Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
and is pregnant with mischief
and gives birth to lies. (Psalm 7:14 ESV)
They conceive trouble and give birth to evil,
and their womb prepares deceit. (Job 15:35 ESV)
There is a principle stated in this verse which works for good or for evil. It is the principle of creativity. Part of the image of God in Man is the ability to create, not ex nihilo, nor making a different substance out of an original substance, but the ability to think and find solutions to simple or vexing problems, to build and accomplish. When God created the universe, He created stuff out of nothing, ex nihilo. He then took that matter and energy which He created and from that stuff began forming other, different stuff. He created Man out of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). Jesus, showing He is God yet found in the flesh of a man, created wine out of water (John 2:1-12). Originally, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given control and dominion, part of the image of God, over the earth, to work it (Genesis 2:5) and subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28).
There are three steps to the principle of creativity. A person conceives an idea, which means to bring forth. In this verse the word conceives means to pledge or bind, to spoil or corrupt or offend. Because it is a wicked person creating the idea, the idea itself is designed to corrupt and destroy, to be evil, which means trouble, sorrow and idolatry. The wicked person conceives evil.
In the second step the idolatrous idea moves into full pregnancy. Pregnant means to bear or be with child. The wicked idea grows from the smallest seed until it is ready to be launched into reality. During this time, the idea gains strength and maturity, growing in its respective parts to cause trouble and mischief.
Finally, the idea is given birth, born, brought forth, ready to cause as much damage as possible. It is lies, deception, falsehood, fraud. All idols are frauds because they steal from God that which is only His.
We see this scene played out in the Garden of Eden. It is the Deceiver, who has inhabited a serpent, who comes to Eve and plants a seed of doubt. “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 ESV). Eve’s thinking was ready for this deception. She had been truthfully told by Adam, or told herself, that she could eat from any tree except the one tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The idea that she was to not touch the tree was not true. “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Genesis 3:2-3 ESV). She added words to God’s statement. God never told Adam to not touch the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Those who add to God’s words are lying to themselves and believing the lie. The Deceiver planted the seed of the lie and Eve watered it with her own lies. The result was a superstitious and suspicious belief that God was withholding something good from her. Adam and Eve acted in a rebellious manner and committed idolatry. She ate from the tree and gave some to her husband, who also ate. They placed themselves above God.
God gives good not evil. The Deceiver wants only evil, to corrupt all that is good. The same progression of creativity seen in the Psalm 7 is given by James, who refers to temptation as the idea conceived by evil desires which becomes sin.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:13-15 ESV)
Temptation does not have to result in sin or wickedness. Jesus was tempted and did not sin. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 ESV). God told Cain that sin wanted to own him and that he needed to war against the assault of sin. “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7 ESV). Temptation does not mean sin will follow. Cain relinquished control of himself to sin because he wanted to retaliate against God for accepting his brother’s sacrifice and not his. People want to sin and allow temptation to gain control of them and inspire rebellious action.
Jesus is adamant in His declarations that sin is ingrained and pervasive, controlling and enslaving every fiber of a person’s being, both physical and spiritual.
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. (Matthew 12:33-35 ESV).