Why We Sin: Did God Really Say?

“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”?’ “(Genesis 3:1)

For the next week or so, we’re going to live in the excruciating moments leading up to the first sinful human action ever. What we’ll be looking for are clues to why we’re all such natural born suckers when it comes to sin and temptation – why we’re so easy to lie to, so willing to participate with the Liar in our own destruction.

down_350Here’s the first clue: The Liar invites us into a conversation with temptation with an obvious lie. (He’s a liar, remember.) Of course, God did not say Adam and Eve couldn’t eat from any of the trees – and, of course, Eve knew that. Here’s what God did say: “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 of it you will surely die.” (2:16-17)

This would be like starting a temptation about sex with, “Did God really say you should never hold hands with someone?” Or starting a temptation to disobey your parents with, “Did God really say you have to obey every adult who tells you to do something?” Our response is likely to be quick, corrective, and curious. And before you know it, we’re in a dangerous conversation about exactly where the line of sin is.

Think: Have you ever been lured into unhelpful thinking by your reaction to an obvious distortion of the truth? What can we do to make sure we’re not being deceived when confronted with a big idea about God’s Word that is obviously wrong?

Pray: Ask God to help you to overcome temptation to sin. Ask him to help you to be aware and careful when someone uses an obvious lie to get you engaged in thinking about a sin that tempts you.

Do: As we work through Eve’s temptation this week, notice in your own life what kinds of temptations are most effective at tripping you up.