Bible Reference: Genesis 3:11-13
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Bible Text: 11 God said to the man, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from that special tree? I told you not to eat from that tree!” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me gave me fruit from that tree. So I ate it.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” She said, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”
OBSERVATION: Right from the very beginning of time, when there were only two humans alive, mankind found it easier to make excuses rather than owning up to their actions and accepting the consequences that may follow. Often this involves throwing the blame on someone else, with hopes that they will bear the brunt of the punishment for the crime. However, I believe that God might have a lesson for us to learn in this. Let’s think about the excuses we find, when trying to deflect blame on to others.
APPLICATION: Not sure when last you stopped to consider the many excuses we find in life, but I believe the habit is much worse than we could ever imagine! In our Scripture today, we might think of the peaceful garden that God created for His first children. How He created Adam and immediately saw how lonely he was, so He carefully chose to make Eve from Adam, to help set the stage of submission, that God wanted in place. God wanted to make sure that His kids learned right from the beginning that there were some rules – things that they would not be permitted to do, or touch, or eat. Are you starting to see a comparison to what we still face today in our various diets and disciplines? However, it is clear from the Word, that God carefully and lovingly created everything especially for us to enjoy – the beauty of His creation; food of many varieties; animals to bring life to everything around us; and a keen sense to recognize the God of this universe who loves us more than anything else in the world. Would you not assume that we would be immensely grateful, and therefore consistently and persistently looking for ways to praise our Father for His goodness? But right from the start, Adam and Eve assumed the attitude that is so prevalent in us, that no matter who sets the rules, we are going to do it our way. Yes, the serpent caused Eve to really ponder the rule set by God about the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, but it was Eve who caved in and committed the sin in disobedience. Yes, Eve offered the fruit to Adam so she could have a partner in crime, but Adam had a choice to accept the fruit and sin, or be the spiritual leader of his home and lead Eve to a point of seeking forgiveness. I believe that our lesson to receive in this today, is that we are accountable before a holy God for our own sin. Of course I believe that we could help each other refrain from sinning, but I don’t believe there is ever a time that we could honestly stand before God and try to give the excuse that someone else caused us to sin. Let’s do our best to not let anything hinder us from praising God; from seeking His face in reflection and in honor to His holy name; from causing us to willingly disobey Him and sin – in spite of all that He has taught us. Remember, unlike our court systems, we will not stand before God with an attorney or witnesses who will try to find loopholes or excuses for our sin. It will be us alone, before God alone. He already knows the truth about every aspect of our life, and it will be up to us how willing we are to admit the truth about our words and our actions while here on earth. How well do you suppose you will do, without giving excuses?
PRAYER: Lord God, You provided a perfect setting in which we could live, and You provided everything we need to live in perfect harmony, and with respect for the One True God who created us. We approach You with deep regret that we have allowed so many things to step in the way of our right relationship with You. Please forgive us. We have entered into a brand new year, with opportunities to let our lights shine for you. Please grant us strength and wisdom to reject those ones who will cause us to sin, and fill us with so much of Yourself, that they will be convinced of their sin and search for You instead. Lord, Satan has taken such a hold on people around us that it is only with Your power and Your might, that we could ever survive the onslaught of sin. We need You desperately Lord. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done. AMEN!