What was the first human sin involving anger?

Chris —  October 25, 2012

Sunday’s sermon in the Leading Our Emotions Series is on anger. Here’s question that flows out of my study.

I’ll be impressed if you can answer this one. What was the first human sin involving or related to anger?

It might help you answer it correctly if you review the Westminster Shorter Catechism definition of sin (Q. 14).


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34 responses to What was the first human sin involving anger?

  1. hey. maybe eve’s indignant reaction to the suggestion that God had withheld something good from her. i.e., plying into her decision to taste the forbidden fruit. pride, anger, self-importance all bound up in an indignant reaction that leads to disobedience. 2cents…

  2. Oooh. Joy, that’s not bad. But not quite there. IMHO.

  3. WRATH

  4. Jimmie Dale – – good to hear from you!! Great things always come out of the Birmingham direction. But wrath is just a general word, and God is a God of righteous wrath – – so it can’t be that. I’m looking for a specific moment when there was a sin related to the area of anger.

  5. blame? adam’s self-defensive retort?

  6. It feels good just to say, “nope,” after all that editing.

  7. Cain and Abel – God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, but not with Cain’s. Cain grew very angry which led him to commit murder.

  8. Bzzzz. Wrong answer.

  9. Jeff Coester Sr. October 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Genesis 4:5 God had no respect to Cain’s offering. Cain was angry and his countenance fell. Wether Adam and Eve were angry is conjecture; and before she ate the fruit she was in innocence. This statement in 4:5 is a specific declaration.

  10. Lamech’s murder of the young man who struck him. Genesis 4:23.

  11. Well the first human sin was Eve taking fruit from the tree of life for herself and Adam which angered the Lord.

  12. answersingenisis.org
    The Lord knows where his creatures are most prone to err, and pride is a many-headed hydra that infects all of humanity. In fact, we could make a case for pride being the fountainhead of all other sins. Anger, hate, jealousy, and ingratitude all stem from pride; something we wanted to happen did not happen and we feel offended, our pride is wounded and our emotions are stirred to cause us to act sinfully. One could even make the case that “the love of money is the root of all [kinds of] evil” passage in 1 Timothy 6:10 really deals with the sin of pride as well. We know that covetousness is the same as idolatry (Ephesians 5:5), and idolatry is the sin of creating our own god by being too proud and stubborn to worship the True God. Consider the following verses in Proverbs that reflect God’s attitude toward pride.

    Proverbs 6:16–19
    These six things does the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.

    Proverbs 8:13
    The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

  13. Eve thought about breaking the command of God. She was angry she was not like God knowing good and evil

  14. Could it be Adam’s response to the Lord, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

    Consequently, anger at God for creating woman?

  15. I would say it was Adam who was angry with Eve and blamed her before God for his poor decision.

  16. Let me say first that I am not trying to be cute with this dialogue. I think a failure to clearly understand all aspects of anger lead to many, many problems which harm marriages and parenting. This is on my heart.

    Having said that, so many great guesses. Alas. None quite on target.

    I’ll give a MAJOR hint. Per Westminster (Q. 14), and I would point out that I linked to it in the original question, there are two major categories of sin:

    (1) Sins of omission: “any want of conformity unto”/not doing what we should do . . .
    (2) Sins of commission: “or transgression” of the law of God / doing what we ought not.

    Thus far, I think all the answers have been in the second category. But I would maintain that the first human sin related or involving anger was a sin of omission.

    Just to prove my heart is in the right place. And to give another MAJOR hint . . . what is the first known instance of anger when it was not sinful?

  17. Sins Of Omission

    Have you ever heard the term “sins of omission” and if so how would they affect a persons salvation?

    Q. Have you ever heard the term “sins of omission” and if so how would they affect a persons salvation?

    A. Some folks divide sin into two categories, sins of omission and sins of commission. Sins of omission are when you don’t do something you should have (such as failing to honor your father and mother) and sins of commission are when you do something you shouldn’t have (such as dishonoring them). And among these people there are those who teach that sins of omission aren’t as bad as sins of commission.

    I believe that all sins are sins. To us, lusting after someone may not seem as bad as committing adultery, but to the Lord both break the commandment (Matt. 5:27-28) Same with anger vs. murder, coveting vs. stealing, etc.

