While still being stunned by the ugliness of twenty-six lives being snuffed out for no apparent reason, I have mourned for their families and friends who will never see life quite the same. How are we to make sense of such evil? Humanly, I don’t think we can unless we are willing to examine our own hearts. For the past several weeks in the Counseling Room, the need of almost every client has drawn us to Genesis 3 for a look at the entry of evil on the human landscape– the beginning of blame shifting. I invite you to look at the passage in its entirety on your own; for now I will only point out the most pertinent details:
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
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.” (Verses 6-13. emphasis mine.)
There it is . . . the beginning of blame shifting at the very inception of sin, Adam blamed God for evil . . . and so do we! The saddest part that stands out to me is in the glimpse of what was lost: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid . . . .” Imagine! It had been their custom to walk and talk with God in the Garden! The day shame entered, such fellowship with God was lost.
That there is evil in the world is nothing new, we see it every day when we watch the news– morning, noon or night. (Like it or not, we must admit that it lives within our own minds and hearts.) We look for “answers” as to why such things happen–mental illness, family background– and make vows to make better laws so that such evil can never happen again. But we will never fully understand the awfulness of evil (much less stop it) until we are willing to examine our own hearts before a holy and righteous God. The question that really needs to be asked is in Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word.” Purity is very much a joke in our culture, but until we are willing to do some serious business in our own hearts, evil will continue.
His patience will one day end and His justice will prevail. For now, God waits for us . . . having made a way for us to regain fellowship with Him through the Gift of His Son. Truly, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
All to His Glory!