Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From Temptation to Sin 2 (Genesis 3:6-8)

Verse six is the textbook description of temptation as it shows the three avenues temptation takes to infiltrate and destroy lives. Through the desires flesh or appetites, the appeal of the eyes or esthetic pleasure, and the pride humanity feels for itself. These exact three means were used in the temptation of Christ in the dessert by the devil, (a hint as to the identity of the serpent?) and are seen again in I John 2:16. This passage shows a deep understanding of the way temptation works, both in everyday situations as well as the first temptation humanity faced.

It wasn’t just the woman facing temptation and choosing to sin here. The passage tells us that the man was with her. Whether or not this happened right after the dialogue with the serpent or sometime later (the conversation with the serpent did not happen next to the tree) is unclear. In any case, they arrive at the tree together and Adam raises no objections nor attempts to stop her. They had either heard the serpent together or discussed the issue and chosen to go have a closer look at the forbidden fruit.

The immediate consequence of their sin is not literal death (“you will die death”) but a new understanding. They do indeed experience evil in contrast to the great good God had surrounded them with, and they are instantly changed. And not for the better. They are ashamed. Their relationship to each other and their “self-esteem” or comfort in their own skin is destroyed. Most importantly, they now for the first time fear God. The level of “fear” or respect for Him that was lacking and allowed them to disregard His law in an effort to supplant Him is now in full effect. They know that they are not gods, and that they are in dire trouble.

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