There is this grocery store near my house that shall remain nameless. They produce these little packages of donut holes periodically. They first list these boxes of glazed and powdered goodness at $2.99. After a day or two (or nine) they will lower the price to the “they’re about to get moldy” discount of 99 cents. This is when I strike. They think they can trick me by requiring me to have their special “rewards card,” which is really just a piece of plastic that you must scan in order to escape their exorbitant prices. Once you scan your card the reward you receive is that their prices are only slightly higher than the big box store down the street, rather than immorally higher.
The crazy thing about these donut holes is that after I eat them I usually feel like garbage. They’re super good for about 5 minutes (especially after a brief trip through the microwave), but after consuming more than 3 or 4, I get a stomach ache. The donut holes assassinate my insides and leave me with that “I just ate several little donuts that added up to at least 3 or 4 regular sized donuts and now I hurt” feeling.
These donut holes remind me of sin. Last week I posted a blog entitled “sin is pleasurable.” That claim is only half true. Sin is enjoyable for a moment, but what it leaves in its wake is anything but pleasurable.
Genesis 3:6 is the verse in the Bible that details the moment when sin broke into the human experience through the willful disobedience of our first parents. Satan tempted Eve by questioning God’s word, and this is what happened next:
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.
As we saw last week, there are 3 ways this verse describes sin:
1) It was good for food
2) It was a delight to the eyes
3) It was “desired to make one wise”
All three of these are a mirage. These claims about sin are all a lie. That forbidden fruit wasn’t good for food. God said, “Eat whatever you want, just don’t eat that.” When God looked at all of creation (before Adam and Eve fell) he saw that “it was good.” God blessed them and gave them to each other and said “be fruitful and multiply.” What that tree offered was not good for sustaining life or for fulfilling the cravings of their souls. It wasn’t good for food. That was a lie Eve believed.
The forbidden fruit was also described as “a delight to the eyes.” It looked good. But was it good? Was it delightful? No. That was also a lie. Eve believed the lies Satan was telling her and her perception of sin changed. Instead of seeing it for what it was, sin appeared delightful. But it wasn’t delightful. It was a pathway to death and separation from God.
The third and final description of sin here is that it was “desired to make one wise.” Biblically speaking, wisdom is something that God owns. It is an attribute of God, and something he distributes:
For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity…
Was the tree Eve pondered really a source of wisdom? No. This too was a lie. This tree that Satan convinced her would lead to knowledge and wisdom actually drove them from her.
Sin is like a donut hole plus death. It seems like a good idea in the moment. But the pleasure it brings does not truly satisfy, and the path it leads us down ends only in death.
 (paraphrase of Genesis 2:16-17)