Monday, May 4, 2015

It's Not His Fault

 Why do bad things happen to good people? That is one of the age old questions, isn’t it? Why do bad things happen to people who do not deserve them? Why are children abused by parents who are supposed to love them? Why are women beaten and raped by their husbands who swore to love and protect them? Why would people who claim to love us choose to hurt us so deeply? The other day someone asked me why God would allow such terrible things to happen to them. Why would God, who says that He loves them so much, allow them to suffer under so much pain and hurt by the hands of others?
                I want to clarify that I am not writing this blog for the purpose of answering all the hurts and injustices that we suffer every day. I am writing this blog to show you a simple, yet life changing truth that God spoke to me when I asked Him why He would allow such suffering on this earth. I am going to start by answering “why” with another “why”.

Why do we blame God for the sins of others?

                Go with me back into Genesis 3, back to the Garden of Eden where sin and pain and suffering began. Let’s dig into His word and maybe He can shed some light on all the questions we have as to why God would allow so much suffering in this earth, and in our lives.
                “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ And the women said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”  Genesis 3:1-4 NKJV
                In these verses we read how the serpent deceives Eve into believing that God is withholding good from her. He makes her question God’s authority and opens a door for her to disobey God. I won’t go into the treasures we can dig up in these verses; because I believe what God wants us to understand today is found in the following verses.
                “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. They the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” Genesis 3:6-7
                Standing before Eve was the fruit, the temptation to go against what she knew God had told her. She had a choice right then and there to either trust God, or she could disobey and follow her own desires. Notice in verse 6 it says that she “took of its fruit and ate”? Before her was a choice, a choice to obey God or follow her desires. The serpent may have tempted her and tried to trick her, but in the end she chose to disobey God, to not trust His word and to go her own way. She chose to sin.          The only power sin has over you is the power you give it in the choices you make. You have a choice to make every day. Eve had a choice, and so do you. You can either choose God in that moment of temptation, or you can choose to go your own way and follow your own desires. No one forced Eve to take that fruit. The serpent was not forcing the fruit down her throat. He tempted her, yes, but she chose to follow that temptation. She chose of her own free will to take it and to eat it. Even her husband Adam is without excuse. He also chose to take it from his wife and eat it. The only one responsible for the sins committed in that moment are the ones who committed them.
                “And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” Genesis 3:8-9
                After they chose to disobey God and sin against His command to not eat from the tree, notice what happens next? They run and hide from God. God calls out to them. God is seeking them. But why, why would God seek them out? Because God feels the pain of the separation that sin has caused between them. God created each one of us to be in relationship with Him. Just like Adam and Eve walked in the garden with the Lord God in the beginning, God has desired that for us too. He wants to be in relationship with us. But sin has separated us from Him. Not because He chose to be separated, but because we chose it. The Lord our God felt this separation from His children so deeply that He was willing to give His only begotten Son to suffer violently for our sins - for our choices. God never chose the separation, we did, and we still do- every time we choose to sin.
                “So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’” Genesis 3:10-12

                Adam does what every single one of us do- he blamed someone else.  After God asks him why he chose to eat the fruit and disobey His command Adam replies that it is His fault. Adam blames God for all the bad that just happened. Adam says the choice to sin was not because he sinned, but because God gave him the woman. Adam immediately blames God and his wife and refuses to take any responsibility for his actions. He blames God for everything.                            
                God must have wanted this to happen to him because He was the one who created this woman in the first place. He was the one who brought her to him and told him she was to be his help-meet. God was the one who said Adam needed her, and that she was supposed to love him. So in the end, it is God’s fault for all the bad and the suffering that is going to take place from that moment through the rest of time. It’s like Adam is telling God that if He would not have created Eve in the first place, none of this would have happened.
                Over and over again we blame God for the choices we make, or the sins that others commit against us. But it is not His fault. We cannot blame God or think that God wanted any of this to happen to us. God never wanted sin to enter into the human race. He never wanted sin to separate us from Him. But it did. Every time we choose to sin we not only hurt others, but we hurt ourselves, and we make the choice to separate ourselves from God. The sin that is committed against every single soul on the planet hurts God just as much, if not more than it hurts you. It hurts Him so deeply that He was willing to suffer the most painful, torturous death ever known to man. He was willing to suffer and be beaten, thorns pressed into His head, nails pounded into His hands and feet, and a spear shoved through His side just so we could see that all He ever wanted was a relationship with you and me.
                God is not at war with you. The only one who is fighting right now is you. Every time you choose to blame God for the sins of this world, you are choosing to stay separated from Him. When we choose to sin or when we choose to blame God for the sins of others we are choosing to fight against Him and the love He so openly displayed at Calvary. The only one who is at war is you. Your sin, your desire to live your life according to your will has separated you from God. It is not His fault that someone chose to sin instead of obey. It is not His fault that you chose to disobey. The one to blame for sin and for suffering and for pain is the one who chose to go their own way instead of choosing God’s way.
               I want to encourage you to go and read verses 13-19 of Genesis chapter 3 today. While you read, take note that Adam and Eve, and the serpent who sinned caused the rest of the entire world throughout time to suffer the consequences of their choice. The earth, man, and every living creature were tossed into a state of separation from God. When we choose to sin we will suffer the consequences of our actions. It is not “your life”. Every choice you make affects someone else- whether good or bad. Do not be deceived- it is not your life because we are all connected. We are all children of Adam and Eve.
                The choice to live for self or live for God is before us every minute of every day. When we do sin, those of us who are Christ’s have the blood of His sacrifice to wash us and cleanse us anew. But, there will always be consequences and someone will always get hurt by the choices we make when it comes to sin. But, we always have hope in Him. For scripture tells us that “no temptation has overtaken {us} except such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able; but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) We are not alone. Just as God covered Adam and Eve with a sacrifice, He covers us too.
                You have a choice to make, you can either serve yourself or you can serve God. But don’t blame Him for the choices you have made. Bad things are going to happen to good people, and even to the bad people, bad things are going to happen. But in the end, the only ones to blame are the people. Amen?

                Father God, I pray for the person who is reading these words right now. I pray that they would break free from the blame and see that You desire relationship, intimate and daily relationship with them. Father I pray that you would break the bonds of deception and show them that it is not Your fault that people sin. The choice to sin is in us and it is up to us to fight it, and to follow Your will for our lives. Father God, I pray that we would see that when we suffer You suffer with us. When we hurt, You hurt with us and that Your desire is for peace and everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord. May we turn from fighting against You my Lord God, and turn to You in Jesus Name, amen and amen.