Reading through Genesis 3 leaves the impression that sin is essentially explained in that chapter. The first sin of the race offers the framework by which all other sin can be assessed and understood.
For me, one of the most striking aspects of sin as pictured in Genesis 3 is just how limiting sin proves to be. Notice that the tempter had to take Eve’s mind away from the infinite blessings God had bestowed upon her. The tempter caused Eve to forget the infinite bounty that was before her just awaiting her exploration; instead, the tempter got Eve to focus on a single tree with a single fruit in view.
In essence, all sin works this way. It makes one very small piece of creation become more important to you than all of creation. The whole earth belonged to Eve and Adam, but that was not enough. They traded it all for a single fruit. Whether our “fruit” is a pill, a woman, a man, a bottle, a juicy bit of gossip, or an extra dollar worth lying for–our fruit is the same as Adam and Eve’s; it is one little tiny part of creation which we have made ourselves to believe is worth all of creation. We make very small things large in our own eyes.
This means our lust is fueled not by reality, but by our appetites. We want to believe in the bigness of the little fruit. We make it big by pursuing it with heavy panting and constant craving. God is not fooled, however, and still sees the little thing for what it is: very small indeed.
If we would but turn to God in Christ, we would see what a massively glorious creature He is. Then we would know BIG! Then we would pant and crave to capture his inexhaustible glory. Then we would be fulfilled because whatever bigness we ascribe to God would prove not to have been big enough. He will always exceed our expectations of Him.
How ironic that sin limits us to such very small realities and blinds us to that reality which is gloriously abundant.