Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Offender In Custody

Over the course of the Covid pandemic I started to watch the tv show Chicago PD. It was new to me and I was bored with all the reruns of the reruns of the reruns. I didn’t initially watch the show because the actor who plays Hank Voight got on my nerves. He has a gravelly voice that irritates me and his personality on the show just rubbed me the wrong way. Clearly boredom was more of an irritant than the qualities I disliked in Hank.

As I was watching the show one day the term “offenders in custody” really struck me. It’s used every time the cops catch the “bad guy”. The detectives radio back to the station they cuffed the offender(s) and are heading to the station. These “offenders” are obvious bad guys. They’re typically caught in the act of breaking the law and then making matters worse by fleeing the scene.

Other times the offender “escapes” and then goes into hiding. In reality, they didn’t really escape, did they? Seriously, what kind of life is lived in hiding?

When Adam and Eve sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit, what did they do? They hid. They knew what they’d done was wrong so they tried to escape God. God was having none of that. He called the offenders out and then proceeded to interrogate them.

Let’s take a look at how that went down in Genesis 3:8-13

Adam & Eve – “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

God – “But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?””

Adam – “He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.””

God – And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

Adam – “The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.””

God – “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?””

Eve – “The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.””

After listening to their confession and weighing all the facts, God handed them the consequences to their actions in Genesis 3:14-19 I’ll let you read that on your own.

The beauty here is that after God served them their sentences, He still took care of them. He knew the shame they now felt in knowing they were naked so in Genesis 3:21 , He does this for His children:

“The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

What did we learn about the character of God from this story? There’s a lot to glean from here, but I want to discuss is how He provided for Adam and Eve’s needs. He even gave them the choice to do what was right or wrong. Free will is a powerful gift from our Heavenly Father.

How any of us choose to use the gift of free will is up to us. God has given us everything we need in order to steer clear of sin, yet we still choose sin. Myself included. Yet, God still wants a relationship with us. He still wants us to know how much He loves us.

Sin is never God’s choice for us. Unfortunately, much like Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent for their sinful choice, we place blame or get mad at God when things don’t go our way after choosing to do what’s wrong. Or when life doesn’t go according to our plan.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, there really isn’t a single one of us who haven’t been an “offender in custody,” at some point in our lives. None of us is exempt from the consequences of our choices.

Just like Adam and Eve, you can run, you can even try to hide, but God already knows and He’s got a plan for you. And it’s good. So, olly olly, oxen free, my friends. It’s time to come out of the darkness and into His glorious Light!

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