are believers) or being defeated by (for those who are not) on a daily basis (Genesis 3:14-15)
  • Family life and relationships between men and women are disrupted and dysfunctional (Genesis 3:16)
  • Work became futile and unsatisfying (Genesis 3:17-19)
  • Most importantly, our relationship with God, which was meant to be peaceful and eternal, was broken (Genesis 3:24)
But, there is also a hint of God’s grace, and provision and ultimate redemption:
  • God clothed Adam and Eve. He graciously provided for them through the sacrifice of an animal. (Genesis 3:21)
  • God hints that sin will ultimately be crushed by the offspring of the woman. (Genesis 3:15)

For some New Testament implications of Genesis 3, read Sin Sucks, Part 2.

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