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July 24 | Genesis 3:1-15


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION

Self-Justification or Reconciliation?


by Pr. Dave Mann

Chapter 3 of Genesis is rich with insight in many ways, but in the limited format of this devotional, let’s focus on just a few points. God had instructed Adam in Genesis 2:16-17 that he could eat of any tree in the garden except one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate of the forbidden tree, they immediately experienced a change in their relationship with each other and with the Lord. They sewed fig leaves together to make clothing and they hid from the Lord.


When the Lord came to them in their hiding place, their modus operandi was to blame each other, the serpent, and God himself. They knew that they were guilty but tried their best to self-justify.

  • I was afraid, so I hid.

  • The woman you put here gave me some fruit.

  • The serpent deceived me.

The bottom line of Adam and Eve’s attitude was, “It’s not my fault!” They did not seek a solution to the broken relationship. They only sought to shift the blame elsewhere.


God, on the other hand, sought to build and restore a relationship, beginning with the warning of the consequences in Genesis 2:16-17.

  • In the day you eat of it, you will die. -- Clearcut consequences announced in advance

  • The Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” -- God taking the initiative to be in relationship

  • Who told you that...? Have you eaten from...? What is this that you have done? – God asking leading questions

And most importantly, God declares that there will be an ultimate reckoning for the serpent – a battle between it and the offspring of the woman (the Messiah), in which redemption and reconciliation will be made available to all humanity. “He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”


Our human response in the face of our sin is typically to try, albeit in vain, to make ourselves look good. We blame others.


The Lord, however, seeks to reconcile and restore his relationship with us, even if it costs him the pain of Calvary. The fall of humanity into sin and therefore a broken relationship with the Lord did NOT catch the Lord off guard. Even before creation, God knew that the plan of redemption and the Cross would be necessary. How great is the love of God that he would create us knowing that we would cause him such expense!


PRAYER

Lord God, I sit in shame recognizing that you knew my sin even before I was created. You knew that my disobedience and ineffectual attempts at self-justification would add to the weight of sin on Christ’s shoulders on the cross. Your love is amazing. I am in awe once again, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.



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