Genesis 3:6-13 Sin and Shame (The Anatomy of Sin)

February 23, 2014

Genesis 3:6-13

Sin and Shame (The Anatomy of Sin)


Children’s Sermon:  Be Careful Little Eye What You See

Why should we be careful of what our eyes see?  Our eyes can lead us to disobey God.  Sometimes we may see something that isn’t for us, but we want it as soon as we see it.


Let’s try this out.  What is something you wish you had right now?  (Show plate of cookies.)  Now, how many of you want a cookie?  But that’s not what you said a minute ago!  What changed? 


You can read in the news about people who maybe saw a car that didn’t belong to them and they took it.  Maybe you’ve seen someone at school look at somebody’s pencil and take it because they wanted it.  Our eyes can get us in trouble. 


When my children were little they weren’t allowed to watch just anything they wanted on TV.  Do you have that rule?  Why do you think we have that rule?  What we see can become what we want and it won’t always be what God wants for us. 


I want to teach you a song that helps us remember to be careful what we let our eyes see.  It goes like this:

O be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little eyes what you see

There's a Father up above

And He's looking down in love

So, be careful little eyes what you see


Intro:  O be careful little eyes what you see.  Sin doesn’t always start with our eyes, seeing and wanting is usually an element that draws us away from God.  Have you thought much about how sin works?  Maybe if we have a better understanding we will have a better chance of avoiding it.  Let’s look at Gen. 3:6-13 as a training tool, to better understand the anatomy of sin and the shame it brings upon the sinner.




The first part of verse 6 lays out a pattern for the creation of the opportunity to sin.  All of us are different, so maybe it doesn’t exactly fit all of us, but it is a pattern we should pay attention to.


Gen 3:6a  When the woman saw Now remember that the enemy of God, in the form of the serpent, had challenged the goodness and wisdom of God before the woman.  She had a choice to make.  Would she believe God or the serpent?  She decided to take a closer look at that forbidden fruit.  O be careful little eyes what you see.  She liked what she saw, she wanted it, she took it.  And then what happened?

  • She saw that it was good for food – Hey!  We’ve got to eat!  Never mind that there were hundreds of other varieties of fruit she was already allowed to eat!  THIS one was good for food.
  • She saw that it was pleasing to the eye – How often does this get us in to trouble (as demonstrated in our children’s sermon!).  Our eyes fall upon something pleasant – it could be the white cake with chocolate icing at the Flying Cow or it could be the body of a well shaped younger person.  It’s one thing to admire and another thing to desire what one sees.  If the woman had stopped there, no harm would be done, but what comes next?
  • She saw that it was desirable for gaining wisdom – The enemy of God had convinced her that she was not complete without that fruit. Something was missing without it.  She had to have it to be whole.  God was withholding something wonderful from her, but she could have it if she just took that forbidden fruit.

And she did.


Think about the sins you commit.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first sin was centered on an object of food.  Food has been a temptation for many ever since!  But what about the other things that cause you to lust after them.  Think of how an affair might start.  Consider why a person steals. Consider why so many of us get into financial problems.


Whatever that sin is, it begins with the idea that we need it; that the object of our desire is good for us; no matter what “rules” need to be broken, it will be worth it to have this one thing.


If we are all honest, isn’t this how it works?


And we’re fond of thinking that when we sin, we are the only ones that are impacted by it.  But sin loves to be shared.


3:6b She also gave some to her husband,

REALLY!  Who likes to sin alone?  Even if you choose to sin in private, there is comfort in knowing that there are others doing it in private too!  Sometimes we even use it as an excuse and think “Well, everyone else is doing it!” And then you will hear your mother’s voice say, “If everyone else were jumping off a bridge, would you follow?”  And like the woman, we can usually find someone else to join us in our sin.  It makes us feel better about ourselves if we can find someone else involved in the same thing.  But guess what!  That still doesn’t make it okay!


The consequences of sin are broad and wide.  They may not all seem bad.  That first bite of the treat you gave into?  Yum!  The first kiss with a forbidden person? Delightful!  The first joy ride in the stolen car?  Exhilarating.  But then, whether we accept it or not, acknowledgement comes that we have been involved in something we shouldn’t be.


3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;


Wow. What must that moment have been like?  The moment when they realized they were naked?  What emotions accompanied that discovery?  One of those emotions was Shame.  We know this because after they became aware, they covered themselves.

Maybe this realization doesn’t happen immediately, but there comes a time when we become aware that we have done something that is not right.  And I believe that the closer and more intimate with God we are, the more we feel the shame when we realize we’ve broken covenant with him.  And then, just like the man and woman, we want to hide from God.


Gen 3:8-13  In the following verses we have the scene of what happened when God tried to engage the humans as he had since their creation.


God was walking in the garden.  Think about what that means!  Up to this point, there had been nothing standing between God and humankind.  The relationship was pure and free, but now there is guilt and shame.  There is hiding and dodging an encounter.  Can you recall a time when your sin has put you in this position with another?  You try to avoid the one whom you know you need to be accountable to.  You want to get away from the confrontation that will come.


But God is not put off by their hiding from him.  God knows that things have changed.  Can you imagine the heartbreak?  God had given them everything and had loved them and they chose to be loyal to another.  Parents, have you experienced this with your children?  You give them everything they need and you love them and they still choose to disobey.  They break our trust and they choose to be loyal to someone else or another idea.  And our hearts break.  Maybe that’s a little of what God was experiencing.


And then, God gets out of them the confession of what they had done.  And as the man begins to explain what happened, he uses a ploy we are all too familiar with.  He begins the “blame game”. 


3:12-13  Is it really ever someone else’s fault when we sin?  I’m afraid the answer is no.  Someone else may tempt us but the buck stops with us.  We are the ones who respond or choose to walk away.  If we counted up all the times we’ve blame another person or situation for the poor choices we’ve made, the list may be very long.  But no matter the count, the truth is, that we are the ones who choose what we will do in any situation.


Concl.  We have one more Sunday before Lent begins and we’ll finish up the third chapter of Genesis and the conversation on sin.  But it’s not too early to begin to think about repentance.  It’s perfect timing to begin thinking about what stands between us and God and committing ourselves to the task of making that right during the season of Lent.


I take great comfort that God approached the man and woman right after they sinned.  He did not wait for them to seek him out, he came to them.  Even in the darkness of our sin, God comes looking for us.  God is not afraid of our darkness.  As David wrote in Ps. 139:11-12

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will hsine like the day,for darkness is as light to you.


Friends, there is a fountain filled with blood washing all your sins away.  Believe in God’s forgiveness and step out of the darkness into his marvelous light.  Live like a person who has been forgiven, in hope and joy.  Be transformed by this gift of light and love. Amen.