When I’m depressed or frustrated, one of the things I like to do is eat candy.
Peanut M&M’s, Reese’s Cups, Skittles, peanut butter M&M’s and 3 Musketeers are my favorites. You hand me any of those, I’ll chow down. But when I’m depressed or frustrated or sad about something, the chances of me doing almost anything I can to get my hands on one of those go up significantly.
The thought process is this: I feel like crap. Candy tastes good. Things that taste good make me feel better. I want to feel better. I should eat candy.
The problem with candy is that it is unhealthy to eat in more than small doses. A study in 2014 said that those who eat too much added sugar are making themselves more susceptible to heart disease and death. Honestly though, I don’t think we needed a study to tell us that.
But isn’t sin the same way?
We get some insight into this idea in Genesis 3:6 –
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
You could dissect a lot of this verse, but I want to focus on the underlined parts.
The tree, the fruit of the tree, was “good for food.”
Food is something that we go to when we seek nourishment and fulfillment. You hungry? You eat a banana/apple/cheeseburger/steak/french fry/ice cream cone/whatever you want. Food was made so we could be nourished and fed.
What sin promises is nourishment. And, let’s be honest, it’s not a completely empty promise. There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes from partaking in sin. We get satisfied.
But it’s only to a degree. And you see that in Adam and Eve’s response. They thought they would be satisfied, they thought they would be wise. The satisfaction was there for a moment in being made wise, but then there was regret and shame. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths” (v. 7).
Sin is nourishing, but only for a moment. It’s like eating a Reese’s Cup. You can’t have just one. You gotta have more. Why? Because one is not designed to completely satisfy you.
The tree, the fruit of the tree, was a “delight to the eyes.”
We’re attracted to things that are beautiful. We’re drawn to the beauty of the nature. Guys are drawn to beautiful women. A mother is captivated by the simple beauty of her child. Some appreciate the beauty of a well-constructed car.
Sin looks good. Sex outside of marriage looks good and appealing. People look at porn because it looks good to them. Lying to get out of trouble at work looks good. Showing yourself off to others pridefully looks good.
But it’s only to a degree. There’s consequences and end results that don’t look good. The heart-wrenching guilt of addiction, the legal troubles of fraud and the downcast glances of those tired of your bragging can be ugly. God’s words to Adam and Eve following their choice of sin did not look good.
To Eve:“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (v. 16). To Adam: “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (v. 17b-19).
Sin looks good, but only for a moment. It’s like looking at a Photoshopped picture and then seeing the original. It’s not nearly as pretty or appealing.
Yet we give in.
It’s natural. And based on these ideas, we shouldn’t be surprised when we give in. Our first parents showed us the way.
But my favorite part of the Genesis 3 story comes in what God tells the serpent, what He tells Satan. Verse 15:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Eve’s offspring? Jesus. So Jesus will bruise Satan’s head, and Satan will bruise Jesus’ heel. There’s a big difference in the pain caused by a heel bruise and a head bruise. Hitting a head is much more painful and does much more damage than hitting a heel. You know a head shot?
Jesus is gonna crush Satan! Well, He already did once, on the cross. Because He did that, we can be forgiven of our sin. That sin that we’re so susceptible to, God doesn’t keep that on your record if you’re a Christian. And then, at the end, Jesus will do much more than crush Satan. He’ll kick him out of earth! And God will have the victory!
That’s true beauty and true nourishment. Forever. Sin won’t last forever. Jesus will.