"FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON ME"
Delivered By
Dr. R.E. Banks Sr.
Delivered On
September 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM
Central Passage
Genesis 3:7
Subject
"How It All Got Started", Msg. 17
Description

I believe I’m on solid ground by saying nobody wants to be made a fool of. Whether you believe it or not, some want to take your kindness, your innocence, your unworldliness for weakness. There are those who major in seeking out a “soft touch” or a “good-and-plenty” victim. They don’t have to go to school for a degree or license to practice their trade. Many are just worldly and plain old street smart.

Remember that old proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”? The proverb means you recognize that you fell for the same trick twice but realize you should have been able to identify it sooner. I want to alter the perception just once.

Last Sunday, all who attended worship were appointed to jury duty to determine whether the man, Adam, was an accessory to a crime. Your obligation was to listen to the facts, follow the evidence, and determine if, in fact, Adam was guilty or not. God is the only righteous judge who can pass sentencing when all is said and done. Genesis 3:6 states that after the woman ate of the forbidden fruit, she “gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat.” The drum of the village told me that some removed Adam or cleared him because you believe he was not there. Some believe he was an accessory. Some believe they were both guilty. One may be hung in his/her decision.

The eyes of both were opened. The duo was now on one accord. They had eaten of the tree of knowledge and of good and evil. These are not the eyes of their bodies. Those had been opened at creation. When the moral eye has been judicially closed, many questions and comments come to mind, especially as it pertains to Adam. How can a man of reason, faith, and religious profession; one of God’s chosen, have sinned against the majesty and holiness of God. What if he had not eaten the forbidden fruit? Now they knew they were naked. Their understanding and knowledge had increased. They had a conscious loss of righteousness. Their knowledge was of their own nakedness. They realized their nakedness and were now exposed to the guilt of their own conscience and to the miseries that may come from a just and disappointed God.

The man and woman were told by the tempter that they would be as God, but they were already made in His image. They platted fig leaves together to wear because they deeply felt this conscious loss of righteousness. They sought to conceal it. They suffered together. They sensed that by eating from the tree of good and evil, they would only experience good.

The devil was correct when he told them their eyes would be opened. That was the half-truth. What happened between now and then? What happened to us from last Sunday to this Sunday? What happened to us yesterday. They platted the fig leaves together to cover their shame. They made themselves aprons to cover their parts that were different from each other’s. They were different now. We don’t want to hear about sin. Not only is it contagious and sociable, but we also try to cover it up.

I’ve just stopped by to tell somebody to stand on the promises of God to remind someone that He did not bring us this far to leave us. Quiet yourself and listen to God. Keep your mind stayed on Him and He will keep you in perfect peace. The road is rough and the going gets tough. There are those who try to push your button to take you out of character. If you stay in your lane and run this Christian race with patience and righteousness, there will be a crown waiting at the finish line. Stay focused and not veer to the left or the right. If you keep calling and praising His name, you will not have to declare, “Fool me once, shame on you” when you come against the devil.

Continue to lift up your hands to God. When you come against the devil, don’t let him get a foothold. Confess your disobedience to God. Confess that you dishonored Him. We don’t want to hear about sin. Nobody knows what I’m going through. But God promised me that He’d make my enemies my footstool. He told me to keep calling on His name. When we sin, it’s important for us to save face before men rather than to ask God’s forgiveness. But we must allow humility to take control. We must confess as it is the beginning of healing and deliverance. By His grace we remain.