Lucia's Blog: THE ORIGIN OF SHAME AND EXCUSES
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, March 6, 2020

THE ORIGIN OF SHAME AND EXCUSES

"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.  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. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, 'Where are you?'  He said, 'I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself'"  
Genesis 3:7-10


Adam and Eve's eyes were opened, for they had acquired the knowledge of good and evil, but it was a knowledge that they wished they had never known.  God’s Word gives us discernment, and our eyes are opened to sin.  Today we call this the 'age of accountability’ or the age of understanding (Nehemiah 8:2-3).  Although man is often caught in sin, he seldom admits to it. He makes up all kinds of sorry excuses like Adam and Eve did. God always knows when we sin, the same way He knew when both Adam and Eve had sinned against Him.  God always does, and there is no way man can escape from Him.


I.   THE ORIGIN OF SHAME
  • Adam and Eve's Eyes Were Open:  (Genesis 3:7-10)
They have now acquired the knowledge of good and evil.  Now both Adam and Eve know, but wish they had never known.  As we mature and our conscience develops, and as we come to the age of understanding right and wrong through the discernment of God's Word, our eyes become open to sin.  Today we call this the 'age of accountability’ or the age of understanding.  Notice what Nehemiah says.
"Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law" (Nehemiah 8:2-3).

Understanding can only come with growth and discernment.
    • For Adam and Eve Knowledge Came Immediately:
This knowledge came fully grown at once just as they were created fully developed in an instant.  Take note that they were the first ones to experience Satan's lies and their dreadful consequences.

    • Both Adam and Eve Found Themselves Ashamed Before God and Man:
"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.  Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”  He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself” (Genesis 3:8-10). 

    • Nakedness Must Be Covered: 

What is the first thing that Adam and Eve realized when God called them?  That they were naked.  Their conscience was telling them they were wrong to be going around like that, naked. In other words, their conscience was accusing them.   In Romans 2:15, we read,  
"In that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them."

Only those who have the knowledge of good and evil and whose conscience has not been entirely seared have a sense of shame.  Likewise, they also recognize that they must cover up.
    • They Covered Their Loins:
Both Adam and Eve were aware of those parts of their bodies that needed to be covered.  When they realized they had to be covered, they made some coverings out of what was already available in the garden, mainly the leaves of fruit trees.  Can you see the effect of sin?  Notice that Adam was to dress and keep the garden, and now he found himself tearing at the trees to find something to cover himself with.  They covered their loins with leaves.  Adam and Eve knew something was wrong and that they had to do something.  They really did not know how to fix their problem.  They did the best they could think of at that moment.  They, in fact, thought they had done enough.  But until God called them, they did not realize that they had not really done enough.
    • Their Loins Were Not Covered Adequately Before God:
Adam and Eve thought they had covered themselves enough.  Therefore, they stopped adding more coverings to their nakedness.  But when they heard God was approaching them in the garden, they hid.  This leads me to the next questions:  If Adam and Eve had covered their loins enough, why did they hide when God called them?  What did Adam say in answer to God?  "Because I was naked, I hid."  Adam's knowledge of good and evil was enough.  This is what we ALL should do today.  If you are naked, do not exhibit yourself in public!  Evidently, both Adam and Eve knew they were not presentable.  Moreover, they knew that what they were wearing (covered with) was in no way appropriate and acceptable in the presence of God.  They were still naked.  So why is it that many think nothing at all of presenting themselves before God and man in the worst fashions of undress or even in unblushing nudity today?  The knowledge of the evil of public nakedness has been lost in these people.
    • They Tried to Hide From God:
Have you noticed that the guilty always flee?  Even when no one is pursuing them.  In Proverbs 28:1, we read, 


"The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion."

Although they tried to escape from God seeing and knowing their nakedness, God knew.
"How long is the land to mourn and the vegetation of the countryside to wither?  For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, animals and birds have been snatched away, because men have said, 'He will not see our latter ending."'  Jeremiah 12:4
"Am I a God who is near,' declares the Lord, 'And not a God far off?  'Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?' declares the Lord.  'Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?' declares the Lord.  'I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘'I had a dream, I had a dream!'"  Jeremiah 23:23-25

Today many behave in the same way as Adam and Eve or even worse because they don't have any reservations about parading their nakedness before the eyes of men and God.  They make no efforts to hide it.  They pretend that God can not see and does not know about their sins.
    • God Later Provided Them With Adequate and Lasting Cover:
"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them."  Genesis 3:21
Although they knew that they had to wear something else that was more appropriate, they did not come up with the right answer.  So God gave them proper clothes.  God made them durable clothes to wear that were also modest.  It covered them properly.  And though they had covered their “loins,”  God made them garments called “tunics” or coats.  This was new to them.  It was proper clothing in both material and amount of body covering.  People in some parts of the world still wear this kind of robe as their typical clothing.
    • They Tried To Hide Their Sinful State:
Their nakedness was only part of what they were trying to hide.  They knew they were naked because they had disobeyed God.
"Have I covered my transgressions like Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom."  Job 31:33
And although Adam tried to attribute his hiding to modesty, that was not all there was to it.  His biggest problem was guilt because he had sinned.  God knew they had sinned, yet they hid, hoping He would not find out or notice them.  The truth of the matter is that God always knows.  He always has and always will.
"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."  Proverbs 28:13
Adam tried to blame his sin on someone else like so many after him have done when they get caught.


II.   THE ORIGIN OF EXCUSES:

Although man is often caught in sin, he seldom admits to it.  He makes up all kinds of sorry excuses like Adam did.

"And He said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from 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 from the tree, and I ate.'  Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?'  And the woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate."'  Genesis 3:11-13
  • God Knew They Had Sinned:
    God always does, and there is no way that man can escape from Him.  Not only does God know that we have all sinned, but He has directly told us so, making us aware.
    "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one."'  Romans 3:10
    "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23
    Yet, so many deny it.
    "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."  I John 1:8-10
    "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."  I John 2:1

    Like Adam, many today avoid the real question of why they sinned.  Man always evades serious problems by focusing on less serious problems.  Isn't it true?  What man does not realize is that this is a carnal and evasive tactic, and it will definitely not work with God.  In Adam's case, God confronted Adam with his sin.  God cannot be fooled or be distracted.  Let us take heed!
    "Then He said to me, 'The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood and the city is full of perversion; for they say, 'The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!'  But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor will I spare, but I will bring their conduct upon their heads.'"  Ezekiel 9:9-10
      • Man Tried to Blame Woman:
      "The man said, 'The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.'"  Genesis 3:12

      Even though Adam had received Eve, his wife, as a great gift from God, he, after a short time, accused Eve, this gift of God.  What Adam did not realize was that he was accusing God himself for the wrong that he had done.  This is amazing!
      "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.'  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.'"  Genesis 2:18-24

      Take note that when he accused Eve, Adam did not speak of her as his "beloved wife," but instead, he said, "the woman."  It is amazing to me how sin affects our relationships, even the dearest ones, by turning our hearts cold.  This reminds me of those that because of their cold hearts denied our Lord Jesus even when He had been so gracious to them. 

      Adam ungraciously admitted to his sin, not from conscience but only because he was caught.  Does this sound familiar?
        • Woman Blamed, After a Fashion, God Also:
        "Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' And the woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'"  Genesis 3:13

        When God dealt with Eve, she also immediately blamed someone else.  She said it was the serpent's fault.  Notice that Eve did not mention tempting Adam and getting him to also eat.  She even went ahead and said, "Yeah, but it is not all my fault."  Isn't it something that man loves to blame others instead of himself?  Today, many hide from their guilt by saying that their parents were bad, and they had a difficult childhood.  They find excuses for their sinful behavior instead of repenting.  This perverse impulse is nothing new:
        "Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, ‘The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children’s teeth are set on edge’?  As I live,' declares the Lord God, 'you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore.  Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die."'  Ezekiel 18:1-4

