Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Love and Consequences

LOVE started it all.

Was God setting them up? Did He know that they were unable to do it, but required it anyway? Was God just playing some great cosmic game with them that was pre-determined?

I mean, really… what was God thinking?

One might draw those conclusions in reading the first few chapters of the first book of the Bible. And one would be very wrong!

God put the prototype man into the perfect world with perfect relationship with God, with one another (a little bit later) and with the world. I mean, PERFECT!! Beyond imagination perfect. He told him to enjoy it all and then would visit in the cool of the day to enjoy being with them. Work that was fulfilling and relationships that were satisfying. PERFECT!

So what was the problem? There wasn’t any, I mean, NONE! How would we then perceive that God was setting them up? No problems, however, there was ONE (count them - one) stipulation to enjoy this Eden (literally). God even stated it with the best first, showing that the stipulation was very small though very grave.

“Adam, look around you. Everything you see that looks good to eat is yours. No transfats, no preservatives, no chemicals, no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavoring, just good-for-you, tastes-great, all natural food that looks desirable and tastes even better. Sound good?”

“Absolutely. Yep, that’s good, Lord.”

“Great! Only one thing to avoid.”

“Anything, Lord. You’ve given so much. What else could ever be wanted?”

“Excellent. Here it is. Look at me. I want to make sure you get this. Stay away from that tree - see it? It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of all the other trees, you will live long and prosper. If you eat of that tree you will die.”

“Whoa! That doesn’t sound good.”

“Trust me, it is the worst possible scenario. In fact, you are incapable of grasping the atrocity of that act.”

Sometime later God created Eve and either Adam or God let her know the same. Off limits!

Why did God even put the tree there? Why not just make it all good? Because if there is no choice to disobey, no choice to love themselves rather than God, then they are simply robots. God did not want robots, He deeply desired relationship.

Which takes us to God’s original intent - to create beings with whom He could have a genuine love relationship. He wanted to pour out love on them because it is His nature; God IS love. That required that those beings have the choice to accept His love. Which required the choice to reject His love.

They chose obedience and the unimaginable experience of perfect love relationship… for a while. Then they opened the Biblical Pandora’s box.

CONSEQUENCES of sin are overwhelmingly devastating. Destruction of the perfect relationships with God, one another and creation. Exile from the perfect garden. Pain in childbirth. Difficulty in raising crops/ making a living. The human race’s devastation to itself. Jesus’ death. And on and on it goes.

LOVE of God means it doesn’t have to stay that way. No, there will never be another Garden of Eden, but because of God’s initiating love we can live life as an ongoing restoration of all that was lost there and experience it in perfection in Heaven.

Which are you focusing on? Living a life of love or a life of escalating consequences?

I’m just asking…

John 10:10 (NIV) 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

1 John 4:7-12 (NIV) 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Boldly, Herb

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1 comment:

Rick Blumenberg said...

Brother Herb,
You always do a good job, but this one was a real four-bagger!