Reading: Genesis 3:6
Many people who find themselves embroiled in the tangled web of consequences waken up to the fact that they have actually sinned. During the sinful spree or in the enjoyment of sinful speculating and experiment there is little thought given to the consequences. Like the prodigal son the sinner “comes to” with a sense of surprise (Luke 15:17). We can see how Adam and Eve might have spent many long evenings in tearful reminiscence, mulling through these few minutes of their life that cost them so dearly, asking the question that many have asked since: “How did this happen to me?” “Where did I get this appetite for sin?”
There is no sin that does not begin in the heart (James 1:15). What Eve said of the tree in Genesis 3:6 was true: it was “pleasant to the sight and good for food” (cf. 2:9). But of this forbidden tree Eve thought, in addition, that it was a “tree to be desired” and in this she sinned. There are two components of sinful appetite or coveting: discontent and desire.
Discontent is restlessness or unhappiness with present conditions, a grumbling spirit. With Eve, as with us, it began by doubting the goodness and sufficiency of God. Many have been discontent but ignorant of sinful alternatives. Satan, however, brings the full package, the toxic mix of discontent and alternative desire. Deal with discontent before you are aware of sinful alternatives.
Desire for the alternative to God’s will keeps the attention fixed on apparent “needs” and “wants.” It was not the food that Eve wanted, but the effects of the food. Covetousness is never happy with the thing itself but is always searching for the satisfaction of the thing. Covetousness can, therefore, never be satisfied. Only Christ can give complete and lasting happiness.
“If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us than a golden slipper on a gouty foot.” John Bunyan