Genesis 3 and the Birth of Sin

Article / Produced by TOW Project
Birth of sin

While Genesis 1 and 2 show us how God intended human beings to be, Genesis 3 shows us what the man and woman chose to become. You probably know the story about a forbidden tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and about a snake who persuaded the woman that eating its forbidden fruit would make her like God, knowing everything, both good and evil. She was persuaded, and the man standing next to her followed her example. In the instant that they both ate the fruit, everything changed for both of them. The man's work would remain that of tilling the ground, but now he would have to contend with harsh conditions. Part of the woman's punishment was that her desire would be for the man, but he would dominate her. Among the consequences of the Fall, patriarchy was born.

Patriarchy means male domination of the female. The word describes how societies have been structured from very early in human history. In Genesis 4 we see that polygamy also appeared early, as Lamech boasts to his two wives about his ability to best all opponents. After Adam and Eve left the Garden, wives became collectible property. The accumulation of obscenity and violence meant that, " The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. " (Genesis 6:5).

Sinful people treat others unjustly. This has been true almost from the beginning of time and it is true today. Both men and women may suffer unjust treatment in the workplace and feel powerless to change their circumstances. But God is aware of the evil that exists in human hearts. He routinely uses human instruments to challenge evil and its perpetrators.