Green With Envy

The Villain of Spiderman 1, 2002  (Tobey Maguire)

Norman Osborne, played by Willem Dafoe, established the template for most of the Spiderman villains.  He was a scientist who ended up being his own test subject and the side effects were catastrophic.  The serum that he developed was intended to make a human stronger and enhance performance.  At risk was his lucrative contract with the military so he rushed the human trials, took the serum himself, and subsequently went crazy.  He was envious of Spiderman’s abilities and that envy literally turned him into a “green-eyed monster,” the Green Goblin.  

God’s Word warns us about the dangers of envy.  The last of the Ten Commandments is against covetousness and it is a sort of summation of the other commandments.  When the apostle Paul picked one example to illustrate the function of the Law, he chose to highlight covetousness because that experience is universal (Romans 7:7-8).  Elsewhere, the Bible tells us simply to put envy and covetousness aside (Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:5, I Peter 2:1).

Truthfully, we do not need to take the mad scientist’s serum to be destroyed by envy. We have already taken it. This is a natural state of fallen humanity. What we need is the gift of God by which we can be free from envy’s control over us.

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