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Teachings

B’resheet(In The Beginning) B’resheet(Genesis) 1:1-6:8

Torah Portion: B’resheet(In The Beginning) B’resheet(Genesis) 1:1-6:8
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 42:5-43:10
 
We start with a question: What clues do we have that Adam and Eve’s relationship with G-d changed after they sinned?  Before the sin they walked with G-d in the garden. Afterwards, they hid and were afraid of Him.
 
Today we have the opportunity to study the foundational sections of scripture. Where better to start than in the beginning. In this Torah portion we have the scene opening, “In the beginning,” before there was anything. We see the hand of G-d set the world into motion with just a word from His mouth.
 
We read the order of creation. We see G-d create things of life where there had only been a void. We read of the natural order of those things created that we take for granted, air, water, light, darkness, the animal kingdom, plants and much more. All this was in the order of G-d. We then read of the creation of humans, the first couple, quickly followed by the first sin. Things went off the rails quickly, from a perfect world to one darkened by sin.
 
G-d entered the garden to walk with Adam and Eve. He asked the first question, “Where are you?” This was the basis of my question this week, “Where are you?” As we talk over the next few minutes I pray each of us give thought to this same question. Where are you in G-d’s plan? We will consider spiritual principles that will help us in our walk with G-d.
 
In Genesis 2:15-16 G-d spoke to Adam telling him he was free to eat of any tree in the garden except one. Adam was not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The consequences of eating from this tree was death.
 
We all know the story. Adam’s wife Eve, at the prompting of the serpent ate from the forbidden tree and gave some to her husband. Thus sin entered the world, up until that moment it was a perfect world. I expect we all wonder why did they do it? Why did they do exactly what G-d told them not to do? They were operating by sight, what they saw with their eyes, instead of what G-d told them.
 
G-d came through the garden and called out them, “Where are you?” For sure He already knew what they had done. He also knows when we get off the path He has set for each of us. At those times He comes to us with the same question. Like in the case of Adam, G-d knows where we are. When we hear that question the Father is wanting us to consider where we are and how did we wander off His path.
 
Let’s look at what may have brought Adam and Eve to this place. What might bring us to the same place of hiding from G-d?  What emotion do you see in this sad story? I propose it was shame. When confronted by their sin what did they do? They were ashamed and tried to push the issue off to someone else or something else. Shame compels us to hide our actions.
 
Adam blamed the woman, she blamed the serpent, the serpent had no one to blame. When we get off the path and are confronted by our sin we have the same option. We can blame another or take responsibility and confess our sin and seek G-d’s forgiveness.
 
Adam and Eve heard G-d’s voice and tried to hide. However, they could not and we cannot hide from a voice. It rings in our ears. We can try to evade and not take responsibility but it never works. Romans 1:16 speaks of shame when Shaul said, “I am not ashamed of the good news, for it is the power of G-d unto salvation to everyone who believes.”
 
Our reaction when we sin should be built on guilt not shame. What is the difference? When we sin, rather than trying to evade responsibility by being ashamed of what we have done and trying to hide it we must take responsibility for our actions. When we recognize our guilt we must bring that sin to the light before the Father, lay it at His feet and ask for forgiveness.
 
Our world today is built on avoiding responsibility for our sins, for our actions. Even in the world of faith we find ourselves being persuaded to accept the ways of the world rather than standing on our faith and G-d’s word. Think on this for a moment.  We are tempted to go along with things we know are sin. We are asked to accept things that stand directly in opposition to G-d’s word. Why do we sometime give in to this?
 
I believe in my life and maybe yours, we don’t want to look like a fanatic. We want to be part of a group, be accepted. We don’t want to go against the flow or sound old fashioned. So to not be shamed we compromise our faith just a little. What could it hurt? We go along with things we know are not in agreement with our faith. We don’t want to cause trouble or seem not with it. Moving down this path we quickly lose the ability to feel guilt.  Guilt causes us to face the truth and hopefully take responsibility for our actions. We then go to the Father and ask for forgiveness and He forgives.
 
In our world today we, our children, our grandchildren face tremendous pressure to conform to the norms we see around us. Satan wants to fill us with shame and embarrassment of who we are and what we believe. Shame pushes us all toward just being quiet and not taking a stand for the truth of G-d in an ever increasing G-dless world.
 
I urge each of you to stand on your faith. Stand for the truth of G-d. It may be the only thing that will shine a light on the darkness we see around us.  Don’t be ashamed of who you are as G-d’s child. I like the fact that G-d’s word is never changing. When I hear Shema it reminds me of what is true and what is not. Listen. Listen.