Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Revisiting the Garden

      Anyone who is acquainted with my dear husband and has attended a Bible study led by him will have heard him say, "It all started in the Garden."  I smile when I hear that response because he is correct.  The woes of a fallen nature and world began in the middle of a perfect environment.  Adam could not blame his parents for abusing him nor could he complain that if his environment were better he would never have eaten the fruit.  No, it is clear that what he did was in direct disobedience to the word of God.  Then, Adam and Eve attempted a literal cover-up.
     Genesis 3:7-11 reads:  "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 int he 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?'"  How interesting that Adam and Eve really thought they could hide from God what they had done.  When God confronted them, they began a blame game.
Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.  However, they could not deflect the truth of what they had done against the command of the Lord.  They were to face the consequences of their sins as outlined by God in Genesis 3:14 to the end of the chapter.
     When we look at present day scandals in the news, has anything really changed?  Certainly, the answer is "no".  Man does things in secret and somehow believes that no one will find out.  While fellow men may be deceived, there is One who knows all and sees all.  A great example of this can be found in the book of Numbers chapter 32.
     Moses spoke of dividing the land according to the tribes of Israel.  Two of the tribes wanted to remain on one side of the Jordan and not go into the Promised Land.  However Moses told them it was unfair that the rest of Israel would have to go to war to claim the land while these two tribes remained on the other side of the river.  With this being said, both tribes proclaimed that they would help to fight alongside their brethren until the land was conquered.  Then, they would return to the other side of the Jordan to their inheritance.  Moses acquiesced to this agreement but gave them a warning we would all do well to heed:  "But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out" (verse 23).  This is one verse that has stuck in my own mind through the years.  In fact, I have tested it out for myself and found it to be true.  Every time I tried to do something in secret so my parents would not discover what I had done, my misdeed was uncovered.  God is true to His Word.
     Why does a man, whether in government, church, home, or work, ever think he can hide his sin from God?  Eventually, the Lord uncovers the sin for all to see.  I love this simple truth from Proverbs 28:13:  "Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."  Now some may say, "I see the wicked prosper."  However, I would reply that they may appear to prosper for a season, but in the end, their sins will find them out.
     Ultimately, whenever we sin, it is not just against another person.  The sin is against God, and there are consequences.  Adam and Eve tried to cover up and hide.  The same is just as true for our society today as it was at that moment in the garden.  Excuses, excuses excuses and playing the blame game are the favorite pass time of sinners.  The bad news is that we are all sinners.  But the Good News is that God desires to show us mercy.  He sent His Son to be the payment for our sins.  In Christ, we become a new creation.  This does not mean we are perfect.  However, it does mean that when we sin we can quickly be restored through sincere repentance to a right standing with God.
     One outstanding lesson that we all need to take away from the Garden is this:  our sins will find us out.  There is nothing which can be hidden from God.  Jesus said in Luke 8:17:  "For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light."  Those are scary words for anyone trying to hide something.  The truth is that God already knows.  Therefore, each day, we need to take stock of our lives, confess our sins before God and live according to His precepts.  Then we will not live in the fear of being uncovered.  Revisiting the Garden daily will help us to keep our perspective.  Selah!

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