Was there ever a time as a parent you knew your child had done wrong, but rather than directly confront, presented opportunity to admit? Not from cruelty, but because you wanted them to take responsibility, and experience freedom from the damage of hidden guilt.
Mom had warned me over and over to take care of my clean laundry right away. On this particular day, she’d shown me a couple of items on hangers, freshly pressed, and asked me to put them away. I was too busy, and so quickly and quietly hung the items on the handle of a candle holder on the shelf and walked away. Shortly thereafter, the weight of the items toppled the candle holder and it broke.
I’m certain Mom knew who had broken the candle holder (they were my clothes). She wanted me to admit wrong and so asked if I’d been the one to put the clothes on the handle. “Not me.” So, wisely, she gathered all three of us kids, and asked each if we’d done it. Since no one admitted to wrongdoing, she offered to spank us all! My tender heart couldn’t stand the thought! I soon confessed.
My Mom gained her wisdom from a very wise Father.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:8-13 (NIV)
God is all wise and knowing. His questions weren’t of ignorance, but full of opportunity for his “children” to admit their wrong.
We will never be free from the bondage to our particular sins until we face the reality of them, and take full responsibility for them.
Sadly, neither Adam nor Eve were willing to take responsibility. Like us, they too easily pointed to someone else for blame. Adam blamed God who’d made Eve; as well as Eve, who’d given him the fruit he’d eaten.
Eve, blamed the serpent. He’d been the one to deceive.
Blame added to denial. Sin multiplied. No longer would mankind be able to live in a perfectly good garden – because their choices apart from God daily multiplied their shame, guilt, fear, denial, and now blame, where none had existed before. Blinded to God’s goodness, they were now enslaved by their choices.
But God is greater than both our sin and Satan’s deceptions!
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15 (NIV)
God acted swiftly. He put the serpent in its place, punishing it for deceiving Adam and Eve by making it forever crawl on its belly and eat dust.
God then promised that at a certain point in time, he would bring into the world a man, an offspring of Eve, who would deal a sudden and crushing blow to Satan’s hold on mankind. A blow he would never recover from. In the battle, Satan would injure this champion of mankind painfully, but not severely.
God’s amazing, ultimate gracious plan of restoration was proclaimed and enacted even as the stain of Adam and Eve’s rebellion lay fresh in the garden.
Adam and Eve could never have imagined their choice would have such catastrophic consequences to their descendants and God’s creation. Genesis 3, and Romans 8 spell out the consequences more fully than I have here.
Yet, this makes God’s grace all the more amazing. He had every right, and still does, to destroy us because of our daily choices to go our own way. Our choices still have catastrophic consequences on our descendants and God’s creation, apart from God.
But he doesn’t choose to destroy us.
God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. Romans 5:20 (NLT)
God’s amazing grace chooses to restore, not destroy!
Tomorrow, we will look at the first glimpses of this champion of mankind who would exhibit God’s amazing grace toward us by fighting on our behalf!
With great love and prayers,