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December 4 – Punishment

The wages of sin is death.” – Romans 6:23a

Sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” – James 1:15b

Scripture reading: Genesis 2:16-17; 3:8-24

God liberally provided for Adam and Eve. They had permission to freely eat from all the trees in Paradise. Only one was off-limits. But the penalty for eating from the prohibited tree was death. God warned, “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17b).

Sadly, Adam and Eve ate. And they died. Immediately.

Death is not just about hearts that stop beating or brains that stop functioning. Death is the separation of that which belongs together. Adam and Eve immediately experienced separation from God by trying to hide from His sight in a bunch of bushes. Separation from God climaxed when they were banished from Paradise and barred from re-entry. Separation from each other began as the formerly naked couple hid their nakedness from each other’s view. Emotional separation was experienced as the blame-game began. Relational separation started as Eve soon resented her subordinate role as helper and as Adam soon abused his role as leader. Lastly, on that very day their immortal bodies became mortal. A process of decay was now underway. They were destined to return to the dust from which they were made and physical death would eventually separate body from soul.

From marvelous to marred, from beautiful to broken, from endless life to decay and death, paradise was lost. Such were the tragic results of defying a good and generous God. But before banishing Adam and Eve from the garden, God made promises that filled them with hope.

Suggestions for prayer

Rejoice that in Christ’s resurrection, death has been defeated and we can look forward to eternal life with Him in transformed bodies that will be like His glorious body.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God DevotionalRev. Brian Zegers has been serving the Lord by working with Word of Life Ministry as home missionary to the Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario since 2015.


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