Sin: setting ourselves above God

What was so bad about Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden that it merited the judgment that they (and all of Creation) suffered as a result? Today’s devotional, from Daily Encounter, takes a fresh look at the familiar story of Adam, Eve, and the forbidden fruit, and gives us a fresh perspective on the sin in our own lives:

…Satan’s lie [to Adam and Eve] had in it an element of truth that made it believable and much more subtle. “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

To be like God is perhaps life’s greatest and most subtle of all temptations.

True, Adam and Eve would be like God—only in that they would know the difference between good and evil. What Satan didn’t tell them was that if they ate of the forbidden fruit not only would they know good and evil but they would also  be left forever in a confirmed state of evil and, as such, be separated from God.

However, the essence of Adam and Eve’s sin was not so much taking of the forbidden fruit. It was setting themselves up as judge between God and Satan. In so doing they put themselves above God—usurping his authority. This was the sin that caused their downfall. Taking the forbidden fruit was the outcome of this action.

To make this concept clearer, picture God on the left, Satan on the right, and see Adam and Eve placing themselves above both and deciding who is right and who is wrong. Absurd, I know, but this is exactly what they did. They took the place of God.

Read the complete devotional at Daily Encounter.

Sin isn’t “just” about doing something that God dislikes. When we choose to sin, whether it’s a monstrous sin or a tiny little sin, we’re trying to elevate ourselves above God Himself. Adds a bit of perspective to our everyday “little sins,” doesn’t it?

This is the first of several Daily Encounter devotionals this week that will be exploring the topic of sin, so if you find their insights helpful, be sure to check back in.

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