Today in our series, Pastor Lutzer examines what he calls “the anatomy of a bad decision” from the story of the fall in Genesis 3. From Adam and Eve’s terrible choice to rebel against God, we learn much about our own hearts, and we learn how to apply this insight to escape destructive cycles of our own making.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you have joined me today as we continue our series, entitled, “Making the best of a bad decision.” Now, if you were with us last time, you know that we spoke about Adam and Eve in the garden — Genesis 3. And we’re going back there to help us to understand the anatomy of a bad decision and why it is so necessary to make a good decision which may even be contrary to our desires. So, stay me.
Why did Adam and Eve disobey God? Well, Eve tells us, you know, of course, that the serpent came and said, “Has God said that you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” And Eve said, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘you shall not eat of it lest you die.’” Now, isn’t that interesting? “But when Eve saw—” and this is important now, because we’re going to see that she elevated her desires above the word of God. She knew exactly what God had said but she’s elevating her desires “when she saw that the tree was good for food and to be desired to make one wise—” Think of that word: “desire.” Ever since that time, you and I are born with desires, and many times those desires are contrary to God’s word. You and I know that we are basically desire driven. Of course, what also influenced Eve—and by the way, Adam was next to her and he participated too and God held him guilty but what motivated her was, first of all, the whole idea of fulfilling desires and then curiosity. She often wondered what would it be like if I were to not disobey God [sic]. I’d always wonder what was it like to eat the fruit of the tree and as a result of that decision, of course, catastrophe happened.
Now, here’s what’s important. We are desire-driven as human beings but when we disobey, we then enlist our minds to justify our decisions. We all want to justify ourselves. God comes to Adam and Eve “walking in the cool of the day” and says, “Hast thou eaten of the tree wherein have I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” And what does the man say? First of all, he said, “I hid myself because I was naked and ashamed.” But then Adam said this, “the woman whom thou gavest me, she took of the tree (and then, well, what’s a man supposed to do? You know, his wife’s doing this) “—and I did it too.” Notice, the man blamed his wife. Even though there wasn’t a chance in the world that he had married the wrong one and then we discovered something else, God says to Eve, “What about you?” And she said, “The serpent beguiled me and I ate.” Someone has well said that the man blamed the woman, the woman blamed the serpent, and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on. But the whole human race now is going to be defined by being desire-driven and often those desires are contrary to God’s word, desire driven, but at the same time, enlisting our minds to justify ourselves. And the way we always do that is to blame somebody else.
What’s the take away? If you’re in a series of bad decisions and you want to make a good decision, not only do you have to say “no” to your desires and “yes” to God, but this is so critical, my friend, we have to own our own stuff. In other words, we have to end the “blame game” because if we don’t, we will justify bad decisions and we’ll continue on in a terrible spiral. Today, ask the Lord to show your own heart, your own disobedience because if you want to make the best of a bad decision, that’s where we begin, taking full responsibility for what we have done and not blaming others.
Thanks for joining us and we’re actually going to be returning to this story again because it is so interesting and it also gives us hope. So, join us next time but as for today, you just go with God.