Summary: Have you ever experienced buyer’s remorse? Just before we buy something major like a car or a house we feel the surge of excitement that comes with getting something new. It’s the same feeling a child has when he or she gets a new toy.
Have you ever experienced buyer’s remorse? Just before we buy something major like a car or a house we feel the surge of excitement that comes with getting something new. It’s the same feeling a child has when he or she gets a new toy for their birthday or for Christmas. After we buy the item, sometimes we are hit by a wave of remorse. We ask ourselves if we really needed the item or if we should have spent the money.
Buyer’s remorse is nothing new. In fact, the first instance of buyer’s remorse is in the reading we heard from Genesis earlier in today’s service. It began with the crafty serpent and his sales pitch. He was also the first example of a salesman who sold “snake oil.”
Sin is a mystery. It arises from within God’s “good” creation. The serpent is one of God’s creatures. Human suspicion about God’s motivations was embedded within human hearts from the beginning of time. It merely needed the serpent’s encouragement to bring it out and convert it into action.
Obedience is at the core of all that God wants for and from his children. In Eden, God didn’t ask Adam and Eve for love or faithfulness, only for obedience to one fundamental command: “If you want to walk with Me, do what I say.” God has set boundaries for us. They are like painted markings on a highway. Without those markings to give directions, there would be confusion and accidents. We are surrounded by a world where people live by their own moral codes and defy God’s boundaries. These people don’t have any peace or sense of security that moral guidelines provide.
The serpent tried to make God’s command not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil sound more restrictive than it really was. The serpent tried to get Eve to question God’s character and motives for herself. In her reply, Eve twisted God’s prohibition. She left out the words “surely” and “every”- “surely,” because God said so, and “every,” because of God’s generosity. She also added to God’s prohibition, “Neither shall you touch it.” Where did that come from? Was it an exaggeration, or was it something she and/or Adam added to build an extra wall of protection between themselves and the tree? There is a danger in adding to or taking away anything from God’s Word. Any alteration changes the meaning. All we have to do is look at the Pharisees and their 613 rules to see what happens when God’s Word is changed by man.
Doubt led to disobedience, and the world has suffered the consequences ever since that fateful day. When we turn our back on God’s Word, we turn our backs on God’s world. Evil appealed to false pride, and this false pride replaced God with the self. The inflated sense of importance overshadowed God and others. It made man the centre of creation. Pride is at the root of many temptations. All of us suffer from temptation. We become victim to it, and therefore all of us sin.
There are two ways for us to gain experience. If we gain experience by obeying God, we will gain wisdom. If we gain experience by disobeying God, we will become slaves to sin. Adam and Eve gained experience by listening to the serpent instead of listening to God. Consequently, they became slaves to sin, and through them all of mankind became slaves to sin. The danger is that once we have sinned we are not equipped to deal with the consequences of our sin. We are not always equipped to deal with our new knowledge let alone being able to control the circumstances of our lives.
As a result of disobeying God, Adam and Eve found out about good and evil. Their sense of guilt made them afraid to meet God. They would go on to know and experience every kind of sin, suffering, pain and physical and spiritual death. When we make choices that are contrary to God’s Word, we experience the same things and the same fears. As we try to run away and hide from God, he kindly and graciously calls to us and seeks us out. God wants us to look for Him. He wants us to come to Him with a repentant heart and honest words.
As soon as Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating of the tree, the process of death began. They became susceptible to the physical degeneration of disease and old age, and they faced a more serious form of death: spiritual death and eternal separation from God. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. They became homeless nomads. We are also homeless nomads spiritually when we try to find our way back to God.