Read His Words Before Ours!
You know the kind of days I mean? It’s not necessarily anything major, just day-to-day frustrations mounting up: traffic delays, work overload, uncooperative people, failed plans, underlying worries- the kind of day when despite your best efforts nothing seems to work and you wonder why everything has to be so hard.
Of course, sometimes it is the major things. As we look at the world, at those around us, or even at our own lives, there is plenty of brokenness to see:
war, cancer, divorce, abuse, racism, poverty… the list goes on.
No matter what we do to try and make life work, it just feels like something is broken.
Surely this is not how it is meant to be.
Often the only way we can make any sense of our individual stories is by seeing them in the context of God’s big story, and as we look at the opening chapters of the Bible, we can see that our instinct is right.
This is not how it is meant to be.
God created Adam and Eve in His image:
to be in relationship with Him and with one another,
to enjoy the good things He had given them,
to be fruitful and multiply,
to reign and rule over His creation.
He looked around and He was satisfied. It was very good.
That is how it is meant to be. If only it could have ended there…
But there was an enemy, and Eve was deceived.
First, he caused her to question God’s instructions:
“Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
Then he caused her to question God’s goodness, to think that, rather than having her best interests at heart, God was holding back something good.
Despite the fact that she was already made in God’s image, Eve was persuaded that eating the fruit would make her like God, so she succumbed. She ate, then offered the fruit to Adam, and the perfection of God’s creation was shattered.
Trust and intimacy were replaced by shame and fear;
openness was exchanged for hiding;
their relationships with God, with one another, with the world,
and even with themselves
The fallout was catastrophic as that first sin led to a domino effect of sin through the ages! The disease infects us all, and none of us are immune.
This is the world we are born into:
- A world that is beautiful, but broken.
- A world which bears the mark of the Creator, but is also tarnished with sin.
- A world where people, made in God’s image, continue to destroy the world, and one another.
- A world that is not as it is meant to be.
The story could have ended there.
It would have been perfectly understandable for God to have left us in our mess,
or even to have destroyed us,
but fortunately He had another plan and He chose a different way…
a way of restoration.
Because of His unfailing love,
He chose to pursue us and to bring us back,
which means there is hope,
even in our broken stories.
Right from the moment Adam and Eve sinned there are glimpses of it.
There is the promise of One who will come, the offspring of the woman, who will bruise the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).
There are garments of skin God makes to cover Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21), which meant a sacrifice: death of the innocent to cover the guilty.
While Adam and Eve couldn’t possibly have understood at the time what this meant, looking back, we can see.
God sent Jesus, born of a woman, to defeat evil and “to destroy the devil’s works” (1 John 3:8), and it is through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross,
the innocent dying for the guilty,
that we can be forgiven and restored to right relationship with God.
While Adam and Eve’s sin had far-reaching consequences,
Jesus’ sacrifice was even more momentous:
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 NLT)
We may not see exactly where God is at work in our broken situations,
and sometimes our hearts ache for restoration,
but we can hold onto hope,
knowing that His love never fails,
and that no matter how great the sin and the brokenness we see around us,
Jesus’ power is greater.
And while we may not understand all that happens in the middle of our stories,
we have the reassurance of knowing how the story ends.
Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, one day we will live in a reality
free from pain, suffering, and death,
restored to a perfect relationship with God forever,
and to a life that is, finally, how it is meant to be.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!