Troublesome Topic: Other Consequences of the Fall

Lesson 10 of 14

The evidences of some drastic changes in mankind as a result of that first disobedience are many, but two characteristics cry out for special attention.

1.   A change in orientation/focus.

Before the privileged couple had sinned, their orientation was toward their Creator. After they sinned the Creator was no longer the central and most important figure. They had placed themselves in that place of primacy, the place that only God deserves. As a result of that change in orientation man began to exhibit pride and selfishness. I believe that these two twin characteristics (pride and selfishness) are the root sins, and all other acts of sin are manifestations of these two basic attitudes. I cannot think of one sin that is not based in an attitude of self-seeking. 

Pride causes us to be confused about the place that we deserve. I have often asked congregations or groups this question: “When God created the world, whom did He create it for?” I can only remember two people who did not say, “for us” or “for man.” Then I go on to ask another question: “Who is at the center of the universe?” Or if you wish, “Around whom do all things revolve?” The answer is invariably “God.” Then I try to point out the discrepancy in those two answers. If God is truly at the center of all things, then why did He make this world for us? If this world was made for us, why are we not at the center of the universe with all things revolving around us? The truth is that God did not make this world for us, He made it for Himself! Observe Colossians 1:16.

Colossians 1:16


All things have been created by

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Him and for Him.


Everything was created by the agency of Christ, and for His purpose.

They were not created for us, for Him. We have been named the administrators or managers of this world, but being the manager and being the owner are two very different things. Lucifer was cast out of heaven precisely for not wanting to give God the place He deserves. When we place

ourselves in that most important place, we are doing exactly what Lucifer did.

The issue of idolatry is closely tied to self-centeredness. What is idolatry? The incident of the golden calf gives the best explanation I know.

Exodus 32:4


And he received it from their hands and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made a cast image of a calf. Then they said, “These

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are your gods,

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Israel, that brought you up out of the land of EGYPT.”

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He (Aaron) received the articles of gold from them; he made a cast image of a calf and then had a professional finish it properly with the right tools.

Then the people said to one another, “Hey fellow Israelites, this must be the completely capable god you should follow because they brought you out of the land of THE PLACE BOUND BY SIN.”

Aaron ascribed to a chunk of metal the credit for what God had done, putting that thing in the place that only God deserved. That is exactly what idolatry is: placing something else in the place that only God deserves. Now think about what pride does, it places us in first place, the place that only God deserves. Therefore, any time we think only of ourselves, putting our desires first, any time we give ourselves the place of most importance, we are also committing idolatry.

The first major consequence of the fall was that it changed man’s focus from God to himself.

2.   A change in perspective.

The other basic change has to do with how Adam and Eve viewed the physical world.  Before breaking their relationship with God, the material things around them were not that important; just look at how they dressed—they didn’t. They did not care that they were naked, it just wasn’t important. Instead of being oriented toward things, they seem to have been oriented toward relationships. After sinning, an orientation toward material things became evident. North American culture is obsessed with getting more things and thinking they are truly “ours.” The Bible gives the correct perspective that everything belongs to God and is on loan to us. Today man’s twisted nature demonstrates itself in part by our putting undue importance on material things.

Americans seem to look for security and stability in things rather than in relationships. We seek that sense of security and stability by having enough in the bank to carry us through hard times, by having a car and a house that bring us respect from others.

We make the things of eternal importance seem insignificant simply because we cannot see or feel them; and we make those things that we can see and feel the most crucial, although they are not eternal. We must admit that we are now backwards from what God made us to be. So when I speak of a twisting effect caused by Adam and Eve’s choice, I want it to be clear that this is a major torquing, not just a small, imperceptible twist. God gave us many interests and cravings which He originally made perfect and good, but which now can, and often do, become a source of sin for us. The desires for food, sex, stability/security, and a few other things, are all God-given but have been twisted. There are ways to fulfill our desire for food and sex, for instance, that fit God’s purpose, and ways which do not. The latter are called sin because they do not please God, rather they offend Him. 

The next lesson in the full length version of this study on Covenants is: God’s Remedy.



“by” means “on account of, by or through;” it points to the agency of the action, i.e. the means by which something was accomplished.


The words used in the text are indeed plural, hence the translation “these,” but, just like the divine name Elohim is plural, yet refers to one God, so this usage probably is intended to mean one, not many. Aaron made one golden calf, not many. It could have represented all the gods of Egypt, but it seems more natural to me to see the use of the plural as an indication of completeness, as is done with Elohim. Here completeness indicates powerful. It is this idea of completeness and powerful that causes me to word it in the paraphrase as “a completely capable god”


The idea behind “your god” is that there will be a close relationship between the human and the divine. The deity will meet your needs if you follow and obey. It was understood to be much more than simply “belonging” to a certain religion with very little commitment to loyalty and obedience. Today we have many people who claim a religious affiliation of some kind, but it is little more than a verbal statement of preference; their lives are not shaped and governed by a commitment to the teachings of that religion.


The meaning of the name “Egypt”: The word means “a siege, an enclosure, a defensive or fortified place, also a besieged place, or a bound-up place.” Throughout Scripture Egypt is consistently portrayed as a representation of sin. Because of that negative reputation, I have chosen to focus on the “besieged or bound up” part of the name, while I acknowledge that Egyptians of that day would have said that they were the ones doing the besieging. I have tied together the idea of besieged or bound, and that of sin to come up with the following meaning of the name: PLACE THAT IS BOUND BY SIN.