The Blame Game, Genesis 3 - Rev. Vatche Ekmekjian

If we want to know what is the most popular game in the entire world? It is the Blame Game, whose number of players far exceeds the Facebook’s Farmville (82 million active users), Super Mario Brothers 3 or Fifa 2011. Every human being who has ever been born or lived, somewhere in his/her life played this game.

The Bible tells us that the first players of this game were Adam and Eve. In Genesis chapter three we read about the Serpent who has lead Eve to question what God had said. Eve got into a dialogue with the Devil and she saw that "the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom; she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it”. When they hear the Lord God walking in the garden they run for cover, because their conscience was condemning them.

And here starts the game. In response to God's question “Where are you?” Adam tells the Almighty that he was naked and afraid so he went into hiding. But when God asks him “Who told you that you were naked?” instead of naming what he did, Adam directly blames the woman: “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” The first person he blames is Eve;

Adam not only blames his wife, but he goes and blames the Lord himself. He says “The woman YOU put here with me…” Adam is kind of playing the blame game with God, as if saying to God, if you wouldn’t have given me this woman, I never would have done it.

Reading the story we see that the game is not over. After the half-time the blaming keeps going when Eve gets into the playground and answers God’s question: “What is this you have done?” Instead of naming it, she uses all her linguistic skills and says: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” She attributes her faults to the Evil One.

Adam and Eve were trying to get rid of taking personal responsibility. Their behavior tells us that that left to ourselves; we do anything to avoid taking personal responsibility for our actions.

When we call this behavior a "game", people might think that it does not really affect lives. On the contrary, it ruins lives and relationships. People blame their spouses saying "If only he weren’t so lazy, then I wouldn’t blow up". People blame their parents saying "if only they have provided me with some money". People blame God for everything that happens in their lives; loosing a job or a loved one or just a general lack of happiness. I know of some people that praise themselves for their success and blame God for their failures.

There is this famous story which illustrates the fact that we should not jump and blame others for what we can stand and feel responsible for. One evening several college students spread limburger cheese on the upper lip of a sleeping roommate. Upon awakening the young man sniffed, looked around, and said, “This room stinks!” He then walked into the hall and said, “This hall stinks!” Leaving the dormitory he exclaimed, “The whole world stinks!”

I believe it is the time to surrender our hearts and selves to the wisdom of the Word that was uttered by the psalmist when he wrote

"23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

… and find look at ourselves before blaming others. May the Lord God be our help. Amen.

Rev. Vatche Ekmekjian,
Immanuel Armenian Congregational Church, CA