Why do we sin? There may be many answers to this question, but the bottom line is we sin because sin promises satisfaction; without that satisfaction we will be unfulfilled. Whether it is putting someone in their place, gaining money or reputation, gratifying physical desire or getting out of a jam, sin appeals to us by offering something desirable.
This is what we see with regards to the first temptation. A couple of observations for our instruction:
A. Temptation emphasises law over liberty: when temptation comes, law seems restrictive and unreasonable and creates within us wantonness. Satan emphasised to Eve the one thing that God had prohibited. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” He took the focus away from the great freedom she had in being able to eat from hundreds of other trees. Eve pointed out to Satan the many fruits available to her but the seed had been sown. She saw that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise
B. Temptation places restriction over provision: As a consequence of God’s restriction, temptation made Eve feel that she was missing out. The forbidden fruit would give to her what no other fruit could. Satan said to Eve, “God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” As satisfying as the rest of the food was, it lacked what this one tree could provide. No matter how much we have, once we start to focus on what we don’t have dissatisfaction and unthankfulness set in. The children of Israel became dissatisfied with God’s provision when they remembered the food back in Egypt.
We often refer to the ‘glass half empty’ person and the ‘glass half full’ person. The glass in fact is neither. It is always overflowing. Eve’s cup was overflowing she just lost sight of it. As temptation clawed its way into her life, no longer could she see the garden paradise with its menu offering a smorgasbord of culinary delights. She saw what she did not have and disobedience became preferable to obedience. She believed the great lie that submitting to God would leave her unfulfilled and unhappy. We live with the consequences of her sin and all too often follow her example.
There are numerous strategies we can employ when it comes to temptation. Certainly one of them is to live conscious of the reality of daily blessings; especially the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. Every day our cup overflows; it overflows even when life is painful. Temptation is all about resisting lies. Sin will not provide you with greater joy and contentment than that which comes from walking with the Lord. Psalm 16:11, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”