The Origins Story : The Origins of Mercy (Gen 4:1-26)

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Sin will take you further than you want to go. Keep you for longer than you want to stay. Cost you more than you are willing to pay.

Do not entertain sin. It is like playing with fire. It is not a matter of will you get burnt but when will you get burnt and then how badly.

In Genesis 1 and 2 we see how God had created and ordered the world and it was very good. But in Genesis 3 we see the effects of sin as it flips God’s order on its head and results in disorder. Where it should have been God instructing the Man and Woman who then instruct the rest of creation including the serpent, now it was the serpent who instructed the Woman who then instructed the Man who then tried to tell God it wasn’t his fault and blamed God for putting the Woman in the garden with him in the first place. This is the epitome of disorder that where God ought to have been praised, God is now being cursed. Sin is not treating God as he ought to be treated.

As with Adam and Eve, our reaction to our own sin is to cover it up and hide. But no matter how sophisticated our proverbial fig leaves may be, whether we hide behind our good deeds, our achievements, our morality, our spirituality or even our own ignorance – God sees through it all. We may be able to hide our sin from one another but we cannot hide it from God. He already knows our sin and yet we still think we can get away with it. So, even when confronted with our sin, we come up with a host of excuses and reasons to divert, dismiss and minimise the depth of our sin and it is only to our own detriment.

However, as God can be trusted with the creating and the sustaining of the world. God can also be trusted to deal with our sin. We need not hide from God as though he would be unjust and unfair to us due to our sin. What is more, we need not hide from God because he is gracious and merciful. In Genesis 3, we see that ultimately God’s response to Adam and Eve’s sin was great compassion not condemnation. They were cursed and there were consequences for their sins but this was nonetheless in the context of mercy and hope. As the world went from order to disorder through the one man Adam, God had also set in motion a plan for the world to go from disorder to order through another man, Jesus. This rescue plan is hinted at in the promise of the serpent crusher (3:15), and also in the skin coverings provided through the first sacrifice (3:21).

So, the next time you are tempted to sin. Don’t do itDo not sin. It is not worth it. You will not regret living righteously. You will not be ashamed of living sinlessly. You don’t need to try sin out. You are not missing out. You don’t have to experiment with sin and see for yourself. But if you do sin and God knows you will – then what will you do? Do not cover your sin up but confess it and see that God will forgive you and cover you with his love. And as you receive his forgiveness, ensure that you do likewise and forgive others too.