Sunday I was preparing for my small group and I was reading the story of Adam and Eve. We all know the story – God created Adam, and put him in the perfect place, the garden of Eden. God knew Adam needed company, so he created the perfect partner, a woman. Adam and Eve knew no fear, no shame – only love and devotion to their Creator.
And everything was going just fine until satan’s hand puppet – the snake – came into the picture. (I’ve always hated snakes, and you should too – I mean really, satan himself handpicked that despicable creature to run his plays. But back to the story…)
I’ll go ahead and call it – the chick in the story made the first bad decision. But her hubs didn’t exactly call a spade a spade when it was his turn. He compounded the problem by listening to his wife.
That little scenario plays out day after day after day. And it doesn’t have to be husband and wife – one kid makes a bad decision to smoke weed and then drags another kid with him, or a boss makes a decision to lie to win a deal and forces a subordinate to go along with him. Bad decision begets bad decision begets…
No one is immune to bad decision making. It can be something little, like telling a white lie to get out of working at the school’s book fair to a much worse decision, like having an affair outside of marriage.
But no matter the bad decision, once our spirit kicks in and we realize our sin, the initial emotions are typically the same – fear of what God or others will now think of us, fear that we will be found out, and shame that we ever made such a horrible choice.
Adam and Eve felt all those emotions, too. They made clothing out of some spare fig leaves because they were ashamed and hid from God because they were fearful. Shame and fear. We can all relate to that part of the story.
But for some reason, many of us stop right there. We stop at shame and fear, never reading the rest of the story. Or if we read it, we don’t seem to think it applies to us.
“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?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
Let’s be real – God knew exactly where they were and what they had done. Nothing surprises God, nothing gets by Him. God knows exactly where we are every day, and He knows everything you and I have done as well. But that doesn’t stop God from looking for us, calling out to us, searching for us despite our choice to disconnect from Him. He never stops calling out to us, no matter what choices we have made.
And the other truth to learn from this story is this: God’s mercy and compassion never fail, no matter what choices you have made. “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21) God knew they were cold and they were ashamed, and He showed them mercy and compassion by providing more than what they deserved in the form of warm clothing made from animal skins.
Yes, Adam and Eve suffered earthly consequences for their choices, just as we all suffer when we make bad decisions.
But God never stopped calling for them, and He showed mercy and compassion by providing more than they deserved.
And if you need more proof that Jesus is God in man form, I don’t know what to tell you, because that ‘s EXACTLY what Jesus does as well.
So don’t stop with the shame and fear part of your story. Go to Jesus with your sin, repent, and write a new chapter in your book – one where you experience the forgiveness, the closeness, the mercy, the compassion and the provision of your Creator.