Summary: God has given us a choice to follow him or not.
Which Bible story do you wish you could have been recorded on tape as it actually happened? Would it be the creation story? Would it be Jonah and the whale? Or what about the crucifixion and/or resurrection of Christ?
Unfortunately we do not have video records of Bible events and may be for good reason. If we saw it, what would happen to the place of faith?
But what if, what if, we could have recorded the situation between Eve, the serpent, Adam, and God? Would it have sounded like this? (Track 4 of Fall 2002 FW Friends Skit CD)
This story always raises a lot of questions. For example the snake or serpent fascinates us. We have been told that it walked on legs, was very beautiful, but, because of its role in this situation, it was forced, as stated in verse 14, to crawl on its belly for the rest of its life.
Another question that has been asked a lot is what kind of fruit was on the tree? Was it apples? Was it bananas? Was it coconuts? What kind of fruit did they eat?
These questions though, miss the main point. And the main point is the decision that Eve, and then Adam, made to disobey God. An important question to ask is, "Why?" "Why did they choose to disobey God?" "Why did they sin?" "Why do we sin?"
"Why" questions drive us crazy sometimes, don’t they? Kids ask lots of why questions. Why? One reason is because they are trying to understand this big ol’ world that they live in. "Why" questions deal with purpose. "Why" questions deal with reasons for why or how something happens.
Why is it that Adam and Eve choose to do something that was prohibited by God? Why did they sin?
Sin is a politically incorrect term these days. We don’t like the term "sin." It makes us feel uncomfortable. How many of us now are squirming in our seats? How many of us are looking at our watches and wondering when are we going to be done? How many of us are wondering, why do we have to preach about his Jim? Sin makes us feel "old fashion." It makes us feel "judgmental."
We substitute terms for sin: dysfunction, failure, and mistake. But, the Bible calls the choice made by Adam and Eve "sin." And that’s what it is.
"Sin" however is a theological term. It describes our spiritual condition and our relationship with God as broken and flawed. But, not because God has a problem but because we do.
In article entitled, "Ten Things We Should Have Learned Since September 11, 2001," that was posted on Christianity Today’s website, Jim Tonkowich says one of those ten things is that "Evil is real." And he shares a story that really tells us just how far some go to justify evil which is part of our problem today.
Tonkowich notes, "Following the attacks of 9/11, the morality of the attacks was debated at a major American university. One professor talked about being uncomfortable calling the terrorists evil. "After all," she reasoned, "we’ve sinned too." A student asked the professor whether or not the Nazis were evil. She responded, "That’s a difficult question."
Tonkowich goes on to state, "We in the West have done our best to move "beyond good and evil." And then he says this, "Even in the church we refrain from using the word evil, have softened the meaning of sin, and shy away from calling people to repentance."
Why do we sin? Why do we do what is evil? Why do we do what is wrong?
Last week I e-mailed the question, "What do you think that it would have been like to be Adam and Eve?" to some friends as part of the preparation for last Sunday’s sermon. One of them also wrote in her response something to the effect, "I probably would have gotten bored and done something to mess everything thing up."
Could Adam and Eve have become bored with Eden? Could they have become bored with their relationship with God? Could Satan have sensed the boredom and saw an opportunity to cause evil?
Boredom is a major problem for us. It is not a modern problem even though we are bored in spite of all the gizmos and gadgets that are supposed to "entertain" us.
Boredom is a spiritual issue. It influences our choices. It makes us venerable to choosing wrong. Consider this situation: David and Bathsheba.
2 Samuel 11:1 says "The following spring, the time of year when kings go to war; David sent Joab and the Israelite Army to destroy the Ammonites. In the process the laid siege to the city of Rabbah. But David stayed behind in Jerusalem."
David should have been with his troops. But, something caused him to make the decision to stay home and as verse 2 says, "take an late afternoon nap then get up and go for a stroll on the roof." Where he saw a beautiful woman bathing. And things go down hill from there.