Do you remember the “I Love You” computer virus? It was one of the most destructive computer viruses in history. A lady opened up an innocent looking email that simply said, “I love you”. It looked romantic, so she opened up the message and the “Love Bug” was born. The virus would duplicate itself through your contacts and rapidly infected millions of computers including government and business software. It caused millions of computers to crash. That sounds a lot like the first sin that was like a virus but was much more deadly
Real love is chosen
God gave them a choice to choose to trust Him or not. Without the power to reject God, they didn’t have the power to truly choose God. A faith that hasn’t been tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17
God gave them complete freedom with everything they needed, but He placed one restriction on them. You know how it goes: the one thing you can’t have is exactly what you want. The one thing I want to do is the only thing I’m not supposed to do.
Then, we meet the slithering, sneaky snake. Somehow, this serpent is being used as a spokesperson for Satan. The devil’s best trick is to convince everybody that he doesn’t exist. But He is alive and well today. It’s just that he doesn’t look the way we expect him to look. How do you picture the devil? Like a red dude with a bad attitude, with a pitchfork, a long tail, and horns on his head. If he actually looked like that, you’d recognize him, and you’d stay away from him, and not listen to a word he says. But the Bible never describes him as looking like that. In fact, it says just the opposite.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14
He wears disguises. It doesn’t say He is an angel of light, but he puts on a disguise so he can deceive you. Here in Genesis 3, he appears as a sneaky snake. And as we watch what happens here between the snake and Adam and Eve, we see the start of a pattern of sin that is still the same road we walk today every time we sin.
The Road to Ruin
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3:1-3
It starts with planting a seed of doubt about God’s Word. It seemed innocent enough: “Did God really say? I know it sounded like that’s what He said, but maybe you heard him wrong, or maybe He didn’t really mean it.” “Did God say, don’t eat from any tree? That seems pretty unreasonable for God to make all these delicious fruit trees and then to force you not to eat any of that fruit.” The snake understated God’s promise and overstated God’s restriction. So the woman clarified, but she overstated what God said, because she added something to it, “and you must not touch it.” That’s what happens when we start to doubt God’s goodness in our lives.
Here are some of the doubts we may have today
Maybe you doubt God’s existence. “God, if you’re there, why don’t you prove it? Just give me a sign!”
You may doubt God’s goodness. “God, if you’re good, why is this happening? Why am I going through this?”
You may doubt God’s involvement. “God, if you’re powerful, why don’t you do something?”
But it comes down to this, “Am I going to trust God, that He is here at work in my life and that He knows what’s best for me. That’s He is working even the bad things that I’m going through for my benefit.”
Or, will I shortcut the process and take things into my own hands. It really comes down to a matter of trust. When I move toward my doubt, that leads me to deception.
Now, she was ready to buy into the lie.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
The lie was, “God is trying to keep something really good away from you. You can be your own God. You don’t really need God anyway.” There’s always a little bit of truth sprinkled into every lie, to make it convincing.
No matter how savvy you think you are, none of us are immune to getting scammed. Then, once we’ve been deceived, that opens us up to:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, Genesis 3:6a
It all starts with the eyes. She saw that delicious looking fruit. She wanted it. This is how we are all the time, we see it, and we think, “that’s going to bring me pleasure.
This is the same pattern we see in James.
But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 1Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14-15
It starts with our own desires. That desire led to her…
…she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6b
She took it for herself and ate it. It was so good! Just like sin, it’s fun for a season! If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t do it! But, the fun doesn’t last very long.
She gave some to her husband and he ate it too! Their decision had a tragic consequence. It led to death. That’s the natural end of the road for our sin.
Sin is a disease that will kill you if it’s left untreated.
Sin will always take you farther than you planned to go. Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay. Sin will cost you more than you wanted to pay.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:7
Now, they realized they were naked and the great cover up started. They started hiding from each other and hiding from God, and we have all been hiding ever since because of our guilt and our shame. We think, “If they ever really knew who I really am and what I really think, they would reject me!”
This story is about you and me! If I had been in that garden that day, I would have done what they did and eaten that fruit!
They were sent out of the paradise that God made for them. The real consequence of their sin was disconnection. Before their sin, they had intimate connection with each other and with God. Now, they would experience something worse than just physical death. They would experience spiritual death.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. Romans 5:12
The saddest thing that happened that day was a disconnection of relationship with God. When we sin, our sin drives us further from God.
How do we deal with our sin? It starts at the beginning when we doubt God. So how can you deal with your doubts?
Dealing with Your Doubts
1. Doubt your doubts
Don’t embrace your doubts about God’s goodness. Reject them. Say, “I’m not going to believe the doubts I have.”
2. Go with what you know.
You may not know all the answers. There are some things we won’t know for sure on this side of eternity.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
God is the only one who fully knows you and He fully loves you! I don’t have to have all the answers, because I know someone who does!
3. Feed your faith.
Open up God’s word, the Bible, and read it. Spend time following Him and doing what He says to do.
There is still hope for the future. Adam names his wife “Eve” which literally means “life.”
Don’t miss God’s grace. Even though they disobeyed God, God still pursued them.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
They tried to cover themselves with leaves, but God clothed them with leather clothes made from animal skin. This is the first picture of sacrifice for sin. God lovingly met the need they had. He covered their shame.
The first prophecy about Jesus is found in Genesis 3:15, where God
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:15
God is saying: from the offspring of another woman, I’m going to send a Savior. On the cross, you will “strike his heel.” It will seem like a fatal blow. But then, this S
Death came to all of us from the fruit of one tree, but there was another tree, in the shape of cross where Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice to pay the price for sin. The way to have a connection with God today, like they did back in the garden, like you were created for, is to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for your sin.