Monday, March 23, 2015

Did God really say?

I've said it a 1000 times before. When I'm quiet on the blog front, it most nearly means I'm wrestling. To me, wrestling has always seemed like a bad thing - always. Oh it was definitely a source of entertainment in the 90s on a Monday night. Now I'd like to think I'm a little older, and wrestling takes on a different form. I was reminded of Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32. Jacob says he will not let go until he receives a blessing. I'm not walking away.

Doubt and Questioning.
It's hard for us to imagine what perfect communion looked like before the fall. We see wrecks, disease, disobedience, hurt, pain and more all around us. How could there have ever been a time when this didn't exist? But there was. And there will be again. The enemy is a trickster with a whole bag full of tricks. I noticed just now as I was reading that his first modus operandi was inciting doubt and fear. He simply yet destructively asks Eve, "Did God really say...?" Those are his first words. Literally. And yet, don't we hear those words often. They might cycle through our heads nonchalantly, or they take on a full force wrecking ball and destroy. I've been there. The enemy's main goal from the very beginning was to incite doubt of who God was and is. He convinced Eve that in some way God was holding out on her. He convinced her that she need to take life into her own hands or "life by the horns" and figure things out on her own. God was not looking out for her because surely he would have given her permission to eat of that tree.- The snake's reasoning is deadly. From the very beginning the enemy has tried to get us to doubt and question God's goodness, His Word, our need of Him and our confidence in Him.

And what did man and woman do once they realized the Lord was coming toward them? They ran. What do we do when we are convinced of our shame, we run. We hide. And thankfully, we have this gracious seeker who comes looking for us just like He looked for Adam and Eve. He not only found them, but He covered their shame.

I think there is a big difference between punishment and discipline. I looked up an article just to make sure I was understanding correctly. Discipline is a corrective process to teach acceptable and unacceptable behavior; whereas, punishment is a physical (slap on the behind) or psychological (isolation) technique to disapprove of a behavior. Clearly, punishment gets you no where. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve receive discipline because of their disobedience to God. He wants to correct their behavior. Instead of completly destroying them in that moment (which would have been punishment), He graciously covers them and continues to guard them outside of Eden.

Grace is a hard concept to grasp, isn't it? I would like to say it's harder in this day and age to grasp, but I think that has always been the case. We don't understand free. God certainly showed His favor to Adam and Eve in the garden. Not only did He he not strike them dead, but He covered them. He covered their shame. A sacrifice of an animal's life was made so skin could be used to cover them. Another sacrifice would be made to cover our sin. Jesus Christ. This is where I wrestle. How could someone die for me? How could my shame be covered? How do I deserve this? The answer comes to grace. God and His love and favor toward me. Not because of anything I have done, but because of who He is. The same God that was gracious to Adam and Eve is the same God who is gracious to you and me. Yes, He is gracious. He is kind. He is loving. He is patient.

1 comment:

  1. Grace is definitely a concept that I wrestle with too. The pure majesty of God's grace is at times unfathomable to us - as humans. It's a beautiful thing.