For most people, our first natural response when we are confronted concerning our own guilty actions is to place the blame somewhere else. Rather than bear the brunt of total responsibility, it is our tendency to want to implicate other people or circumstances to explain why we did what we did.
Adam and Eve did just that when God confronted them about their disobedience to Him. Adam blamed Eve, and actually God Himself for giving him Eve, and Eve blamed the devil (Genesis 3:12-13). Rather than take full responsibility for their sin, they sought to excuse their behavior by the misdeeds of another. God was giving them a chance to confess what they had done, but they were more interested in offering an alibi.
Mankind hasn’t changed much since the Garden of Eden. It is still within our human nature to want to shirk the blame for our actions by blaming someone else. Criminal lawyers in civil courts will argue fervently about how their client is not truly to blame for his crime because someone else enticed him to do it. Or his background, heredity, upbringing, and substance addiction (which itself is deemed a “disease” over which the person has absolutely no control) all contributed to what he did and he should, therefore, be considered innocent of his crimes. It seems the only time most people will accept full responsibility and “plead guilty” is when they believe that doing so will lessen the penalty for their actions.
“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23)
We should notice, however, that such attempts to sway God’s judgments are useless. We might be able to fool human judges into believing that we bear no culpability concerning our misdeeds, but God knows our very hearts. He knows our every thought and motive. God’s judgments are perfect because He alone has all the facts and knows all of the circumstances. And what is His verdict? We are all guilty of sin (Rom. 3:9, 23), we are all guilty as charged.
Adam and Eve believed that God would hold them blameless because they were tempted and enticed by another into disobeying Him. God listened patiently as they offered up their excuses and then proceeded to judge them accordingly. The devil was judged for his part in their sin, but that did not relieve them of their responsibility. Adam was not judged because Eve gave him the fruit, he was judged because he chose to accept what she gave him and ate it of his own free will (Gen. 3:17).
We will all stand before God, the Perfect Judge, one day to explain our own actions. Either our rewards for service to Christ will be in question; for those who have made Him their Lord and Savior, or our eternal destiny will be on trial; for those who have not. It is doubtless that every imaginable excuse will be given on that day and the blame shifting and finger pointing will be incredible. God will again listen patiently as alibis are offered, but in the end every mouth will be stopped and all will stand guilty (Rom. 3:19). Now is the time to confess our sins, accept full responsibility for our actions, and receive the forgiveness of God and not His perfect judgment!
To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,
[This post was originally published August 27, 2009]
**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.
[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]