Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.
“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’” (Genesis 3:11-12).
It is human nature to blame someone when things go wrong. This finger pointing started with Adam. God asked him a simple question and Adam blamed the woman for giving him the forbidden fruit to eat, but he also blamed God. He points out that God gave him the woman in the first place. Was it really God’s fault? Let’s back up a little and see who really was to blame.
God made a beautiful place for Adam to live. There was plenty to eat and all of his needs were provided for, but God gave him one rule:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
Eve wasn’t around yet, and God made it very clear to Adam what he was allowed to eat and that the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was off limits.
“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man” (Genesis 2:21-22).
Sometime later Eve had a chat with Satan, who twisted God’s words. He convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit. Adam hadn’t instructed Eve clearly enough regarding God’s “rule.” Eve made the mistake of talking with Satan and believing his lies over God’s truth. Satan convinced Eve that God really didn’t mean what He had clearly said, and that twisting of Scripture still happens today. Eve asked Adam to join in the sin and he chose to go against God’s will by also eating the fruit.
Adam and Eve learned that God meant exactly what He said and was not exaggerating when He said that if they ate the forbidden fruit they would die. God had no choice but to remove them from the Garden. Death and suffering now touched every part of creation.
Is God to blame for any of this? He isn’t, yet we see God still being blamed for the troubles in this world. If our first parents had listened to God instead of Satan, humanity would still be living in that beautiful garden without pain, suffering, or death.
God created mankind gave us free will. He loves us enough to give us a choice as to whether we love, accept, and obey Him. If He hadn’t given us the right to make that choice we would be nothing more than robots programmed to obey. God wants us to love Him by choice
[Jesus said,] “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
When Adam sinned, the fellowship he had with God was broken; a gulf was created that mankind could never cross. God had a plan of redemption and it would take the ultimate act of love by God to accomplish it.
Even though Adam and Eve no longer were living in the Garden of Eden, God did not abandon them. The rebellion that started in the Garden continued and got worse.
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7).
Adam lived a very long life and we can only imagine how he felt as he watched the result of his sin grow to the point that God had to destroy man, beast, creeping things, and fowls of the air. I wonder who he blamed now. Did he still blame “woman whom thou gavest to be with me” or did he see the blame of his own choice?
I wonder if he ever came to understand that the father of all lies is the one to blame. Still God loved His creation and Noah, his immediate family, and some animals were saved through God’s judgment. It was time for a new start.
Noah had seen the wickedness that caused God to send the flood but chose not to be a part of it. When he, his wife, their sons and their wives stepped out of the Ark they had a fresh start. They had seen firsthand what full blown rebellion to God looked like and now they had the choice of rebelling or choosing to obey God.
The sin nature was still there. Sin and death were still very real. As the population grew so did sin. Sin was so rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah that God had to destroy those cities. Satan was still spreading his lies and mankind still believed him instead of God. Who did these post-flood people blame? Did they blame God?
God still loved His creation, and as rebellion continued He began to put into effect the plan of salvation that He had devised even before Adam sinned. God’s plan was to become one of us and shed His precious blood to redeem us. This was the only way to bridge the gap that Adam’s sin had created.
First the ground work had to be laid. Mankind had to be taught exactly what God views as sin. Man’s rebellion had grown far beyond eating the forbidden fruit and God gave the Law to the Jewish people to teach them and us what God sees as sin and what He required to cover it.
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).
The giving of the Law was only a step in God’s plan of redemption. The Law and all of the sacrifices could never take sin away. It could only cover sin. God would have to enter His creation and become man in order to give mankind the only way to salvation.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
The “Word”, of course, is Jesus who is the second person of the Holy Trinity…God the Son.
God loved His creation and still does. He loves us so much that He allows us to choose to accept Him and His love rather than programming us to love Him. He gave us free will even though He knew before the foundation of the world that Adam would choose to sin and that He, God Almighty, would have to enter His creation as a man to save us from sin and death. Only a perfect God could become a perfect man in order to redeem His once perfect creation.
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Peter 1:18-21).
God has done everything He can do for you. First, He gave Adam and Eve a perfect place to live. They chose to believe Satan’s lie and sin and death entered God’s perfect creation. As people continued to follow Satan’s lies, God put His plan of salvation into effect by giving a very detailed list of His requirements. People still chose to rebel. Finally, He gave Himself. How can anyone blame God for the evils and the hurts in life? When something goes wrong in our lives we often ask, “Why would a loving God allow that?”
Did God make you smoke cigarettes so you got lung cancer? Did God force you to into that homosexual lifestyle so you got AIDS? No, it is the individual who chooses to reject God and follow Satan’s lies. Do not blame God.
If sin had not entered into creation there never would have been any suffering. It seems that blaming God has become commonplace among men and women everywhere. Because the blind and lost sinners of this world blame God for all evil, they want to eliminate Him from our culture.
We only need to look back to the way life was prior to the flood to see what happens when mankind, led by Satan, ignore God and attempt to remove Him from their life. That’s a big mistake. Now read the news headlines and ask yourself if things are much different in today’s world. Though mankind is still wicked and rebellious, God still holds all things together.
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3).
God’s judgment came once by a worldwide flood. His judgment is coming again. Right now Jesus is: “…upholding all things by the word of his power…” One day soon He will loosen His hold and judgment will come.
“Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:6-).
Only those who have stopped blaming God for all the problems in their life and have accepted the free gift of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will escape that final Judgment.
It is certain that every person will one day either die or be taken in the Harpazō. If you die without accepting Christ as your Savior, you will spend eternity in the lake of fire. You will only have yourself to blame because you, like Adam, made the wrong choice. Only born-again Christians will be taken in the Harpazō and those who are left will face the worst judgment that has ever been. In Jesus’ words:
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
If you have not accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation, you need to do that right now at this very moment. Don’t put it off because tomorrow may be too late. If you find yourself left here and facing the Tribulation, you cannot blame God.
He gave His life so you would not have to face His wrath. Blame Satan and the lies he spreads. Ultimately, though, it is your choice and you can only blame yourself for making the wrong choice. Instead of blaming God who loves us, we should be praising Him.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
So, who do you blame?
God bless you all,