The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12-13
When I was a little boy, I scraped my leg on the dining room table. Rather than giving me sympathy, my mother turned and started talking to the table. In between her words, she “spanked” the offending furniture. As I remember it, she said, “Bad table! (whack) Bad table! (whack) Don’t you ever (whack) hurt my little boy again!” (whack) By the time she was done, I felt better, and the table had learned its lesson. Spanking a table was one of the sillier things my mother has done in her life. Her disciplining of an unfeeling table made absolutely no sense. It was so silly that Pam and I did the same thing when some inert object jumped out and hurt one of our children.
According to a story carried by the news services last week, the custom of punishing inanimate objects may be a widespread concept. In case you missed the article, here’s a synopsis.
Last week the residents of a Hanover, Germany apartment building were awakened by the sound of shattering glass followed by a large noise. When police came to investigate, they found a street littered with electronic parts and a man with a satisfied smile on his face. He explained that his computer had not been working properly and he had, in frustration and anger, decided to “punish” the offending machine by throwing it out the window.
Amazingly, the police didn’t arrest him. They asked him to clean up the computer mess and explained to the crowd that had gathered, “All of us, sooner or later, want to punish our computers.” Those German police knew that people prefer to blame somebody, or something, else for their problems. That’s not news to Christians. We have seen how Adam blamed Eve for the fall into sin, and Eve tried to transfer the guilt to Satan (Genesis chapter 3).
The truth is this: we are sinners and the world is a sinful place. A computer may not work the way we want it to, but it is an out-of-control temper that makes us throw it out the window. We are sinners, and although we may not like it, God holds us accountable. To save sinners, God sent His Son into the world to be our Redeemer. Look at Jesus’ life, and you will see the innocent Son of God being punished for guilty humanity. Look and you will see Jesus living, suffering, and dying for us. With Jesus’ resurrection, sinners are assured that they have been forgiven of all they have done wrong.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for all that I have done wrong. Forgive me for trying to pass the blame for my sins onto others. Accept my thanks for carrying those sins and removing them on Your cross. In Your Name, Amen.