Summary: This is the test that Eve failed, and then Adam followed. The first sin of man, like the first sin in the life of most everyone, was very simple and not sensational.
We have seen in our study of verse 6 that the fall of man was brought
about by Satan’s subtlety in getting Eve to gain a good end by a bad means.
The danger of allowing the end to justify the means is a real danger all of us
need to be aware of, for none are immune to the virus of this danger. We can
throw it off time after time when it concerns a goal we are not greatly
interested in, or committed to, but when it comes to a goal we feel is essential,
then we face a real test. Edmund Cooke warns us against pride by writing,
So you tell yourself you are pretty fine clay
To have tricked temptation and turned it away,
But wait my friend, for a different day;
Wait till you want to want to
In other words, as someone else has said, “It is easy to resist where none
invade.” It is no victory to stand where there is no pressure to fall. This is
why Jesus had to get His human nature in a weakened condition so He could
really feel the pressure of Satan’s temptation. Had Jesus faced the temptation
to turn a stone into bread when He was in perfect condition and fully fed, it
would have been a farce. He had to be in a condition where He really wanted
what the tempter offered in order to make it a true victory. The test is only
real when you deeply desire that which you resist because you desire even
more to obey God’s will.
This is the test that Eve failed, and then Adam followed. The first sin of
man, like the first sin in the life of most everyone, was very simple and not
sensational. The original sin seems so trivial that even though wrong it would
seem that the consequences would be equally trivial. The fruits of this evil,
however, were great and affected the whole world from that moment on. We
need to learn from this that the trivial can be tragic. We do not need to
commit horrible crimes or diabolical sins to wined up in deep debt. Paul
This is the debt I pay, just for one riotous day.
Years of regret and grief; sorrow without relief.
Slight was the thing I bought; small was the debt I thought.
Poor was the loan at best….
God! But the interest!
It is the interest that spoils the loan of the pleasure of sin. Could we only
count the cost before hand, we would hesitate to invest our life in such a costly
venture of disobedience to God. All of us are still paying on the interest of
Adam and Eve’s costly experiment in disobedience. Had not Christ entered
history to pay off the principle all men would be in unrelieved debt forever.
Thank God that through Christ we can pray forgive us our debts. Even so we
must still eat the fruit of evil acts and experience the bitter consequences, even
though forgiven. It is of value to study the consequences of the first sin so as to
be aware how great a matter a little fire can kindle. We need this awareness
lest we, like our first parents, allow the trivial to be the door through which
great evil enters our lives.
Notice how brief and simple is the record of the first sin. She took of its
fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband and he ate. It is almost as
if it was an incidental remark, and yet it began the history of all evil in the
world. This shows us that it may not be the sin itself but the consequences of it
that are so tragic. Sin itself may be a trivial matter of thoughtlessness of
which one is hardly conscience, and yet the consequences can be terrible. A
mother can tell her child not to pick up a firecracker, but as he watches it, and
it seems to be harmless, he goes to pick it up and it goes off. It was a trivial act
of disobedience, and yet he loses a finger or an eye. The consequences can be
all out of proportion in relationship to the evilness of the act.
It is the fruit of evil that is so burdensome. Sin itself can be so appealing
because people do not look beyond it to the consequences. Eve could say one
less piece of fruit in the garden won’t hurt anyone, and she was right, but it
was still an act of disobedience. It is man’s shortsightedness that enables the
tempter to be so successful. One has to look at the long run to see the folly of
sin, for the immediate picture, which leaves out the consequences, can appear