Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 5 2011 - E100.2a – Genesis 3:1-7, The anatomy of sin

The man and the woman had been given a paradise garden to live in and to enjoy. There were countless varieties of fruits to eat and sights to see. There was just one thing that was forbidden them; they were not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

They had also been given dominion over every living thing. Yet the Tempter appeared to them in the form of a serpent, one of the creatures over whom they were to exercise godly rule. But now everything is turned upside down; the serpent exerts his dominion over the woman and the woman leads the man in disobedience to God.

The Tempter suggests that God has been unreasonable and ungenerous. Why should this particular fruit be forbidden them? See how good it appears. Why don't you just pick it and feel it and smell it. Why not take a bite, surely a little taste would do no harm. Indeed, it will do you good; you will know what it is like and you will demonstrate that you are capable of making your own decisions. Go on, give it a try. And while you're at it, give some to your husband; you don't want to take this step on your own.

So effective is this toxic seed of discontent that it is sown again and again by the Tempter. It is vital that we are not ignorant of his tactics. He comes often to us with the suggestion that God has treated us badly: he has deprived us of the things that should have been ours; he has forbidden things that would bring us pleasure. We need to cut the apron strings of dependency and grow up. It's about time we set our own course in life. Reach out and grab the things you want and to hell with the consequences.

We need to recognise the voice of the Tempter and refuse his deadly lies.

Loving Father, help me to see clearly the wealth of good things that you in love have lavished upon me. Help me to recognise the source of resentful and angry feelings and refuse to entertain them but send them and the Tempter packing. You gave your Son for us; will you not with him freely give us all things? May I always trust you and never doubt your unfailing goodness. Teach me the happy secret of contentment.

Peter Misselbrook