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Friday, June 24, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Genesis 3: 1-15

The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” – Genesis 3:12b

The need to exercise DOMINION over DARTS of DENIAL has been from the very beginning: “Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate(Gen.3:12). Denial is the act of asserting – verbally or by action – that something alleged is not true. Denial is sometimes considered as a kind of defense mechanism: denying the reality of certain facts or of their seriousness, in order to avoid the discomfort associated with them. It is failure to admit the truth and accept reality; pretending that something is not so when it is so. We fall into denial when we fail to admit that we are wrong or we blame someone else. Denial tries to avoid taking responsibility. Its favourite four words are: “It’s Not My Fault,” or three words, “I Didn’t Know”!                                          

Lying is a direct form of denial. Others are false justification, caricaturizing, and minimizing. Genesis 3 reads like one intense game of finger-pointing. Steeped in shame, fear, and guilt, the first couple compounded their offence by shifting blame. God questioned Adam why he was hiding, he denied his responsibility in the crime at Eden, immediately projecting the blame on Eve and God: “the woman You gave me.” When God questioned Eve, she blamed the serpent: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (v.13b). Sure, the serpent was involved in the deception, but ultimately, Eve’s sin was her own choice. Adam’s sin to follow her was his own choice. He compromised both his headship over his wife and his dominion over the serpent.  

Denial is the nature of fallen humanity! We can be pretty quick to cast blame far away from ourselves after we sin, distracting attention away from us. Even children do this. They don’t have to be taught to lie, exaggerate, or point the finger of blame. It comes to them as a fleshly, sinful survival method. The ironic truth is: the only true survival method is found in confession and repentance. God’s question to Adam, “Where are you?” was a rhetorical invitation for them to confess and repent. Soon, Cain also displayed denial: “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s  keeper?” (Gen.4:9).

Pharaoh denied the greatness of Jehovah despite being struck by the plagues. His obsession with keeping Israelites as slaves in bondage made him minimize the seriousness of God’s command (Exo.8:15). 

King Saul failed to see his partial obedience as disobedience. He tried to blame the people and even God: “But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal” (Sam.15:13-21). He only partially admitted his error, but too late (1Sam.15:24, 30). He also refused to recognize God’s choice of David for the throne, imagining somehow that what had been prophesied against him wouldn’t happen.

The worshippers of Baal kept on hurting themselves in hope that their idols would respond (1Kgs.18: 26-29).

Gehazi denied being elsewhere when he had pursued Naaman. His memory somehow denied the prophetic ability of Elisha as he succumbed to greed (2Kgs.5:20-27).

Peter denied any relationship with Christ in face of persecution (Mt.26: 69-75; Lk.22:61).

Felix procrastinated, refusing to listen to Paul anymore when he began to speak pertaining to God’s Kingdom (Acts 24:22).

Denial often leads to a kind of delusion or self-deception in which memory itself begins to get conformed to the false tendencies of the will. False imagination gradually overshadows reason. While denial may be viewed as an organism’s defense mechanism, we must remember that falsehood is never beneficial at the end.

As believers, we can move forward despite our failures, knowing they’ve been nailed to the cross. Jesus stepped-in to take responsibility for all of our failures. We have no reason to live a lie, when we can confess, repent, and be restored (1Jh.1:8-10). “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Pro.28:13).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, teach us to confess, repent, face realities, and take responsibility, as we exercise DOMINION over DARTS of DENIAL, in Jesus name.
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