And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then [Adam] said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
My account of the events had not been incorrect or inaccurate by any means, but my answer certainly had an ulterior motive to it. I knew what my parents wanted me to do, or not do, but I also knew what I wanted to do. I could have obeyed them, and all would have been well. Instead, I looked for a way to have my own way yet reason myself out of culpability. When they asked whether I had violated my grounding and gone outside while they were out, I drew their attention right to my sister. She had been left in charge, and she told me I could go out and play. If anyone was guilty of breaking their rule, it was her. That was my case, but I could not convince them of that.
When I was a child, I spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out how to shift my blame to someone else. I did not really want to obey my parents, but I also did not want to pay the price for disobedience. It normally was the case that I would be caught whenever I disobeyed, so I was constantly trying to find creative ways out of trouble. Adam and Eve were both doing that here. Each had elected a scapegoat. He had eaten from the tree, and God certainly knew the answer to that question, yet Adam felt the need to highlight Eve’s role in that. She also tried to soften the blow of her own disobedience by claiming deception. In essence, they were willing to acknowledge their misconduct as long as they were not actually held accountable for it.
Yes, the serpent deceived Eve, but she allowed herself to be deceived despite knowing God’s full instruction. Yes, Eve led Adam to eat from the tree, but he also knew what God had instructed them. Each is saying, “I messed up, but this is who should be punished for it.” They were brazen enough to defy God in his garden, but they lost that false courage when it was time to be accountable. It is the opposite of confession and repentance, and we perpetuate sin when we deal this way with our disobedience. Father, lead us from waywardness, and instill in us truly repentant hearts when we fall short.