In the first week of my daily Bible reading plan for 2021, I read through Genesis 1-15. Something that grabbed my attention in the reading was how quickly the world falls apart once sin enters the picture. The rapid succession of bad to worse in Genesis 1-11 has led many Bible students to call this section of Scripture “The Avalanche of Sin.”
This avalanche begins in Genesis 3:6-7 with the fall of Adam and Eve. Satan sowed doubt in Eve’s mind, causing her to question God’s only command (Gen. 3:2-3). This doubt caused Eve to reason herself into sin. When she was near the tree of good and evil, she saw that the tree “was good for food, and it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise.” She believed her own reasons why she should disobey God, and “she took from the tree and ate; she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
We quickly go from the first sin, breaking God’s law (cf. 1 John 3:4), to the first murder. We read in Genesis 4:1-15 of Cain murdering his brother Abel. After God does not accept Cain’s sacrifice (v.5-7), we read that “Cain told his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Able his brother and killed him.” Instead of heeding God’s warning in v.7 that “sin is crouching at the door and its desire is for you.” Cain instead plotted to kill his brother. Leading him out into the field where no one could hear or see what was happening.
Two chapters later, we go from the world’s first murder to “the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). By this time, the only righteous persons that could be found were Noah and his family (Genesis 6:8). Because Noah and his family were found faithful, God spared them from the judgment of the flood.
It is incredible to see how quickly things spiraled out of control for humanity. We go from disobeying God’s only rule in the garden, to the corruption of all humanity in eleven short chapters. This avalanche of sin highlights a lesson for us. Sin will always take you further than you ever wanted to go and will engulf you faster than you thought possible.
However, there is hope. Just as things seem to be getting dark again in the narrative of Genesis, we are introduced to a man named Abram in Genesis 12:1. And we begin to see that God has a plan to remedy the sin problem that plagues humanity. We read in Genesis 12:3, “and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” This promise God gave to Abram would ultimately be fulfilled through Christ (Galatians 3:16, 26-29). Through Jesus, God rendered powerless sin and death and provided the hope of eternity with Him.