Not too long ago I dared to venture, within myself, to a place where many are warned not to go; I allowed my curiosity to wander beyond what has ever been explained to me. I had always heard others criticize Adam for not taking responsibility for his own actions after eating the fruit in the garden of Eden. According to Genesis chapter three verses nine through twelve the conversation between God and Adam went as follows:
God: “Where are you?
Adam: “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
God: “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Adam: “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
After years of blaming Adam for the sinful condition of the world I began asking myself ‘is God is to blame?’ According to Isaiah chapter forty-six and verse ten God “declares the end from the beginning” which means He knows what is going to happen before the events unfold. Since God knew that Adam would disregard His warning and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and yet still created him then isn’t He to blame? Sometimes, especially during moments of hurt and deep disappointment, we are tempted to ask questions that appear to shatter the foundation of our belief structure but such questions have the potential of drawing us closer to our heavenly Father. Nevertheless, we need to be reminded that all is known before God and He invites us to bring our queries to Him.
The human mind seems to always search for a rationale in order to understand the reason for unfortunate happenings. In John chapter nine and verse two the disciples, referring to a man who born disabled, asked Jesus: ”who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” It was common for the Hebrews to think that disobedience to God’s laws was the cause of misfortune. Another example of this was when Job’s friends accused him of sinning against God and thus deserved the suffering he was experiencing (Job chapter’s four through thirty-one).
Jesus did not directly answer their question but instead redirected their attention to where it needed to be: “Neither this man nor His parents sinned, but it was so that the works of God might be displayed and illustrated in Him” John 9:3). In other words, ‘never mind who is to blame for this, just focus on doing what needs to be done to remedy the situation.’
As I ask the question ‘Is God to blame?’ I do so with humility and a clear understanding that I currently know much less than there is to be known. I am able to ask this and other questions because God has given me evidence of His existence, love and care for me which helps me to not allow the answers I don’t have to lead me to disown my faith in Him. ‘Where did sin come from?’ ‘Why does God allow suffering?’ ‘Why do children die?’ ‘Why is there disease?’ ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ These are just some of the questions that many of us desire an answer to. Although we may not understand the reason for certain things we can rest in the revelation of who God is as revealed in Jesus the Christ. Peace is experienced by those who trust in who they know even when what they know does not make sense.
Father in heaven, please help us to trust in You especially when we experience doubts and unanswered questions.