At the first wedding you get a real sense of a wonderful gift has been received, a longing has been quenched and a partnership has begun.
Above all these wonders the greatest wonder for humanity is that the God who created them finds joy in them and desires to care, protect and provide for them. He is not a God who demands or takes, he is a God of relationship, a one sided relationship of giving to his creation.
God is the source, the life, all that creation and humanity needs to flourish and grow.
All that God did through the creation story was to provide a perfect kingdom for a perfect people for a perfect relationship with Him and one another.
You couldn’t ask for more!
So how could it end so badly? Where did mankind go wrong? For many people they ask why did God put the tree in the garden in the first place? Wasn’t the tree the problem rather than the serpent?
There were many trees that served many purposes including trees for food; there was only one tree that was out of bounds ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. This tree stood as a ‘standard bearer’ a decree that humanity may have been created perfectly but they were not God, they were created in His image but there was a distinction between the created and the Creator.
This tree declares that God alone is not only Creator but also judge of all that he has created, God alone can decide what is good and what is evil, only God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) can and will cast judgement on what is good for his creation and what is harmful. God’s good just judgement is for the benefit of the humans he has created not for their harm, God’s judgement destroys all that is harmful to His created ones as he is also the perfect Protector.
Sin enters in
Genesis 3:1 ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made’.
What was the serpent’s purpose that day? Why did God allow Adam and Eve to enter into the presence of the serpent, couldn’t he have stopped them meeting?
This is where we must submit to the wisdom of God, this is the place where we need to consider that there is much about God and his purposes that are beyond our understanding. We need to accept that in our humanity there is limitation. In comparison to God humanity is weak.
Oh doesn’t that stir something inside? Doesn’t your heart cry out ‘No I’m not weak, I refuse to accept that I can not understand all that there is to understand and even if I can’t then there is someone out there that has the brain capacity to understand all these things. After all isn’t humanity at the top of the food chain?
The serpent in his pride knew how to tempt humanity to turn away from God, speak to their pride. The serpent has only one purpose…..to destroy the relationship between God and humanity and he will do all it takes to achieve this goal.
The serpent was jealous of what God had created, the devil himself had done what he encouraged Adam and Eve to do, he demanded equality with God. Even though the devil is supernatural (beyond the world we see) he was also a created being. However, the devil was not content with his standing before God and desired equality with God which resulted in Him trying to overthrow God Isaiah 14:12-14 niv.
The result was Satan was reduced to a slimy snake but this slimy snake was still supernatural, was beyond the limitations of humanity but never equal to God.
Choices, choices, choices
The moment the snake met the man and woman it was to be the beginning of his downfall, the beginning of his destruction.
This crafty being had no comprehension of the true power of God because he didn’t care about the purposes of God, the devil was on a path to destroy all that God loved which clouded his judgement and ability to see beyond himself, when in reality all he was doing was laying the foundations to his own destruction.
Can’t we see some similarities to our mindset in how we think of God and his purposes? Can we see how our view of God is marred by our pride to be more than we were created to be or for some of us to be less than we were created to be? In what ways is our thoughts skewed by what we think rather than how God thinks?
God told the prophet Isaiah to declare that ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’. 55:8-9 esv.
God’s solution to this dilemma is found in Colossians 3:2 ‘Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things’.
This is the place of humility, this is the place of submission, this is the place where we are given a choice to believe that God is beyond his creation but at the same time can be known. This is surely grace beyond our understanding. Scripture is filled with declarations of this truth including Psalm 8:4 ‘what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?’. esv
God created humans to be in relationship with Him for that is His best for us. The questions we need to ask is are we willing to trust Him?
If the serpent was telling the truth that fateful day in the garden surely there was no hope for Adam and Eve and all creation should have been eliminated from the face of the planet.
However, there was something that the serpent never understood and that is how wonderful God is, how beautiful God is, how loving God is, how gracious God is, how God himself is the source of all life without him life can not be. In fact, there is much the serpent doesn’t know because the serpent doesn’t care.
How about us? Do we care to know who God really is rather than believe the lies of the devil? Are we willing to allow God to show us the way to him so that we can come to know the wonder and joy of knowing God?
Come back next week and discover what God’s plan had been all along.