Stories in the Bible are great. They provide entertainment, philosophy on human nature, and God-centered doctrine. However, most of the time when we observe the biblical characters’ re/actions, we forget to apply it to ours for many reasons: 1) we juxtapose it too literally (I didn’t kill my brother, If I was a pharisee, I would’ve known Jesus is God, etc) 2) we detach ourselves from application and just suck out enlightenment of it 3) we take it too metaphorically and jump into conclusive doctrine (this story shows we are all sinful like _______). As you learn to observe your heart and your flawed tendency to interpret the Bible, the stories become real and relevant, God becomes personal and active, and our sins become visible and true. I was teaching a study on “heart matter” of sin through Genesis 3. One guy started laughing, saying, “this story cracks me up every time… because Adam and Eve are just so ridiculous.” Let’s just say he wasn’t laughing as much at the end of the study.
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 3:9-13
God asked 1) where are you 2) who told you that you were naked 3) did you eat from the tree and 4) what did you do. The appropriate answers would’ve been 1) right here, hiding 2) no one. I just knew 3) yes, I did and 4) I ate from the tree you told me not to eat from. Multiple times, we see Adam and Eve not giving God a straight answer. They beat around the bush (maybe literally, too) and give an excuse, an explanation, and a blame before the actual answer if they even gave one. If you start to go through their train of thoughts, you would agree that it makes sense. Blame sounds immature and childish. Add logical explanation to that and it sounds like common sense. What was the sin they have committed? They ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why? Well, I thought the fruit was poisonous but serpent told me you lied about that… I was hungry… It looked good. It was good, crunchy, tasty… why did you hold that back from us? I didn’t want to enjoy the fruit alone, so I gave it to Adam, too. Didn’t want to be selfish you know. You know Eve means everything to me, so I couldn’t say no to her. You know how she gets. I was curious and I am a curious person. God, you made me that way. And serpent told me it wouldn’t hurt and actually make us be more like you… and how great would that be… but yea, I ate because I wasn’t listening to what you told me.
God’s question went straight to the point. He saw our heart (the source of desire that gives birth to sin) and He wanted us to confess that our heart was against Him, His will, and His authority. But how many times do we wander around to get to that point? We bring up how we were raised in the childhood (we would’ve been better parents if we had an example in my household), we remind Him how that girl treated us (and it was logical and biblical to do it. Eye for an eye, right?), we tell him that your anger and jealousy was justified (did you see that ridiculous traffic? You know how much I want to be skinny), or how you have to rely on other Christians to grow in faith (I mean, you are not visible and it’s hard!). List goes on. We are on the hot seat, God is asking us questions we would love to avoid, and we are squirming for our lives. We want to call a friend, use 50/50, and use the audience to kill some time.
Let me tell you this though: Having gone through the hot seat sessions few times now, I actually really like it. Here’s why: God is not trying to find out what we did wrong. He and we know we did, we would and we will. The consequence of sin is paid for. Thus, the judge is saying “there’s no verdict need to be made. It’s already done but I want you to tell me what you did and why you did it.” This is for our good so that we don’t repeat the same sin because of ignorance and lack of observation regarding our desire, the root. Take confidence and peace in that. He’s the most understanding judge there is.