Monday, November 17, 2008

The Progression of Sin: Part 2

Yesterday's post covered the progression that leads up to the act of sin - today we pick up with that act and then look at the effects. Read part 1 first.

4. Disobedience (3:6b) - …she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
  • This is the act of sin. Sin is a violation of God’s design. When desire is coupled with deception and doubt, our actions will be affected. We will eventually act on our intake.

5. Shame (3:7) - 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.

  • Compare this verse to Genesis 2:25, “they were naked and they felt ‘no shame.’” Shame is built in to all of us at some level and it is ten times more powerful than embarrassment. Raw shame causes division between people and between us and God. It leads people to turn inward and build boundaries. Suddenly it was more natural for Adam and Eve to hide from each other than to "cleave" to one another as per God's design. Shame is powerful force.

6. Fear (3:8-10) - Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?” He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

  • The unhealthy response to shame is fear. Specifically the fear that someone will find out about our sin. Fear causes people to try to hide from God. Again, this progression fights agains the natural response that God created in people. Suddenly it was more natural for them to run from God than toward Him. This is the first time that hiding ever happened.

7. Scrambling (3:11-13) - And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?” The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

  • When shame and fear are combined, people panic. We no longer care what happens to anyone else – it’s self protection time. People "scramble" differently – but it always involves doing things that don’t make sense. We hide, we build walls, we blame others, we lash out in anger, we turn to addictive behavior, we start to ooze selfish negativity.

Tomorrow a word about the very practical activity that God has given us that will stop this negative progression of sin in its tracks.

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