Thursday, October 29, 2015
Man began his ill advised departure from God when Eve bit into the forbidden fruit and shared it (Genesis 3:6). Disobedience destroyed that fellowship. Rather than walking with Him, they hid (v.8). Instead of peace and mutual conversation, it changed to fear, interwoven with a new emotion called “shame” (v. 10). Their innocence disappeared as well as taking responsibility (vv.12-13). Death replaced the extended life which God had supplied. The tree of knowledge of good and evil introduced them to sin with all its heartaches, imperfections, death and questions of regret. They grieved when sin introduced them to family jealousy and murder (Genesis 4:8-10). The taste of that fruit brought death to Adam 930 years later (Genesis 5:5). That seems long to us, but one wonders how short it was to Adam?
As the years passed, man drifted further from God. The consumption of that fruit lead to “the wickedness of man” [being] “great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Man was not pursuing God, but the Lord was still in love with him. Man turned to gods of stone, wood, gold, and silver for comfort and help. God allowed him freedom of choice even though man directed it foolishly. He blessed the children of Israel, but their choices were no better. A law was given to teach Israel that the covenant was good, but they weren’t. Law keeping without perfection was a burdensome weight. Yet, some thought they could keep it and pull themselves up to the level of being their own savior! Failure was their reward.
They were looking for the Messiah on a war horse, not a donkey. He would drive the Romans out, not the Temple money changers. He would uphold tradition, not embarrass them with scripture. He didn’t fit their Messianic image, so they stood with Rome rather than God! Yet, God used their misconceptions to pursue those who would believe.
God loves His creation, but most never return it. Some want to pay God to love them, believing reception is based upon their sacrifice, not Jesus’. Man immerses himself in Phariseeism rather than accept the sprinkling of Jesus’ blood. His trust is in his meritorious works rather than in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Our actions are seen as payment supplementing Jesus’ death upon the cross. Some criticize those who believe in works salvation while accepting the same substitute. There is absolutely nothing we can do to buy our salvation or pay our way into heaven. We don’t have enough wealth, time, or spirituality to purchase it. Does that eliminate obedience? It does if we think ours will buy God’s favor or bribe Him to favoritism!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17)
Do you believe you can out give God’s love?