Fear is one of the most basic instincts of every living creature. It can serve several healthy functions, but Scripture often forbids fear because of its tendency to lead us into disobedience. In the story of Adam and Eve falling into sin in Genesis 3, the Bible identifies the emotion of fear as the first negative feeling that entered the human experience.
Right after Adam and Eve directly disobeyed the commands of God, Adam ran from God. In verse 10 he says to the Lord, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked.”
Sin initially brought nothing but alienation to Adam and Eve – from each other and God. The unimaginable intimacy they enjoyed with each other and God was replaced by a frightening distance.
Before their sin, the most beautiful sound in the garden for Adam and Eve was the voice of God. Now their darkened hearts imagined that the best thing they could do for themselves was hide from him. All of us should run toward the mercy of God. Sin and fear keep us running away from him…and maximizes our misery.
Though the story of Genesis 3 is primarily a story of sin and redemption, we see the Lord deal with our fears as much as with our relationship with him. God knew Adam’s sin had led to fear. God pursued him in the Garden. In verse 9, the Lord asks, “Where are you?” Rather than expressing ignorance, this question was God’s way of getting Adam to deal seriously with his sin and fears. God wants us to run to him when tempted to sin and beaten down by fear.
So we learn that sin paves the way for fear to settle in our hearts. Therefore, the more we struggle with sin, the more we’ll struggle with fear. Our battle against fear involves an ardent battle with sin. Don’t allow sin to go unchallenged and bring its crippling companion alongside it.