    I think that King David had this in mind in one of his prayers of confession.

    Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults (sins of omission). Keep your servant also from willful sins (sins of commission); may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:12-13) Just because we didn’t do it, doesn’t mean we didn’t sin.

    As far as our salvation is concerned, sins of omission were covered at the cross, just like the others. Once for all time.

  18. Could it be the sin of not becoming angry toward the Serpent when he tried to deceive them?

  19. Zach Putthoff wins the prize!!

  20. Of course, there is no prize unless he drives by Stillman Valley for me to buy him coffee. But at least it’s the possibility of a prize.

  21. Just as God was righteously angry with Satan and expelled him prior to Genesis 3, so Adam and Eve as God’s vice-regents should have been righteously angry with Satan and expelled him from Eden.

    From my sermon notes for Sunday:
    The first sin related to human anger was when Adam and Eve failed to be angry with Satan and to expel him from the Garden. “[Adam] was to rule over and subdue the serpent, which was to be reflective of God’s own activity in Gen. 1 of subduing the chaotic darkness of creation and ruling over it by his word.” (Greg Beale) When Satan approached Adam and Eve, as image-bearers they should have represented God in expelling Satan. The first sin of anger or relating to it was a sin of omission, not a sin of commission. Adam and Eve failed to be angry.

  22. Admittedly, it was a bit of a trick question. Yet, it is significant because a lot of people in our age argue that anger is always wrong . . . we end up with people who won’t rightly stand for truth. If someone tries to harm our daughters, we would sin to not be righteously angry.

    Of course, we also have to admit that on too many occasions (most of the time?) when we should be rightly angry, we end up sinning in anger. But the solution is not to never be angry. It’s to be godly in our response.

  23. I know you said anger is the first sin…but I was thinking..wouldn`t it be the human side of god that he gave to us..we are made of his image..we all are born with sin..but I guess if you do look at the big picture…it would be anger..because Gods human side was angry when Eve told Adam to eat the apple..BUT..the first sin would be..being human..maybe anger would be the FIRST emotional sin…but being born or created to me ..is the first sin..just saying…

  24. Excellent, Chris. Great insight and application.

  25. Valerie, thanks so much for commenting. I don’t think anger was the first sin. God, of course, never sinned. When God was angry with Satan it was entirely justice and righteous.

    We have to remember to – – that God does not have a “human side.” On the first Christmas, Christ became humanity. But he was 100% God and 100% man. God did not take on a human side to the divine.

    If you feel yourself getting lost in all of that, bring it up in your Sunday School class or talk to me about. I know it is a lot to keep straight.

    But it is SO important!!!

  26. Are we sure this is not speculation. Do we know they were educated in what it meant to be angry on purpose? Their failures toward each other in dealing with the serpent suggest to me they were not flawless, only unaware of their failings. Their dynamic had become such that she does not seek his input and she does not ask his advice. This appears to be a couple with boundary problems, but no awareness of guilt. Thus you see the specific punishments. She must seek his leadership and he must lead. Can they be guilty of omitting what they had not learn or yet been made responsible for. … I really wanted that pork chop sandwich!!! But I think this could be right so I am not just fussing. :-p)

  27. Jeff, the text is not explicit that their failure to be righteously angry was a sin of omission. So I’ll have to allow on some level that this is “speculative.” But it’s a reasoned argument. As image bearers, Adam and Eve had the capacity to respond properly to Satan. It’s why God held them responsible! I agree with Beale that Adam and Eve should have expelled Satan from Eden, rather than engaging in dialogue with him.

    I’ll still get you a sandwich if you’re in SV!! Or, if I’m in Sterling!

  28. Okay, so how could they be angry with the serpent when they had yet to eat the fruit, giving them the knowledge of good and evil? Genisis 2:17

  29. Lori, they still were responsible moral agents. And again, it wouldn’t have been sinful for them to be angry with Satan any more than it was sin for God to expel Satan when he rebelled.

  30. You could send the winner a bag of his favorite ground coffee =)

  31. Jeff Coester Sr. October 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I agree they could choose to be obedient. Adam, not being fooled should have spoken up; anger is an interesting speculation. They certainly spent time angry afterward. It is hard to imagine the recriminations they felt.