Why We Sin: Don’t Touch!

“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 3:2-3)

Eve’s answer to the serpent’s obvious lie about God’s command brings us to Day 2 of our clue-mining for reasons why we humans are so easy to tempt, so ready to fall into sin. And Eve’s answer seems pretty good. She sets the record straight about what God really said – until you look a little closer.

down_350Eve added a phrase to the command: “You must not touch it.” How did she come up with that? Why did she “improve” on God’s order not to eat the fruit with a further directive not to touch it? We don’t know, but it seems reasonable, right? Why touch a fruit you must never eat? It’s not a bad thing to stay a step back from the edge. It was probably a really good idea not to touch the fruit, but it wasn’t God’s command.

The problem with adding to God’s Words is that it’s another lie. God gives us commands as a gift; what he tells us to do (or not do) reveals his best intention for us. His directions reveal his character. To add to them distorts our understanding of him – and it’s our (wrong) perception of his character that we often end up rebelling against.

So, first the snake lied to Eve about God’s command – and then Eve lied to herself about it.

Think: Have you ever noticed anyone in your life adding extra rules to what God has actually commanded in Scripture? Do you ever do that yourself? How can you keep those man-made rules from distorting your understanding of who God really is?

Pray: Thank God for the commands he has given to you in his Word. Ask him to help you to keep from adding anything to his commands, even with good intentions.

Do: Read what Paul said about religious man-made rules in Colossians 2:20-23.