When sin convicts us, how do we react? Do we acknowledge and hate our transgressions? Are we determined to get rid of them? Or do we try to “justify” or to “explain” them, by perhaps placing blame on others? Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “He who covers [tries to justify and explain away] his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses [admits] and forsakes them will have mercy.”
God is merciful with us if we are honest and if we don’t try to play games. Notice 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When God gave Adam the opportunity to accept and confess his guilt, he failed miserably. Rather than truly repenting of having disobeyed God by eating from the forbidden fruit, he blamed both God and Eve, saying, “The woman whom YOU GAVE TO BE WITH ME, SHE gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12). Eve did not do much better. Here is her “defense”: “The SERPENT deceived me, and I ate.” (v. 13).
Was God impressed? Not at all. He “DROVE OUT the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” (v. 24).
How different could this world be today, if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, or if they had truly repented of their sins. Their “self-defense” and “justifications” did not help them, and they won’t help us today, either.