        God had told them to stop sinning.  He is telling us the same thing today.  As sorry as Adam and Eve's excuses were (and you can be sure they were sorry excuses to God), my excuses and your excuses for the sins we commit are just as sorry.  Take heed!  Even worse still, all of our excuses are old and worn out!  They don't even have the novelty of being as original as theirs were!
        • Excuses Don't Excuse:
          In spite of all of Adam and Eve's excuses to justify sin, they lost Eden, the garden.  Consider the following:
          "Then Saul said to Samuel, 'I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.'"  I Samuel 15:20-21

          In the New Testament, the lawyer who questioned Jesus tried to justify himself.  What he did not know was that he was still guilty:
          "And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'  And He said to him, 'What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?'  And he answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.'  And He said to him, 'You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.'  But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'"  Luke 10:25-29

          What did the lawyer say to justify himself to Jesus?  He said, "And who is my neighbor?"

          So often, our confessions are more an account or announcement of sin rather than genuine repentance.  We must be ashamed of our sins, mourn them, and confess them, forsaking our transgressions to find mercy from God.  Remember, God searches, He sees, and He knows the heart of man and He cannot be fooled.
          "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."  Proverbs 28:13


          CONCLUSION:

          God's patience has a limit.  He will put up with our shameful excuses only for so long.  When God gives us instructions to follow, we must obey them rather than making excusesGod will not accept our excuses.  So we must stop making excuses and start obeying Him.  So when you are tempted to make excuses and ignore what God has commanded you to do, remember that God refused to excuse Himself from sending His Son; that Christ refused to excuse Himself from going to the cross and dying a cruel death; that the Holy Spirit refused to excuse Himself from revealing to us through the Bible how to be saved;  that the apostles and early Christians refused to excuse themselves from sharing the Gospel and doing God's will for salvation (even at the cost of losing their lives); and finally that many throughout history did not allow any excuses to keep them from obeying the Gospel to be saved. Salvation must be important, eternity is forever, our souls are very precious, the wages of sin is death, the devil is so ravenous, and this world of darkness is so wrong that we must remove all the excuses and barriers that stand in the way of our salvation.  Remember that wrong is always wrong.  So don't make excuses and repent. 

          As sorry as Adam and Eve's excuses were and how pathetic they must have seemed to God, my excuses and your excuses for sinning are just as sorry. Even worse still, all of our excuses are old and worn out through centuries of misuse by our ancestors. They don't even have the novelty of being original as they were when Adam and Eve used them. Excuses don't excuse! Despite all of Adam and Eve's excuses to justify their sin, they lost Eden, the Paradise Garden. Many years later, King Saul tried to justify his disobedience in the same way when the prophet Samuel corrected his sin (1 Samuel 15:20-21).

          When we come face to face with our sins, it is not a confession when we say or imply, "So what?" A true confession proceeds from genuine repentance and godly sorrow. We must confess and forsake our transgressions to find mercy from God.  Remember, God searches the heart. He sees and knows the heart of man and cannot be mocked!

          Therefore, let us stop making excuses and do our best as those who have been called out of darkness into His marvelous Light (1 Peter 2:9-12).  Let us resolve to live in newness of life in Christ Jesus, in the regeneration of our mind and soul (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:18; Ephesians 4:21-24; Colossians 3:10; Galatians 2:20;1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 8:2-6).  Likewise, let us stop making excuses and start walking in "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," which frees us from "the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). We must "fulfill the law of Christ." Let us start walking in "the fruit of the Spirit," which can produce in us the qualities of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  The Spirit influences men today by the Spirit-inspired Word (2 Peter 1:21).  Thus, let us stop making excuses, walking in the desires of the flesh, but let's engrave God's Word in our hearts and not use our liberty as a license to sin! (Galatians 5:16-25).

          May we never make excuses before God for our transgressions, but rather repent from a sincere heart.  May we never compromise our faith, making excuses for our sinful behavior.  May we always remember that wrong is always wrong, and sin is always sin, even when others approve of it and say it's okay. 

          Luci

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