We have all had times when our children disobeyed a known command. What did we do? How did we react? Did we yell and scream? Did we yank and spank? Did we shake our fingers in their little faces and lecture? Did we threaten with whatever outlandish punishment came to mind? I don't know about you, but I have been guilty of more than one of those.
How did God deal with His disobedient children? In Genesis 3, shortly after creation, Adam and Eve broke the only rule God had. You know, the one He had made abundantly clear and that they understood and of which He had clearly explained the ramifications of disobeying. Yeah, that rule. Did He kill them? Did He yell at them? Did He beat some sense into them? Did He lecture them? Well, maybe that last one just a little.
God called out to them and asked them 4 questions. How often do we jump to conclusions and assume that we know a child has done something without the evidence. Even though the all-knowing God did know what had happen He still asked the questions. He gathered the evidence from their own lips and then calmly passed out the punishments. The punishments fit the crimes and everything changed for everyone involved as well as a couple of animals that died to cover the shame and nakedness of Adam and Eve.
When we are dealing with our disobedient children, we need to be like God in five important ways: (1) Go to them - v. 9, (2) Ask and listen first - v. 9-13, (3) Be calm and rational - v. 8 God was walking not stomping and v. 9-13 He communicated, (4) Give out fitting punishment - v. 14-19 and 22-24, and (5) Show them we still love them - v. 21.
We'll keep learning next time. Until then let's be better fathers with what we have already learned.