Summary: By looking at the results of Adam and Eve’s sin, we can see a pattern for what sin does in our own lives.
1. There is always a cover-up (7)
2. There is always conviction (8-11)
3. There is always culpability (12-13)
4. There is always a curse (14-19)
5. There is always a cure (15)
A week ago Saturday, when I got home from prayer meeting here at the church, I went home and changed all the clocks in the house. I moved them forward one hour just like I was supposed to. Well, I tried to get all of them—but I missed a few. I not only missed a few, but I was a few minutes off on most of the clocks. Well, it got to the point, I wasn’t certain what time it was. I readjusted clocks all week to get them right. To get them right so I would know for certain what time it was. I might have spent a few days not being certain exactly what time it was, but there is something we can know for certain. We can know for certain what happens when we sin. Last week we looked at the first temptation. We saw how we can recognize temptation when it’s coming and know that God has provided a way of escape. But we don’t always take that way of escape, do we? Sometimes we sin. And the results of sin are awful. Our passage tonight outlines the details of the Fall. The awful results of Adam and Eve’s first sin. By looking at the results of their sin, we can see a pattern for what sin does in our own lives. Tonight, as we look at the horrible results of sin, I want each of us to leave here even more determined to avoid it. Avoid it by taking the way of escape that God has provided for us. To do that, we’re going to look at five certainties of sin. The first certainty of sin is that there is always a cover-up.
After sin, there is always a cover-up. OK, it’s confession time. When I was little, I broke something of my mother’s. I don’t remember what it was—it was either a hairbrush or a mirror. I think it was a hairbrush. Anyway, after I broke it, I stuck it up in the medicine cabinet. But I did it in such a way that it would fall out when she opened the door. It did, and when it fell out, she thought she broke it. That sounds funny, but what I was doing was what we all do when we sin. I tried to cover it up. That’s exactly what Adam and Eve did. Their eyes were ripped open to the awfulness of what they had done and they were ashamed. Their consciences were laid bare and they felt something God never intended for them to feel. They felt shame. They felt guilt. So, what did they do? They tried to cover it up. They took pieces of God’s creation and tried to fabricate something to cover up their shame. Our society has done a pretty good job of trying to reason away guilt. Everything from Oprah and Dr. Phil to psychiatrists to mood-altering drugs have been used to quiet that God-given voice of guilt and shame that results from sin. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are cases where psychiatrists and counselors are necessary. And there are times when psychotropic medication is a blessing from God. But many times it is just like Adam and Eve’s fig leaves. Something that man has created to cover up our guilt and shame. But our attempts at covering up our sin don’t even have to get to that extreme. Most of the time it’s by telling a lie. Or another lie. Or we cover it up by trying to justify it. “Well, it’s OK, everybody else is doing it.” “Well, she did it to me first.” “I can’t help it, that’s just how God made me.” Justifying our sin is probably our most used fig leaf. And it doesn’t cover up a thing. Think how silly Adam and Eve probably looked grabbing leaves and sewing them together. Like that was going to cover up anything. All they did was hid themselves from themselves. It wasn’t like a few leaves could hide their sin from God Almighty—the One who created them. That’s almost as silly as thinking our pitiful little justifications will cover up our sin and hide it from God. Do we think we’ll convince Him it wasn’t sin? Anytime we sin, we try to cover it up. And it’s always as ineffective as Adam and Eve’s fig leaves. We’re still naked and ashamed in our sin. That is certain. It is also a certainty of sin that there is always conviction.
After sin, there is always conviction. Can’t you just see Adam and Eve there in their ridiculous fig leaf aprons? OK, here He comes. Act natural. Act like nothing’s going on. Maybe He won’t notice us if we hide in these bushes over here. And what did God do? God is so amazing in the way He deals with us. He knows that we are but a vapor. He knows that we fade and wither like the grass. But, look how patient He is with us. Look how patient He was with Adam. He was patient enough that He asked Him a question. Now, remember that God knows everything. He always has and He always will. He was watching as the serpent was tempting Eve. He was watching as she took of the fruit. He was watching as she took it to Adam. And He was watching as Adam ate it too. He watched them sewing leaves together in a panic. And He saw them hide in the bushes. Since He saw all that, why did He ask Adam where he was? For the same reason He asks us questions when we sin. He doesn’t ask seeking information. He asks seeking confession. He asked Adam three questions. With each one came more and more conviction. And with each one, Adam had the opportunity to confess and repent. First, God asked, “Where art thou?” That question showed Adam how utterly useless it is to hide from God. Even the best cover up we can manage is no match for God’s omniscience. Look with me in Psalm 139: