July 28, 1999

"What is this you have done?"

___ (Genesis 3:13)
___God said, "Don't eat of the tree. ..." Adam and Eve did, anyway.
___Then Eve faced God's question, "What is this you have done?" The answer is not, "I ate of the fruit and gave some to Adam." God knows the facts. So does Eve.
Clint Dunagan
Pastor, Tarrytown Baptist Church, Austin

___God is asking if Eve knows the significance, meaning or importance of what she has done. The point is not even that Eve broke a rule. It is more about the consequences of ignoring God's warning. What happens here is loss of innocence. Sin and death enter the world as the consequences of the act.
___God walks with us after we have crossed the line. He asks, "What is this you have done?" Hitler heard this question about the holocaust. Milosevic and every Serb in his army also faced it over Kosovo. Murderers, rapists and thieves hear the question ringing in their heads and hearts.
___But go further. The Apostle Paul says, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men" (Romans 1:18). God confronts us and asks us to consider the significance of each and every act we do. The tone of his voice reflects the concern of a loving Father. He is asking, "What is this you have done?"
___The parent whose work gives little time for mate or children hears it. The teen experimenting with sex does too. Pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases are not the only things to consider. Early sexual activity affects self-image, relationships, sexuality itself. God questions bosses who pay below the average wage and have poor working conditions. God calls to account employees who don't give a full day's work for a full day's pay. God queries the pro athlete who sets an example of drug use and arrogance. God stands before the developer who harms the environment or the doctor who does not keep up with research. To all of them God asks, "What is this you have done?"
___Eve is so like us all. She immediately shifts blame. "The serpent deceived me." It's the fault of the economy, passion, how my parents reared me. I couldn't help it. Or we justify. I have to earn money for them. Everybody's doing it. Whatever!
___A phrase Jesus used resounds in my heart. "Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light" (John 3:21).
___Instead of justifying or shifting blame, we really need to know the truth. Then we need to live it. All God's rules come from his love. Commandments are warning signs. Don't do this; it will hurt you and others.
___Sometimes we choose between two good things. Still, God wants us to take the high road, the best road, the one that blesses most. Then he will ask, "What is this you have done?"
___It is our chance to smile and to happily say, "Why, what you wanted me to do, Lord." He will smile back and say, "Well done."

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