Who Told You?
† In Jesus Name †
May the Grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ convince you that instead of seeking a hiding place from God, you should seek the refuge you find in Him!
Who Told You?
In today’s first reading, the one from Genesis 3, there is a question that God asks Adam, one that is relevant to ask today.
Who told you?
Specifically, who told you that you were naked, literally that you were exposed, who told you that your sin was visible for all to see? ( who was all anyway?)
How did you find out you had sinned, how did you come across that information?
Where did this guilt come from that drives you to do things that are as unnatural as the sin you are trying to hide?
As I thought about this question, it came to me that you and I need to ask that question today as we have to deal with our own brokenness, with our own sin, and the damage it does to us.
For I think we’ve been taught about sin in such a way that we react to it as Adam did, hiding, getting defensive, shifting blame, all in response to the guilt that convicts us far more cruelly than God would.
So who told you that you were exposed, that your sin was something so horrible that you had to hide?
Who told you to pass the blame?
As Adam was anxiously dealing with the idea that God found him. As God asks Adam who told you that you were naked, did you eat of the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” While all that is scrambling his mind, he comes up with an answer.
Not my fault God! It’s her fault, you know, the one YOU gave me. She gave me the fruit, and because she is a blessing from you, I listened to her.
And since then, some men have avoided that problem, simply by not listening to their wives!
Of course, that causes other problems, and is just as sinful!
But who told Adam that the best way to deal with sin was to pass the blame? To hide behind Eve, rather than hiding behind a tree? Who told him that he wasn’t responsible for stopping Eve from falling into sin?
In trying to defend himself, to justify his own sin, Adam finds himself guilty of more than one sin, he finds himself shattering more relationships and allowing sin to get a better and better hold on his soul.
We do this all the time, and so does most of the world. When we fear getting caught when we know the guilt and shame and embarrassment that comes from doing something we know we shouldn’t do or refusing to do something we should.
Who told us to do that? Who told us that we needed to be defensive, that a defense even needed to be given? For that is as much of a lie as the temptation to sin was in the first place.
Yet Adam does it, as will Eve, who will follow the pattern and play the blame game, blaming the snake for deceiving her, for leading her into temptation.
Who told us to hide, to try and escape from God’s notice. Who told us to hide behind others, trying to get them to pay for our sin?
Who told you about Eve’s offspring?
I am not sure where we get this idea to hide from God, but we do it all the time, don’t we?
What we need to hear, is the last verse of the passage, for it tells us how sin is to be dealt with. It is the very first prophecy about Jesus in the Bible, what Luther called the “proto-gospel”.
You see it on the painting on the cover of the bulletin, as the offspring of Eve crushes Satan and all his minions on the cross. Even as the serpent sees Christ die, Satan’s efforts to dominate, to lead people away from God are crushed.
This is what we need to know! That sin, Satan, and death are crushed at the cross of Christ. We have been made free!
Seeking Refuge, not Hiding
There is something that drives us to hide from God, and from others, like our parents, our spouses, our children, even our pastor, when we sin.
It is ironic when we run from God when we hide behind someone else, I think what we are trying to do is to find a place of rest, a place where the effects of our sin are negated, and we think hiding will provide it. We don’t understand there is an option, there always has been.
We can seek refuge in God, instead of seeking a hiding place from Him.
Instead of laying the blame off on others, Christ will willingly, even joyfully remove it.
Seek refuge, not a hiding place.
Which means seek a refuge in God, we allow Him to remove all the guilt and shame, all the anxiety over punishment, all the anxiety of having our sinfulness exposed to the world.
For that was why He was looking for Adam and Eve, and until the cross, why He put them out of the garden. Not as a punishment, but to sustain them until Christ’s death and resurrection would cleanse them from sin, and they and all who trust and depend on God were given refuge, in the death, and the resurrection of Jesus.
For there we find life, and peace that is beyond compare or comprehension. For in Christ we are kept secure, our hearts and minds are in His possession. AMEN!!!