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.”
- Genesis 3:8-13
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
- Genesis 3:17-19
“God called out to the man who had fled from Him and hid out among the trees of the garden. Adam heard the voice of the Lord in the cool of the day as before, but Adam was confused. Why was God coming to Eden eastward? What was He doing there? He was coming for His customary time with Adam when Adam should worship, admire and adore the God who made him.
“Adam, shamefaced, came crawling out from behind some tree.
“God asked, ‘What did you do?’
“Adam regretfully replied, ‘We ate of the forbidden fruit.’
“Then to justify his actions, he said, ‘But it was the woman you gave me.’
“God turned to the woman. ‘What did you do?’ Immediately she put the blame on the serpent.
“Already they had learned to blame somebody else for the condition of their soul. This blaming someone else for all our iniquities is one of the great evidences of sin and is the forerunner of religion.
“Something happened, changing the whole scenario, hijacking and barring humanity from the knowledge of God. Adam and Eve, in that perfect environment and with their one supreme purpose of worshiping God, rebelled against their purpose, resulting in what theologians call the Fall of man, or Depravity.
“Our World is full of tragedy because of this great, overwhelming cosmic tragedy back in the Garden. Repercussions still vibrate in contemporary society.
“The burning question needing an answer is what was the tragic consequence of this Fall? Why does this matter for us today, and why should we inquire into it?
“Some say the Fall is the source of all the problems plaguing humanity down through the years. Some point to the proliferation of disease as a direct outcome. Others point to all of the hatred infecting humanity throughout the centuries: nation rising against nation, kingdom against kingdom and holocausts that have happened periodically throughout history. No generation has escaped such hatred and anger. However, these are short-term effects and simply a consequence not representing the real tragedy of the Fall.”
- A. W. Tozer, The Purpose of Man
Why does the Fall start Rev. Tozer’s book, The Purpose of Man?
The catechism, as Tozer comments elsewhere, says that the purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
God had a daily routine. He walked in the Garden. Adam and Eve, although she was not named Eve until the next verse in the Bible after what is quoted above, worshipped God. God was their Creator. Until they ate of the forbidden fruit, they knew no other way of life other than to glorify God and enjoy Him.
But it is odd. The first sin was whatever desire Eve, and Adam for that matter, had in their hearts. The second sin was doing what God had told them not to do. But then, they made excuses. We can wonder about who called whom a dirty name for the first time or who cursed the first time. There are a number of other sins that we could wonder about the origin of this or that, but making excuses? It is clear. Making excuses has been around since Adam and Eve first ate the forbidden fruit.
I wrote recently about all the excuses that the dialysis center has used to not use what the surgeon provided for subcutaneous access to my wife’s veins and arteries for dialysis. And when they have no ready excuse, it is always the patient’s fault. The patient that is already so sick that they need dialysis three days a week. Now the patient has the burden of hearing that it is their body that is not cooperating. The point is that the fault never lies in the people that do everything at the center. The only fingerprints on all the equipment is theirs, but it is never their fault.
When I was first commissioned as an army officer, I was told that whenever I was cussed out for something any of my men had done, or me for that matter, my only acceptable response was “No excuse, Sir!” I took the blame for my mistakes and all the mistakes of my men, and when I was praised for a job well done, I told my commanding officer about how my men had really done the important work.
But I have so wanted to use the Flip Wilson line, “The Devil made me buy this dress!” Okay, I have only bought dresses for my wife, and usually with her there to try it on, but the first part, “The Devil made me …”
First off, the Devil only tempts. He does not make you do anything.
And sometimes bad things just happen. It’s the old Murphy’s Law thing. If something can go wrong, it will. And then there are all the other add-on laws. It will go wrong at the worst possible time with the maximum numbers of witnesses, etc., etc.
But there is One who, I think, does not make excuses. He may say to those who talk about Jesus but do not have a relationship with Him that He never knew them, but for those who truly love the Lord, He will never open the Book of Life and exclaim, “Sorry, my pen ran out of ink that day.” No, God is trustworthy. He is Holy. Regardless of how often we fail Him, He never fails us.
Yes, excuse making is a very human thing, but God already knew what happened and what the motivation for that action was.
May we keep our eyes on Jesus; then, there will be no need for excuses.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.