Where Does the Fault Lie? – Cliff Holmes

Cliff Holmes

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat (Gen. 3:1-13)

Many years ago, when I was just a young boy, I heard a song on the radio entitled “Put the Blame on Mame” (1946). This seems to be a part of life today. Put the blame anywhere else, but do not accept one’s own blame. We have all read the account in Genesis 3, but there are some points we may have glossed over and just not realized
they were there.

First, there is indication that Eve may not have been alone in her confrontation with the serpent. When she saw the fruit was pleasant to the eye, and it would make her wise, she took and ate and gave some also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The blame game would start momentarily, but the question should be asked, “Why, since God created Eve from Adam’s rib—close to his heart—did he not stand up to the serpent and say, ‘Oh no; you will not tempt my beloved in this way?’” After all, does not the Scripture say that “her husband was there with her”? Adam was likely intrigued by the serpent’s attempted temptation. He also caved in to the serpent’s enticing words.

Secondly, God did not immediately turn to the woman who had been tempted but rather to the man who was supposed to be the head over everything God had made for which Adam was to care. When God asked about the situation, Adam said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree, and I ate.” He pointed the finger of blame first at Eve, then at God and finally at himself. His attempted logic seems inescapable: You gave her to me and she gave the fruit to me. What else could He say but “Yes, I ate.”

Thirdly, she (I suppose meekly) pointed a finger of blame at the serpent by saying, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” As one might say, “The serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on.”

All three had violated the will of God and must suffer His punishment. While God is a just and a merciful God, all sin must be atoned. The man was to spend his days toiling for his everything to sustain his life and livelihood; the woman was to bear children in pain. The serpent was to spend all of his days crawling on his belly, eating the dust of the earth.

Our loving God—our Creator—embarked on the plan through which sinful man can find rest, redemption and cleansing of the sin-stained soul. Mankind’s only relief from the penalties of sin was to be the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. That is the real mystery, but God secures and saves the souls of all mankind past
and future (i.e., of obedient though not sinlessly perfect souls).

Now we come to the object lesson, which is this. Never play the blame game before your God and King. No matter how black the stain of sin on your soul may be, bow before God and admit, “I am a sinner.” Acknowledge a willingness to submit to God’s will completely. Faith (John 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:3), confession (Rom. 10:9-10), baptism (Acts 22:16) and lifelong faithfulness to God (Rev. 2:10) solves the entire sin problem. My earnest prayer is that you will do this today. Do not delay, because tomorrow may be too late.

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