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Genesis 3:8-15 Run to God, not away from him, when you have sinned!

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There are a few ways that you can react after breaking something. One, you can hide yourself or the object. Two, you can try to fix it with duct tape because duct tape fixes everything. Three, you can blame someone else. Four, you can go to someone who can fix it. When we are broken though, we cannot fix ourselves. And when it comes to our broken sinful lives, not even duct tape will work; the one to run to is God.

It may be difficult to admit, but duct tape does not fix everything. In the worst kind of situation like a violent car accident, if the EMT ran to you, crushed, upside down, bleeding, hurting and afraid, with duct tape to fix your wounds, you would be asking yourself, “Why did dispatch send the new hire to my accident?” The duct tape might be able to bring your otherwise totaled vehicle back to life, but not you. When the wrong solution is applied in a dire situation, like a violent car accident, life is lost.

The situation in Eden was dire. Adam and Eve had been on the right road; they listened to God as their Creator. Thus, they enjoyed life, the beauty of the world, food, water, friendly animals, etc. They also understood to avoid the one pothole of the tree from which God told them not to eat, but then another voice was heard in the Garden of Eden. The devil lied to Eve, and Adam who was with her. When they heard the devil, they listened, instead of changing the channel back to God. And what happened in Eden is captured well in James 1, 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Adam and Eve’s desire for God changed, and what their hearts ran to in the eating of the fruit did not give life, but sin and death. From God’s perspective, it was a violent car accident with three individuals clearly at fault, Satan, Eve and Adam.

Before Adam and Eve were lost to their mortal wounds, God went to them. In our Old Testament reading from Genesis 3, we pick up with Adam and Eve after they gave into temptation and sin, 8 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. With hearts changed from love for God to fear because of their sin, Adam and Eve hid from God. Their sinful nature ruined their understanding of God as the one who is on their side. Despite their sinful fear and foolish attempt to hide behind a tree from the creator of trees, God was able to find them.

God was unchanged by Adam and Eve’s sin. He still wanted to be with them, so he went into his Garden of Eden, the one he made for them, to be on their level to talk as we hear in Genesis 3, 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” God approached Adam when he sinned, rather than wait for him to come to him or worse, abandon Adam. God went to Adam as the head of the household, the spiritual leader whose highest calling was to point his family to God, and we hear Adam’s response, 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” Adam’s new sinful nature caused him to run from God, not to him, when he had sinned. And, when God went to him, he did not own up to what he had done. Instead, he talked about a result of his sin, shame for being naked, avoiding the truth and gravity of what he and his wife had done.

God asked Adam and Eve the hard questions about their sin. Knowing the answers to his questions, he asked for the benefit of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” God was not the one who caused them to sin, it was the devil who tempted them. And when they listened, they brought sin and therefore shame on themselves. God was honest and gracious asking the questions, giving Adam the opportunity to confess his sin, but he did not. Instead, 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Adam did not repent, own his sin or answer God’s questions, but blamed God, not the devil or himself, who were the true culprits, and blamed his wife. At this point, God did not immediately pronounce his punishment for Adam, but moved on to talk with Eve, as we hear in Genesis 3, 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” As with Adam, God gave Eve the opportunity to confess her sins, and turning away from the Word of God that Adam had spoken to her about not eating from the tree. And as with Adam, Eve did not own up to her sin or answer God’s question. Instead, 13 … The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Again, God did not immediately pronounce his punishment for Eve.

We avoid hearing God ask us the hard questions about sin. As Christians, we know our gracious, creator God, and we know the sin Adam and Eve gave into continues to affect us. Like Adam and Eve, we also foolishly run from God when we give into temptation and sin. Rather than immediately owning up to our sin and pouring our hearts out like someone in a reality TV show giving commentary to the camera about what was really going on in their head during a certain situation, we attempt to fix ourselves or blame someone else causing a disaster like someone on an amateur cooking, baking or renovation show.

From a certain perspective, the worst thing about our sins is not the sin itself, but that we hold onto them allowing them to fester causing us fear, anxiety, shame, guilt and if we remain unrepentant death and eternity in hell. From a certain perspective, our running away from hearing God in his Word call out our sin is the worst because God’s response is not judgment. When we avoid God when we have sinned, it is not his fault that we remain in our sins, in our guilt and in facing punishment, it is our fault.

God went to us with the answer for our sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, God went to them in the Garden of Eden. And after they avoided God’s questions and tried to pass the blame, God gave the answer for our sins in his judgment against the devil as we read in Genesis 3, 14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The devil brought the temptation and was punished accordingly. And in this punishment was the first promise of Jesus. The enemy of mankind would be crushed in an epic battle, while our Savior would be struck. Jesus allowed himself to be struck and sacrificed on the cross, but in doing so he showed his power to come back to life. Our New Testament reading from Revelation 20, pictures the outcome of the epic battle, 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

Jesus overcame the devil’s greatest weapon, death, by his glorious resurrection. The separation sin caused was slain, and Eve’s Offspring, Mary’s Son and the Son of God, who walked with us, saved us. We are living in the thousand years, the time between Jesus’ first and second coming, where the devil has been bound. We walk in the freedom of the gospel, of Jesus’ forgiveness for all our sins, and soon we will walk with him in heaven.

Run to God when the devil lies to you. Adam and Eve believed the devil’s lie and gave into sin, and we do the same. The greater danger than this lie though is to believe the devil’s second lie, that you cannot run to God after you have sinned. In our Gospel reading from Mark 3, Jesus gave the defense to the devil’s lies, 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” You are Jesus’ family because Jesus has saved you as we read in Hebrews 2, 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.

And the will of God is not that we fix ourselves when we have sinned, but that we run to him when we have sinned as we hear in 1 Timothy 2, 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. When you have sinned, do not wander and do not wonder, always run to the Bible and to Jesus.

There are a few ways that you can react after breaking something. One, you can hide yourself or the object. Two, you can try to fix it with duct tape because duct tape fixes everything. Three, you can blame someone else. Four, you can go to someone who can fix it. We are broken beyond what even duct tape can fix because of our sins. Hiding and blaming will not save us from sin. God alone has saved us through Jesus, the Son of God and descendent of Adam and Eve. He sacrificed his sinless body on the cross for our sins and defeated the devil through his resurrection giving us peace with God. Run to God, not away from him, when you have sinned. Amen.

Gunnar Ledermann, Pastor Divine Peace Church

Gunnar Ledermann

I’m passionate about Rockwall’s vibrant community and actively engage with local non-profits and community organizations, including the Rockwall Chamber of Commerce, the City of Rockwall, and the Downtown Rockwall Association. My background includes a bachelor’s degree in Classical Languages and a master’s degree in divinity. Currently serving as a pastor at Divine Peace Church in Rockwall, I also enjoy spending time with my wife, Marinda, and our three children.

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