The fourth question God asks humankind is: “Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me and I ate’ ” (Genesis 3:13).
God gives Eve an opportunity to confess. Although He already feels the pierce of sin’s poison arrow, He doesn’t accuse her. He doesn’t point out to her that she has sinned. He asks her a question instead. By doing so, God gives Eve an opportunity to come clean. He gives her a chance to confess. Instead, she makes an excuse; she blames the serpent. But she knows the truth, and so does God.
This must have been a painful pivot for God as He turns from deep joy in His creation, to the prophecy of agony for their future. He curses the serpent, and the woman’s body during childbirth, and the ground.
Basically he makes difficult that which defines our lives. Giving birth symbolizes the nurturing characteristic that identifies women, and so that event is marked with discomfort. The ground, which symbolizes a man’s work is also cursed with thorns and thistles. Although man may still find pleasure and joy in his work, it will not be a life of ease as it may have been in a weed-free and well-watered garden.
“What is this you have done?” is a question we should allow God to ask us, also. Allow the light to probe our souls.
God is being gentle. He is not going to accuse us. He is just waiting for us, ever so patiently, to come to him in confession. “For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9).
He won’t curse us. That’s been done already. Jesus took my sin, and my sin-nature. There is a difference. Sin is what we do, think, or say whereas our sin-nature is what we were born with. We might be able to live a good life but nothing we do can ever erase that stain of sin on our heart and mind. As a natural desire to sit on the throne of our lives, it always comes between us and a relationship with God. (Romans 5:14,15; Romans 8). Jesus took that stain of sin on Himself. He bore it and suffered its price. Jesus took the curse. All I have to do is admit my sin, confess it, and believe.
Come out into the light and live!
The songwriter Tim Hughes describes how Jesus came down to our darkness to be our Light:
Light of the world,
You stepped down into darkness
opened my eyes, let me see.
Beauty that made this heart adore you
hope of a life spent with you.
King of all days oh so highly exalted
Glorious in heaven above
Humbly you came to the earth you created
All for love’s sake became poor
So here I am to worship, here I am to bow down,
here I am to say that you’re my God.
You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy,
altogether wonderful to me.
I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross