After having looked at cows, rhinoceroses, anteaters, and sloths, God puts Adam in a deep sleep. When he wakes up, he sees Eve and immediately notices that she’s much different than anything he’s ever seen. I imagine she had that angelic light and chorus around her as Adam laid eyes on the one he would spend the rest of his life with. Adam manages to stammer out these words:
This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man. (Genesis 2.23)
Adam and Eve rapidly move from this level of relationship to one of blame-shifting, hiding, deceiving, lying, and pride. What’s the result?
Enmity. Pain. Difficulties. Frustrations. Sweat. Shame. Banishment. Broken relationships.
Sin in the OT is first a relational breach. Adam and Eve are separated from each other and from God. Things that should bring great joy would forevermore be painful and difficult. And maintaining and growing the relationships that matter most would be far from easy.
Don’t think that your sin only affects you and your relationship with God, and that, since it’s just between you and God, it won’t make a difference in the lives of others. There is a horizontal aspect to sin. It erodes community.
To think it only affects you is to think to little of sin and its consequences.
Have you ever noticed your personal mistakes having a negative impact on community?