The lesson most of us learn, or at least limit our memories to in regards to Adam and Eve is the lesson of disobedience.
Yes, that is a crucial lesson. For us that like to point fingers and fall into the trap of thinking like a hypocritical pharisee, we do not move past the deeper lesson. At least the lesson that I see in regards to the relationship between God and man. The revealing of the heart of mercy, and our reaction to it.
But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." 11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" 12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Now, in this verse we can see the heart of God's mercy from the beginning.
We know if disobedience by itself was the cause of the fall of man, then we would not read where God called to Adam. He called out, Where are you? If it was disobedience all by itself, would God have been calling out to Adam? Would he given him any opportunity to confess his disobedience. He is God, and he will have mercy and whomever HE chooses. So says Romans 9.
He asked Adam if he had taken from the forbidden tree.
He did not accuse. He did not have this eureka moment. No, he called to him, and asked him. He knew he had sinned certainly. So, why ask the question? Why call to him, when he knew where he was?
That, is the very heart of Gods mercy. He calls out to us. He asks, where are you? He asks you why are you hiding yourself from Him.
It is our reaction to this call that determines our fate if you will.
How did Adam respond? (now it is this response that will cause problems.)
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
By saying the woman YOU PUT HERE, is actually holding God in contempt for his disobedience. That is what I do when I make any excuse, and no one on earth has a bag of excuses like me. In essence, every one of our excuses is actually blaming God for our sins.
Now, I have said this to people and immediately they think I am saying Christ would not have had to come down and be sarificed for the disobedience. No, that is not what I am saying.
What I am saying however is we know how God reacts to a contrite heart. Even before Christ came down. We know that he does not spurn a contrite heart. Unless Psalms is a lie when it says He will not spurn a contrite heart.
God will lead us to the river, but HE will not drink it for us. He will convict us of our sin, but HE will not confess our sins for us.
We need to acknowledge our sins, and accept what ever chastisement that comes with it, like mature adults. We need to choose to lay our pride down.
In other words, the greater sin of both Adam and Eve is pride. Eve btw also made an excuse by saying the serpent tricked her.
For those of us that cannot move past the fact that they were disobedient and love to accuse them of that, and insinuate that you would have never given in to temptation is quite frankly the spirit of the hypocrite. The spirit of the accuser. The spirit of the pharisee.
It is loaded with a lot of presumption, and self exaltation. Learn the lesson from the last supper, when Peter exalted himself and said he would never betray Christ. Where John leaned on Jesus's chest and asked who was it that was to betray. By doing that, he acknowledged that he is capable of it. One of them went on to deny Christ, and the other had the grace to be at the foot of the cross by trusting in His mercy.
The most painful things I go through in life is remembering my sins. The accuser beats me down with them. I tend to think like Adam often and blame God in my way for my sins. I blame God for allwing me to be born. I blame the world and the temptations etc etc etc etc etc.
If you do that like me, you know that is the wrong road. Hence, the beauty of our sacrament of reconciliation. How short are the lines at your church on Saturdays? I think in some ways many American Catholic churches (and around the world for that matter) lets us down a little bit. I know they have a lot on their plates, and it is a bit unfair for me to suggest this. However, I think the Sacrament of reconciliation ought to be open far more often than one day a week for 45 minutes or so. I feel sometimes that need a confessional next to me all of the time.
Yes, my scrupulosity gets out of hand at times.
The point is, do not be ashamed to confess your sins. The grace is there, and God is always calling out to us.
From the beginning.