“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8, KJV).
I’ve been cajoled into many diets before. Sometimes, I could only eat one sweet a week, one cookie a day, or one meal/snack every four hours.
As a food-lover, I was peeved. Of course I knew that health was important, but everything looked so appetizing! So when I looked at these rules, I only saw limitations.
Then, when I was inevitably caught, I blushed and ran off to hide. I felt embarrassed that I was caught disobeying, and you’ve probably felt this, too.
Hiding and lying are universal human responses to getting caught–not that this is surprising.
After all, Adam and Eve began the tradition. A tradition that we all must fight against. But first, we must understand why we must fight against sin.
1. Sin brings shame.
Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were literally and figuratively naked.
Literally, they were naked because they had no sinful thoughts to corral (they were married anyway) and the object-mindset that turns on when a person looks at nudity wasn’t the standard way of things back then.
Figuratively, they were naked because they were honest. In many books, including Till We Have Faces, bare bodies represent the bare souls, and in this the Bible is no different. Adam and Eve’s nakedness represented that they had no sin to hide, no past to be ashamed of, and no insecurities to cover up.
They were holy.
They were at peace with God and their spouse, and that’s why the Bible makes a point of conveying their lack of shame.
And that’s what makes Genesis 3 all the more heartbreaking.
Their true selves became sinful, and the ugly taint of rebellion looked glaringly obvious when it stood before God’s holy light.
No wonder they hid.
But sin didn’t just affect them. It affects us.
2. Sin affects others.
Adam’s sin and Eve’s sin didn’t just affect Adam and Eve. In fact, there’s nothing it didn’t affect. The plants grew thorns, the animals became vicious, and mankind obtained the knowledge evil and its companion Death.
And yet we tend to think that our sins only affect us.
“No man is an island,” John Donne said. And as I’ve come to look at life with clearer eyes, I’m realizing the same thing.
From children who live without legs and fingers because they survived an attempt to abort them, to teenagers grumpily doing the dishes because their siblings blamed them for the broken plates, everyone suffers and benefits from each other’s foolish and wise decisions.
I’m very thankful that my parents taught me about God early on and that they worked hard to bring us out of tough economic circumstances and into the middle class. I have what the psalmist calls a “goodly heritage” (Ps. 16:6).
But I also had to suffer from others’ sins, like when I couldn’t learn much in class because my math teacher always came really close to anyone who asked a question and surrounded us with his tobacco smell.
And my decisions, just like yours, have the ability to influence others’ lives.
3. Sin never delivers.
Did you notice that Adam and Eve never got the divinity that Satan promised them? Oh, I’m sure that they knew more about sin after the Fall, but that wasn’t the whole deal. That wasn’t even the best part of the bargain.
But that’s all they got.
They knew what evil looked like after the Fall all right. It looked like hiding from their loving Creator in shame. It looked like Adam, Eve’s one-and-only-love and manly leader, blaming her for their disobedience. It looked like kind, gentle Eve enticing Adam to the death penalty that sin brought. And it looked like their son Cain killing his brother Abel in cold blood.
Sin was hideous, and they found that out soon enough. The pretty fruit had a sour aftertaste.
Have you noticed that whatever your drug is—whether it’s laziness, gossip, evil thoughts, or some other sin—it gives you temporary pleasure and then takes it tenfold.
We’re like Judas, getting a few coins from sinning and betraying our good Savior so volley, then we regret it and find ourselves lost in despair.
But there is good news despite all this because God, in His great mercy and grace, didn’t say goodbye and book it out of there after we failed Him.
No, instead He promised us redemption.
4. Sin has lost.
That’s right. If you’re in Christ and willing to walk in the victory that God has already bought for you, sin has already lost it’s power.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God didn’t say “we’re done.” He didn’t leave (though He had every right to). And He didn’t tell us to follow a set of rules to reach His level.
Instead, He dealt them their punishments, and even as Judge, told them mercifully that He would have the seed of Eve defeat Satan (Gen. 3:15). And as Paul said, Jesus is that promised seed in Genesis (Gal. 3:16).
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55-57).
You make it sound so easy, you say. But God is unwavering in His promises to us, saying that we can boldly come to His throne of grace because we are His children, and He cares for us (Heb. 4:16).
Of course, there are some practical ways that God provides us for combating sin, so come back next week to learn with me!