DayBreaks for 3/06/14 – How It Must Sound to God
Genesis 3:7-13 (MSG) Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves. 8 When they heard the sound of GOD strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from GOD. 9 GOD called to the Man: “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.” 11 GOD said, “Who told you you were naked? Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?” 12 The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.” 13 GOD said to the Woman, “What is this that you’ve done?” “The serpent seduced me,” she said, “and I ate.”
I recall when our children little how they would get in trouble for doing something wrong and when they were “caught” or confronted with it, they gave us some hum-dingers of excuses. Sometimes they made me laugh.
But what’s not so funny is how many times I’ve given really lousy excuses to someone for why I did or didn’t do something. It is shameful, really. Consider this story from NEWS OF THE WEIRD, dated 3/4/14:
“An alcohol-hammered Troy Prockett, 37, was arrested in January near Hudson, Mass., after his car spun out of control on Interstate 290 and he fled on foot, pursued by State Troopers who followed him to a tree, which he had climbed to about 30 feet up. Playing innocent, Prockett asked if the Troopers had yet ‘caught the guy who was driving.’ The driver was still loose, Prockett said, even though only one set of footprints led to the tree (but, Prockett explained, that was because the real driver was carrying him piggyback!). Finally, as firefighters were arriving to climb after him, Prockett (according to the Troopers’ report) ‘rambled on about being an owl.‘” [WCVB-TV (Boston), 1-9-2014]
I have to admit that Mr. Prockett deserves an “A” for effort, but an “F” for the believability of his excuses. When I read this, though, my thoughts drifted quickly to how foolish our excuses must sound to God. It’s been that way since Adam and Eve both tried to pass the buck in the garden. Adam, in typical manly fashion, blamed the woman. Eve quickly decided to pass the blame on along to a talking serpent. If it hadn’t been for the seriousness of what had happened (which, by the way, didn’t surprise God), I would have imagined that God may have laughed at the frivolous excuses proffered by the first couple.
Our excuses, like those of our kids, may seem funny at times, but when we are trying to pass off the blame for our actions (“My wife doesn’t meet my needs so I had to find someone who would,” or “My husband always forgets our special days and never has time for me, but my co-worker thinks I’m terrific so I fell into an affair”, etc.) to someone or something else, God won’t let us get away with it. And our sinfulness is never a laughing matter.
Fortunately, when we are woman or man enough to own up to our failures, God is merciful and gracious, and eager to forgive when we turn from our wrong and move back to Him.
PRAYER: Lord, I imagine that our excuses and explanations sound frivolous to You, but the actions and thoughts that prompt them are never funny. Remind us again of the seriousness of sin and the certainty of our own responsibility for choosing that which is wrong. Thank You for being so gracious and forgiving and patient with our foolishness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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