God uses a number of methods to communicate with us:
- He speaks through His Word,
- the Holy Spirit,
- as well as through people and circumstances.
God has specific purposes for imparting His thoughts to us. Namely, He desires that we comprehend His truth so that it can shape our life and so that we can share His good news with others. But if God has a particular intention for communicating with us, we have to ask, what happens when we fail to listen?
We can find the answer at the beginning of the Bible, in the account of Adam and Eve. We know that God spoke very clearly to the fist man (Genesis 2:16-17), instructing him not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This issue is that the first man and woman understood perfectly (Genesis 3:2-3) but did not obey. Their disobedience marks the beginning of man’s sin problem which has plagued the human race throughout all history. Every person born thereafter – with the single exception of the Lord Jesus Christ – came into this world with a sinful nature originating from Adam. That means that you and I have never met a perfect person. All sin, suffering, heartache, problems, war bloodshed and violence can be traced back to its origin in the Garden of Eden.
Unfortunately, what occurred in the first family centuries ago has been happening in some form with every family since. As with Adam and Eve, once we have received God’s instructions, we, too, are accountable for what we have heard or read. We can avoid much heartache and trouble by heeding the Lord’s communication; failure to listen results in severe repercussions.
By studying the account in Genesis 3, we can identify eight consequences of ignoring the Lord’s instructions: