In our continuing discussion about the fall of man, we have seen that there are no witnesses and no charge of sin against Eve for adding to God’s word. Therefore we must conclude without any charge of sin, that the woman did not add to God’s word. Can the same be said about Adam regarding his charge to guard the garden? Is there also no witness to Adam’s “sin”? Let’s have a look at the scriptural account.
In Genesis 2:15 we find out why God put Adam in the garden in the first place. Remember that man was made outside the garden and then brought into the newly planted Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it. The Hebrew word “shamar” means to guard or to protect. Obviously if a garden needs to be guarded and God set forth a watchman over the garden, there was a need for protection. Let’s move on to God’s interaction with Adam to see what we can learn from God’s words.
Genesis 3:9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
In the Hebrew it clearly shows that the LORD God is calling out to the singular man not to both Adam and Eve. Here we can see God calling out to the watchman. What is God’s appointed watchman doing? The watchman is hiding. Will this watchman be called to account?
Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
God says two things to Adam. He says “Because you have listened….” “and have eaten”. There are two things that Adam is being called to account for. The first thing is that Adam listened to his wife’s voice. When did Adam listen to his wife’s voice? The only recorded mention of Eve’s speaking is when she was speaking to the serpent.
The watchman is required to guard from the enemy and to protect the innocent. God also made Ezekiel a watchman to Israel.
Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
A watchman is required to warn. When one warns about sin, this provides protection to both the innocent and the sinner. In my first article about the unfaithful watchman I showed how a watchman was to warn the wicked about their sin. Yet there is another job of the watchman and that is to protect the innocent from falling into sin.
Ezekiel 3:20 “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Ezekiel 3:21 “However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”
The righteous person is to be warned so that they do not fall into sin. However we find that Adam did not confront the serpent about his sin and he did not warn the woman about the trap that was being set before her. He was silent. Now think about this. If a city is vulnerable to attack and they set a watchman to sound the warning so that they can defend themselves when the enemy arrives, what is a watchman to be charged with who is silent when he sees the enemy approach? That watchman is to be charged with treason.
Treason is the betrayal of a trust or confidence, a breach of faith; treachery. This is exactly what God said about Adam’s actions. In Hosea 6:7 God says that Adam acted treacherously.
It is an act of treason to say nothing and let the plunderer in to plunder and take captive. Adam listened to the voice of his wife as she was taken captive. He committed treason as he did not give out God’s words and he did not warn of danger.
God said “Because you listened….” There is no other sin that comes from listening alone other than treason. Treason is the sin of saying nothing when you have been appointed as a watchman who is required to sound the warning.
Ezekiel 33:1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 33:2 “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,
Ezekiel 33:3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,
Ezekiel 33:4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.
Ezekiel 33:5 ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.
Ezekiel33:6 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’
Ezekiel 33:7 “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.
God, the righteous judge, has charged Adam with treason. A watchman who is silent when the enemy comes in like a lion has committed treason and he has allowed the innocent to be taken captive. God said “because you listened…” The charge is clear that listening without action is an act of treason. Treason is one of the reasons why sin entered the world through Adam and why the earth was cursed on his behalf and not on behalf of the woman.
God judges all of his watchmen the same. There is one standard because God is a God who is not a respecter of persons. Was God required to judge Adam as a God-appointed watchman? Absolutely!
The silence of Adam, was it a sin? Absolutely and God justly judged Adam’s silent treason.