One of the biggest problems MAN faces is the LOSS of INNOCENCE.
If Eve had not been aware of the proscription of the Tree of Knowledge, and still had tasted it, would it have made her guilty? rather would it have made her FEEL guilty?? I think not or at least she’d have had the defence that had she known that eating of the tree were proscribed, she’d not have tasted of it. But she was aware of the command, albeit not directly.
The GUILT makes Adam and Eve REGRESS. They are not able to come forward and meet the LORD. They go HIDING. So the point to be perceived is that Guilt is followed by a certain behaviour of REGRESSION and a sense of NAKEDNESS(Exposure to the outside forces). This is the loss of innocence, Adam and Eve had not only become knowledgeable, but have become AWARE of their CONDITION. They cannot go back. The Rubicon has been crossed.
Let us take the example of Zacchaeus (Luke 19), Jesus Christ said, TODAY I MUST ABIDE AT THY HOUSE. Jesus did not make Zacchaeus feel guilty, but His(Jesus’) mere presence made him realize his state of guilt. A sudden RUSH of awareness of his guilt- that had lain hidden and suppressed in one form or the other for a long time. I take a call on the length of time, as he could return not only the goods and money taken wrongfully, but four-fold. 400% return. It takes 5-6 years to just double yr money in the Indian context as on date, and it must have been a long time since he’d been busy extorting !
The GUILT needs to be cleaned. Everyone at some point is likely to face the situation as Lady Macbeth feels–ALL THE PERFUMES OF ARABIA WILL NOT SWEETEN THIS LITTLE HAND. Lady Macbeth and her husband had been guilty of Regicide, Parricide, etc., maybe we are not socially convicted nor have we committed such foul crimes. Macbeth’s crime was just a step away from his position. He was next only to the king and his crime before being committed wouldn’t have seemed of the dimension it turned out.
We are not any different. We are all guilty and fallen short of the GRACE- it is no mere repetition of the verse from the Bible, but a realization. Herod did not feel the GUILT after having granted the wish (John’s head as a reward to her dance performance) of Salome. Herod must have palliated his conscience by the fact that he was merely keeping the promise made to his niece (daughter of the victim of Herod’s crime)!
But when a prophet meets David and tells him of the murder of URIAH and exposes the sinful crime(as it was a guilt against God and the society), he REPENTS. Therefore, he gets to retain not only Bathsheba, but begets a son, through his victim’s wife. who later becomes his heir (king Solomon) to the throne.
The crux is therefore REPENTANCE. Herod wouldn’t repent, instead would incarcerate John the Baptist. It is that which leads him to finally meet his ignominious end.
Prior to repentance is the most important stage, which is SUBMISSION to the statement of charge brought by the prophet. A prophet is one who aids another contemporary human being to become aware of his guilt, which is not visible to himself.
This blindness to one’s own guilt is caused by our own preoccupations. Now the question is do we abandon our duties and go on a long GUILT trip and make a mess of our lives??
NO, NO and NO. The Bible has examples who have made it (obtained REPENTANCE ) simultaneously and that we shall call the DYNAMIC GUILT-SHEDDING. D V we shall deal with it in our next session