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'The Pursuit of God – Part 2 – Gen. 3:8-13'
A few weeks ago, we learned how to win over sin by overcoming temptation, now we can learn, by these passages, how to RECOVER from sin by confessing our sins and learning from discipline.
“Confess your sins without blaming God or others.” Gen. 3:8 - “They (Adam and Eve) heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
“The sound of the LORD God” represents the grace of God reaching out to man in a crisis situation! Gad CAME to Adam and Eve in this wind. He began to seek them. Yet the text said that they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” The trust of innocence is replaced by the fear of guilt. The trees that God created for man to look at and enjoy are now his hiding place to prevent God from seeing him.
In the midst of this game of hide and seek, God calls out to the man. He is responsible for where they are and why.
The LORD says: “Where are you?” The LORD’S question carries the force of “Why” are you there. God asked: “What’s the problem? What’s going on?” Of course the LORD knows, but is demanding that man give an account of his actions. He wants Adam to take personal responsibility for his actions. This is ALL GRACE! Even in Adams’ sin, God lovingly calls Adam back to Himself. He is seeking a confession.
In 3:10 Adam answers the “why” question with these words: “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.” As soon as Adam heard God’s presence, he remembered about spiritual life and relationship with God. (What are our wake-up calls?)
He now realized that the attempt to cover up and giving in to Eve had been in vain. He realized that it was the loss of “spiritual life” that was the cause of his giving in to Eve and that there was nothing he could do about either. That’s why he still viewed himself as naked, even after covering up. And that’s why he was afraid. It was “spiritual nakedness” that was the issue.
The only solution he could come up with was one of denial and avoidance. He hid himself, but of course it didn’t work. Because we are all naked, there is no end to our attempts to avoid the truth of God’s grace. Denial and substitution has been the evidence of our nakedness all throughout history.
In 3:11, God answers Adam in the form of another question. He says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you not to eat?”
God is being specific to make certain they understand exactly what happened. Eating from the tree which God commanded Adam not to eat was the only way he could become alienated from God and Eve. God is making it perfectly clear that the failure was in NOT OBEYING the Word of God. Yet, keep in mind, God took the initiative in seeking out the sinners to re-establish a relationship with them. Evidence of God’s love is His unwillingness to abandon those He loves, even when they failed to do His will. He is a compassionate and gracious God.
Adam responded to God’s question by saying: “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” (verse 12). Remember Adam’s excitement when he first laid eyes on Eve? “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” in Gen. 2:23. Now he turns on her in a heartbeat! What infamous treachery! Here, Adam implies that a good God would have not given him Eve. He makes excuses for himself and plays the blame game.
After hearing Adam’s response, the LORD God moves on to the woman and asks: “What is this you have done? And the woman said, ‘the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Vs. 13). The LORD’S question has the sense: “What in the world have you done?” or, “Do you realize what you’ve done?” Instead of taking responsibility for her actions, the woman blamed the serpent.
Can you see the progression? Adam blamed the woman, and then blamed God for having given her to him. Eve blamed the serpent. This is typical of human nature. The sinner blames everyone but himself. It’s been said: “To err is human; to blame it on others and upon God is more human.” Adam and eve are guilty of “passing the buck” and blaming others. Mankind has been guilty of this behavior ever since.
We sometimes blame God for placing us in circumstances that we regard as too much for us. Some students cheat, rationalizing that God is to blame for giving them a difficult professor and a busy schedule. Some thieves steal, blaming God and life for their stealing. “God, you know my weaknesses, but there it was. Why did you allow it?” Consider the adulterous man who blames God for the things that led to his sin - his depression, his poor self-image, that woman, his loneliness...
Mankind loves to find someone or something to blame for their behavior (spouse, siblings, parents, children, co-workers, the boss, the weather, the neighbor’s dog...)
Yet, if you’re going to “pass the blame,” why not pass it on to Jesus?! The Bible tells us that the Second Adam took all the sins of the world upon Himself and died to cover the penalty for sin (Rom. 5:17). Have you stopped passing the buck? Have you humbled yourself before God and others and said the guilt for your sin is yours alone? And then, have you passed it on to Jesus?
When you come to the realization that you have sinned and there is a penalty for your sin, is God is drawing you to Himself, you will also recognize your need of a Savior. The moment you trust in Christ, you enter into a relationship with God that can never be lost. What hope! What blessing!