|Volume 23 Number 7 July 2021
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they 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. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:1-13)
Many years ago, when I was just a young boy, I heard a song on the radio entitled “Put the Blame on Mame” (1946). This seems to be a part of life today. Put the blame anywhere else, but do not accept one’s own blame. We have all read the account in Genesis 3, but there are some points we may have glossed over and just not realized they were there.
First, there is indication that Eve may not have been alone in her confrontation with the serpent. When she saw the fruit was pleasant to the eye, and it would make her wise, she took and ate and gave some to her husband who “was there with her and he did eat.”
The blame game would start momentarily, but the question should be asked, “Why, since God created Eve from Adam’s rib – close to his heart – did he not stand up to the serpent and say, ‘Oh no; you will not tempt my beloved in this way?’” After all, does not the Scripture say that “her husband was there with her”? Adam was likely intrigued by the serpent’s attempted temptation. He also caved in to the serpent’s enticing words.
Secondly, God did not immediately turn to the woman who had been tempted but rather to the man who was supposed to be the head over everything God had made for which Adam was to care. When God asked about the situation, Adam said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.” He pointed the finger of blame first at Eve, then at God and finally at himself. His attempted logic seems inescapable: You gave her to me and she gave the fruit to me. What else could He say but “Yes, I ate.”
Thirdly, she (I suppose meekly) pointed a finger of blame at the serpent by saying, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” As one might say, “The serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on.”
All three had violated the will of God and must suffer His punishment. While God is a just and a merciful God, all sin must be atoned. The man was to spend his days toiling for his everything to sustain his life and livelihood; the woman was to bear children in pain. The serpent was to spend all of his days crawling on his belly, eating the dust of the earth.
Our loving God – our Creator –embarked on the plan through which sinful man can find rest, redemption and cleansing of the sin-stained soul. Mankind’s only relief from the penalties of sin was to be the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. That is the real mystery, but God secures and saves the souls of all mankind past and future (i.e., of obedient though not sinlessly perfect souls).
Now we come to the object lesson, which is this. Never play the blame game before your God and King. No matter how black the stain of sin on your soul may be, bow before God and admit, “I am a sinner.” Acknowledge a willingness to submit to God’s will completely. Faith (John 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:3), confession (Romans 10:9-10), baptism (Acts 22:16) and lifelong faithfulness to God (Revelation 2:10) solves the entire sin problem. My earnest prayer is that you will do this today. Do not delay, because tomorrow may be too late.
The Second Tuesday of Next Week
In old Popeye cartoons many years ago, Wimpy would try to get money for hamburgers from other characters and promise to pay “the second Tuesday of next week”! Obviously, the second Tuesday of next week would never come. I am afraid that sometimes we develop the second Tuesday syndrome.
Some wait for the second Tuesday to obey the Gospel. Nothing is more heart-rending than to see someone who seemed to always intend to obey the Gospel die outside of the ark of safety, lost and without God.
Some wait for the second Tuesday to start actively serving God in their lives. These folks have taken the initial steps in order to become Christians but seem to believe that baptism is the end, instead of the beginning. Too many will be left behind like the foolish virgins of Matthew 25.
Some wait for the second Tuesday to truly show and express their love for their families. How sad it is to watch an individual overwhelmed at the casket of a family member because he or she had failed to truly show his or her true love for that person, and then, it is too late.
I pray that we won’t get caught up in the second Tuesday syndrome. May we take advantage of today. May we serve God today. May this day not end without showing our love for God by our service; may sleep not take us from this day into another without expressing our love for our families. The dangers of the second Tuesday of next week are obvious, but that attitude is a trap into which we could easily fall.