It’s true that Eve ate the fruit. But curiously, when God came looking for the responsible party, it was Adam he called out to instead of his wife. Evidently, Adam was ultimately responsible. We read in the text, “The LORD God called out to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ ” (Gen 3:9). Notice that by using the name LORD God, the writer reasserted God’s authority that Satan had tried to subvert. But also notice that God didn’t call out, “Adam? Eve? Where are y’all?”
Even though Eve sinned first, the question was posed to Adam because he was the one responsible. Adam was accountable as God’s assigned representative to carry out His agenda in the garden.
Instead of cultivating and protecting, Adam was the first man to exhibit a persistent problem that plagues the men of our day: silence. Up until this point Adam had been doing a lot of talking. He had been naming birds, cows, and fish. But when the snake showed up, Adam had nothing to say.
Now I know what you’re thinking: He wasn’t there! What was he supposed to do, watch his wife day and night?
You sure about that?
Despite the pictures you might have seen in a children’s Bible, Eve wasn’t alone and vulnerable. Her husband was standing right beside her. The whole time the snake was rapping, Adam was there—silent. Even when Eve turned to him and effectively deposed him as the leader of their home, Adam didn’t say a thing. He just ate.
The disease of silence still afflicts men today. Who is speaking about the discipline of children in the home? Women. Who are the vocal leaders volunteering for leadership in the church? Women. Who is willing to take a stand against immorality in their families? Women. There are exceptions, but too many men operate just like Adam. When it’s time to take a stand, they simply have nothing to say.
First Adam was silent. Then he hid. In both cases Adam refused to embrace his God-given identity to rule well. Abdicating his authority, he became a follower instead of a leader. Then, when the responsibility finally caught up with him, he resorted to blaming his helpmate.
The problem keeping many men in our culture today from being kingdom men is that they have relinquished their God-given right to rule, either through silence or blame. Instead of loving the fact that they are men and therefore are responsible by nature, they flee from their responsibility. And they always seem to find a reason not to own up to what it means to be a man. As a result, men have given up their opportunity to approach the Christian life as a challenge to conquer and rule well.
Can I share the truth with you, friend? You’re a man. As a man, you’re responsible. You’re to take the full responsibility to rule, under God’s authority, for the blessing and benefit of everyone within the domain of your influence. You were created for this. It’s time to reclaim your destiny.
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Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.