Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Genesis 3:8-13

TAKE TIME TO REFLECT:

A former seminary professor of mine spoke of potty training his 3-year-old son. On one particular morning, his son stood up on a chair and began to do "his business" in the floor. My professor yelled out, "What are you doing?"

He obviously knew what his little boy was doing, but his question (mostly out of shock) at least gave the little boy a chance to explain himself. As parents, we want our children to own up to their misgivings and improper conduct. We want them to acknowledge wrongdoing and learn from it.

God is a Father. When Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden, God gives them opportunity to own up to their sin. God is not aloof or ignorant to what has happened. The Lord's queries of "Where are you? What have you done?" (Gen. 3:9,13) do not suggest He is less than all-powerful or all-knowing. Instead, God's response is that of a Father.

Too often, however, instead of owning up to our failings we try to cover them up.

Notice that Adam blames his wife. "The woman You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate" (Gen. 3:12).

Once when my wife and I were leaving her grandparent's home I thought she had left her cell phone at their house. Frustrated, I told her that we had to turn and go back (all of 1/4 of a mile). When she went inside, her father called her cell number. To my surprise, I had her phone in my pocket!

When she returned to the car, I told her she had the phone in the vehicle the entire time. Having already blamed her, I was now set on "saving face." I lied. Like me, many people have a tendency to blame others for their misfortunes, mistakes, or mishaps.

Notice that Eve blames the snake. She says, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate" (Gen. 3:13).

As a toddler, my oldest son had a propensity of running into solid objects like counter tops, tables, chairs, etc. Even though these objects were set in place, Whitman remained convinced that they were to blame for him suffering some personal hurt. Like my son, many people have a tendency to blame various things or circumstances for their own poor choices.

Notice that Adam and Eve both blame God. Adam says, "The woman You gave me." Eve essentially says, "The snake You made."

Don't we have a tendency to blame God when things do not go as we think that they should, or when we face consequences for poor decisions? Instead of taking ownership for ourselves, we shift blame. Instead of repenting, we excuse ourselves.

Learn a lesson from Adam and Eve. Do not point a finger at others or at circumstances or at God but accept responsibility for yourself.

More importantly, learn a lesson about Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21 reads, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Jesus reverses the pattern that Adam and Eve set. Rather than point an accusatory finger, Jesus - who was blameless in all things - takes our blame onto Himself. All you must do is believe and confess: Christ stands waiting to take your blame and render you forgiven!


TAKE TIME TO RESPOND:

I have a tendency to cast blame or excuse my own sin when: 

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TAKE TIME TO REVIEW:

from Best Devotional Commentary - "The first scene is creation, in which God alone is active. He speaks and the worlds come into being. The second scene is domestic. It involves God, Adam, and Eve, as God makes a place for the man and woman and prepares each of them for the other. This scene fills chapter 2 and ends on the notation: 'the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame' (v.25). The third scene is the temptation. In it the characters are Adam, Eve, and Satan. It ends with the fall. Beginning with chapter 3, verse 8, we come to a fourth scene in which God now enters the garden to confront the other three. This is a judicial scene, a scene of judgment" (Boice).

from Best Academic Commentary - "Here the sins of the various characters are elicited from their own lips. But there is a certain gentleness about the inquisition. Delitzsch remarks, 'It was God their creator, who now as God the redeemer was seeking the lost.' By reverting to the term The Lord God  from v.8 (cf. 'God' in vv.1b-5), the narrator hints that God can still be man's covenant partner as well as his creator and judge" (Wenham).

from Best Preaching/Teaching Commentary - Regarding the man, Ross points out that the truth finally comes out: "I ate." Regarding the woman, Ross indicates that her confession to God's original question finally comes out: "I ate." He then concludes, "In the dialogue the Lord shows His majesty and potency by asking penetrating questions, and the humans appear fearful and defensive with evasive excuses. Eventually they did confess, and it was sufficient" (Ross).