by Kristen C. Strocchia
“And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ 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 3:11-13
Again, in His very pointed style, God asks Adam questions that God already knows the answer to. But He asks them for Adam’s sake. By asking, “Who told you…” Adam knows there are no right answers, no lie that he can get away with.
Though there were possibly speaking animals in Eden, Adam knew more than all of them–combined. He had the image and breath of God in his life. So either God told Adam, the woman told Adam, or Adam told himself. Being made in the likeness of God, Adam was smart enough to realize that God wouldn’t buy number one or number three. So that left door number two.
But God also gave Adam the opportunity to realize that He already knew what actually happened. He asks him the second part of the question; basically, have you disobeyed the one and only restriction that I placed on you? *cough…think carefully Adam…cough*
If I say yes, then I’m guilty. Which I am, but maybe God would go easier on me if He realizes that everyone [Eve being the only other someone on the planet] broke the rule, not just me. Maybe Adam–whose eyes were now opened to the experience of good and evil–realized that the death promised for disobedience might come at God’s own hand. After all, we do read that Adam now feared God [Genesis 3:10].
So Adam tells it like it is. The truth, flipped so that the blame comes before the confession. “Well, Eve gave it to me, and then, yes, I ate it.” And Eve follows suit! “Well, the serpent gave it to me, and then, yes, I ate it.”
But maybe the more amazing thing is that God actually checks Eve’s side of the story before addressing Adam’s sin. In fact, God gets all the way to the end of the blame-game line and then metes out the consequences from the instigator to the first-follower-turned-leader to the last follower. Because even though Satan started it, every one involved made the wrong choice.
This is a hard–but important lesson–to apply in real life. If someone throws a punch at me, they’re in trouble. If I punch them back, then I’m in trouble too. If someone name calls or steals lunch money or cheats on tests or any other unjust action, they have to answer to God and man, but the moment I do it too, reciprocating or repeating their action, I’m guilty too.
It doesn’t matter who started it. It only matters what I choose to do when the opportunity falls to me. Adam could’ve told Eve, No. Eve could’ve told the serpent, No, and then made God aware of what had happened. Don’t be deceived. It does matter if we are vulnerable to the deception of others.
What do you do when temptation comes your way? Do you pass the blame, or accept the consequence for wrong actions? Are you easily deceived by others? In all these things, God has made you more than a conqueror [Romans 8:37] if you will just call on His name.