Have you ever noticed how many times you have to tell your children the same thing over and over and over again? I mean that sometimes it seems that they are not hearing a single word that you say. Sometimes I wonder if they are just hearing, “Blah, blah, blah, blah!” Just after you tell them not to do a certain thing that will hurt them or harm them in some way they immediately just go and do the exact opposite of what you just told them. Here’s an example:
Me: Son, don’t go into those trees or even close to the edge of those trees or the shrubbery around the trees because there is poison ivy and poison oak in there.
Son: Ok, Dad.
(The trees enter stage right. Son goes to the edge of the trees. Son takes one step into the shrubbery.)
Me: Son! Did you not just hear what I told you?
Me: What did I just say?
Son: You said, “Son! Did you not just hear what I told you?”
Me: Before that!
Son: Uh…I don’t remember.
Now I don’t know if he is allergic to the poison ivy or the poison oak, but I know that my wife is. And it happens every year that when we let our dog in the house she ends up breaking out with a rash because of the poison ivy and poison oak. So I know that if my sons go into the shrubbery and trees that they will track the stuff in and my wife will end up having a rash and going to the doctor to get a shot.
But I still don’t understand why they don’t listen. As I sit here typing this post, my mind has wandered to a possible reason. It could be that they are just boys. After all, “boys will be boys.” Then another option may be that they really just don’t care to do what I ask them or tell them to do. Moreover, it could be that they are just like every other person on earth! What I mean is that they are just like me! Now this last option is not very comforting to say the least. If they are like me, then I am beginning to understand why I can tell or ask them to do something or not to do something and they do the complete opposite.
It goes back to Genesis 2:16-17:
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Further in Genesis 3:6-7:
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. Then 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.
Did you see it? Our ancestors did what God told them not to do. They willfully sinned against Him. They willfully chose not to listen to what He told Adam not to do!
Me: Don’t go near the shrubbery or the trees because there is poison ivy and poison oak.
Son: *Sigh* (Thinking…thinking…I think I’ll go ahead and go in the shrubbery and trees!) *Sigh* (Thinking: Why is Dad yelling for me to get out of the shrubbery and trees?!? Does he not realize that I’m wanting to go here?!?)
I wonder, as I wander, if perhaps Adam even thought about what he was doing.
God: Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.
Adam: “Sigh” (Thinking: Wow! This woman God made out of my rib is incredible! She’s gorgeous. Would you just look at her? Look how beautiful she is eating fruit from a tree.)
God: Adam! Did you not hear what I just said?!?
God: What did I just say?
Adam: Uh…it’s the woman’s fault, God!
Eve: (To Adam) Thanks a lot, Loser! God it’s the snake’s fault!
Snake: Uh…uh…ahem…(thinking) I don’t have a leg to fall back on!
God: Snake! You’re going to crawl on your belly from now on, you cursed serpent of old! Eve, you’re going to have lots of pain when you bear children; I mean to tell you that it’s gonna hurt. Adam! You ding-dong! You really messed up now! You’re gonna have a tough time in life because of your disobedience and it’s going to affect all of your progeny!
Now this would just be a sad story if this is all that there is to this life. But just as God made a plan to redeem Adam and Eve (and us, for that matter!), so I need to show grace to my sons and redeem them when they go into the shrubbery and the trees
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. (Genesis 3:15)
I’m thanking God for His grace and mercy on me…even when I wander into the shrubbery and trees of sin.