Tuesday, January 2, 2007

She Took of its Fruit and Ate

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6

I find it fascinating that Eve was led to disobedience through such an extensive process. It was not an immediate or instantaneous surrender to the temptation, but rather a series of steps that led to the sin. First there was an examination of the situation, in which the severity of the circumstance was reduced. Then, there was a logical approach, in which the decision was justified, using arguments that would approve the decision. Finally, perhaps by guilt, perhaps motivated by fear, there was the desire to have peer involvement and support, lest she be alone in the judgment.

Like Eve, when we find ourselves in the midst of temptation, it is often our first reaction to shrug our shoulders and dismiss the gravity of falling for such a temptation. She questioned whether it truly could be that bad to do such a thing. After all, she convinced herself, it really could be helpful, and after all, it really is not hurting anyone. Likewise, we often lessen the potency of the sin by our endeavors to see the possible benefits, despite the fact that we are only deceiving ourselves by our attempts to look for the good in our disobedience. Similar to Eve who studied the tree and found the good parts of it, we can sometimes be so self-absorbed and so busy manipulating the situation to fit it to our desires that we quickly find ourselves entangled in sin.

The second step after Eve tried to see the positive side of eating from the tree was that she provided logical reasons for committing the disobedience. Her reasons were feeble, but she, like many of us, needed to have an excuse. She claimed that the tree was not only good for food, but pleasant for the eyes and perhaps possible in making her wise. However, her first argument, though the most logical in some ways, is weak. Though the tree would be good for food, it is clearly noted that food was plentiful. Therefore, it is in the latter two arguments that her real motives are revealed. Her intentions were to satisfy the flesh; she wanted the pleasure of seeing the tree and the glory of being wise. However, no matter how well Eve tried to logically justify her sin, the underlying reasons were wholly for self-gratification and pride. Likewise, we can have the tendency to give excuses for our behavior and attitude, but when it comes down to it, we do what we want because we are selfish.

Lastly, Eve's process in disobedience includes the fact that her sin must be shared. She did not want to experience the shame, guilt, or fear by herself. Thus, she was able to convince Adam to partake of the fruit with her. I think this is one of the most tragic aspects of sin; it is the contagious, infectious element that affects more than just one person.

Dear God,

Please help me to resist temptation. Help me not to come up with excuses or reasons for disobedience, but rather help me to remember Your instruction and commandments. I want to be pure and pleasing in Your sight; please remove my desires for self-gratification.

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