Excuse or Excel

Excuse or Excel

Excuse or Excel – Part II

How much mercy is enough mercy?

Genesis 3rd Chapter

8Then 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. 9But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are
you?” 10He answered, “I heard you in the garden,
and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11And
he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree
that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12The man said,
“The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree,
and I ate it.”

What is the purpose of an excuse?  The word “excuse” has a Latin origin: “ex” which means to move away and “causa” which means accusation.  So we would have to say that its purpose is to move us away from accusation.  This week we’ll look at the very first excuse and see just how “weak” it actually was in it’s attempt to move someone away from their accusation.

Our text covers what happened after Adam and Eve sinned.  Now the one thing that we should reflect on is Adam and Eve’s knowledge of God’s laws.  It wasn’t like they were ignorant; as a matter of fact, Eve was able to quote it back word for word to the serpent.

Genesis
3:2-3
– The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from
the trees in the garden, but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree
that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will
die.'”

Shortly thereafter, the 8th verse tells us that the Lord came to the garden
in the cool of the day.  In other words, the Lord was visiting them on a regular basis.
They knew Him, and He knew them. However, because they had done wrong,
they “hid” during His arrival.  After calling for them, Adam answered honestly why they hid: “I was
afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

The Lord then gives Adam two rhetorical questions: “Who told you that you were
naked?  Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
Of course, the Lord knew the answers, but He gave Adam a chance to
answer for himself.  Well, in the 12th verse Adam simply “whimps out.”
Instead of stating that he did wrong; he tried to put the blame on the
Lord.  YES HE DID! And I honestly can’t believe Adam “Tried to go there!”

Adam states in the 12th verse, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”  Ohhhhh!  So it wasn’t Adam’s hand that received the fruit, or his eyes that looked upon it, or his mouth that opened or his throat that swallowed or his stomach that digested.  It was the woman!  I tell you, if this excuse would have worked, there wouldn’t be a single man on the planet!!!  We men
would all get married just to have someone else to blame. But of course this did not work because Adam’s sin resulted in not only him being cursed but also the earth itself.

Genesis
3:17
To Adam He [The Lord] said, “Because you listened to your
wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, `You must not eat of
it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will
eat of it all the days of your life.

So
how weak was Adam’s excuse. Probably just as weak as some of our excuses.   And in many situations we really don’t have
any excuse.  Now I don’t want you to
misunderstand “missing the mark.”
We all “miss it” from time to time; that is what God’s grace
and mercy is for.  What we are
discussing here is when we take an excuse and stand on it rather than the word
of God.  What if the Lord asked the
following questions? I wonder if we would answer with the excuses that follow.

“Why
don’t you go to church?” Excuse-“Lord it was this body you gave me. I
felt so good I had to go and play golf.”

“Why
aren’t you a tither?” Excuse-“Lord it was that job you gave me. I
just can’t manage the money.”

“Why
do you lust after men/women?” Excuse-“Lord it was these eyes you gave
me. They work too well!”

“Why
do you say the things you do?” Excuse – “Lord it’s this mouth you
gave me. It has a mind of its own.”

Surely
God gives us goodness like health and wealth, but He also gives us mercy to
compensate for the times we “mess up the goodness.” He loves us just
that much.

Psalm
23:6
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my
life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

Therefore,
this is why we get the goodness and the mercy all the days of our lives.  Without both just for one day we would be in a whole lot of trouble.  This is more
than enough to show us that we don’t need excuses.  If we miss the mark and ask the Lord to forgive us, we will be
forgiven. All we have to do is be humble enough to ask. Then if we try harder
the next time, we will be much better off.

It’s
not about being perfect, only perfected.
It’s not about being condemned; only conditioned because there is no
condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
So kiss your excuses goodbye and excel to where God wants you to be
because we have more than enough grace and mercy to get us there.