Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Ways of the Sinner

Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and she coveted the wisdom it would bring her. She took and ate of its fruit, offering it to her husband also. She and Adam realized their naked state and attempted to hide it from God. Genesis 3:6-8

Cain saw that the Lord respected Abel’s offering and coveted that respect. Cain took his brother, Abel’s life, and attempted to hide his sin from God. Genesis 4:4-9

Joseph’s brothers saw that he was favored by their father and by the Lord (Genesis 37:4-8) and coveted that favor (Genesis 37:11). They attempted to take away that favor by selling him to Ishmaelite travelers. They killed a goat, dipping Joseph’s tunic in the blood in order to hide their sin from their father.

Achan, of the tribe of Judah, sinned before the Lord, bringing defeat and death upon the Israelites. He saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, coveted them, took them, and hid them. Joshua 7:21

David saw Bathsheba, (a married woman), bathing on the roof of her house, and he coveted her beauty. He sent messengers to take her and then slept with her, resulting in an unexpected pregnancy. He attempted to hide his sin by orchestrating the murder of her husband and marrying her himself. 2Samuel 11

Are you seeing a pattern here? In each situation, the individual/s saw, coveted, took, and hid.

It doesn’t appear that sin is something we ‘fall’ into, but rather a series of conscious choices. It is an action that we have several opportunities to change, and the first opportunity presents itself the moment we lay eyes upon it. This is when we face two options: look upon it a little longer, or turn the other way and get out of dodge! Should we choose to linger, covetousness sets in and we must make a vital choice: give in to this desire and take what we know is not ours, or flee the temptation and head in the opposite direction (1 Timothy 6:11). If we give into desire, there remains a way of escape: bring it into the light by confessing our sin. However, when we allow sin to go this far, we begin to sear our conscience, and when our conscience is seared, hiding sin becomes oh so easy and logical (1 Timothy 4:2).

Not only does sin involve seeing, coveting, taking, and hiding, but also enticing others to sin with us (Genesis 3:6- She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate), casting blame for our sin rather than taking responsibility for our action (Genesis 3:12,13- “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” and “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”), and flat out lying about our sin when confronted (Genesis 4:9 “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”).

We all choose sin and we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). However, God offers grace to those who repent (Psalm 32:5). Unlike Adam and Eve, who were merely afraid of being naked and found out by God (Genesis 3:10), we must have a heart of true repentance, confessing our sin the moment we are convicted by it, receiving forgiveness, and choosing righteousness.

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”  Genesis 4:7

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  1. Stephanie! I saw this in my blogroll a while ago, and I've been meaning to read it for several days. I'm so glad I did! Great thoughts here. We fall into sin as into a pit, but how we get to that pit involves a process of making the wrong choices. This reminds me a little of a paper I once wrote for my humanities class in 10th grade. I wrote that Eve's final fall was secured the moment she "saw that the tree was good" and allowed herself to doubt God's word. Once you take the first wrong step, you COULD still get back to the right track, but it's really really hard, and most often we just progress further into sin because our thoughts become more and more self-centered. How can I hide this? How can I get away with this?
    Thank God for His love to still look on such sinners as us and give us opportunity for repentance. Such grace is ours.

    1. Grace! I'm so thankful for that word. What would I be without it? I imagine your 10th grade humanities paper was wonderful! Thanks for visiting, Joy. Always great to hear from you. How's your bible study going?

  2. Oh thanks for asking. =) It's going great! God has been working so wonderfully in all our hearts to bring us closer together and to Him. You have to know, we're all in more or less the same boat regarding our families, and just seeing Him build from us and from our brothers here the church He's slowly building, the Spirit He pours out on each of these dear sisters of mine and the way He's teaching us all and bringing us together making us as living stones holding each other up in Him - I can't tell you how thankful I am.

    1. Ah, this reminds me of our scriptures from Ephesians on Friday-
      'in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.' Eph 2:21-22
      God is building His church, preparing to present His bride spotless. He also builds us each individually, convicting, disciplining, teaching, leading in unique ways. But again, we are in this together to encourage one another. We must look past our differences and accept that we are not all led the same, but we are built on the same rock solid foundation- Jesus Christ.
      Thanks for visiting, Joy, and I am so glad to hear of you stepping out in this way and of how well it's going for your group of ladies :)

  3. 1Peter 2:5 came to my mind. =) Thanks for your encouragement, Stephanie. It's a blessing knowing you and reading your words.


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