Monday, September 23, 2013

A Garden, Misery, and Quiet Hope!

I was reading Future Grace by John Piper this morning when a point he made in passing hit me hard.  He pointed out that we sometimes think Adam and Eve lived with and related to God in a very different way than we do.  this may be true in a lot of respects, but He mentions they lived by Gods grace.  They had not existed to do anything to merit God's grace in creating them.  They did not by their own merit deserve to walk with him in the cool of the day, and yet he did relate to them with this gracious kindness.  Likewise they had to take Him by faith.  When he said they would die if they ate from the fruit of the tree... they had to exercise faith.  They didn't know for themselves, they had to trust by faith that God's word was right and true.  This was a remarkable reality to me.  Adam and Eve were created in a relationship that was all of God by grace through faith.

Then the serpent came along with this temptation.  He promised Eve she would be like God "knowing good and evil."  Piper points out that this seems like a desirable thing in our day.  We want to be self determined to define for ourselves what is right and wrong.  Yet, by the Biblical standard there could not have been a worse reality.

I have just finished a study of the book of Judges with my Sunday School class.  It is a difficult book to read.  It is defined like the promise of Satan to Eve, "there was no king in the land, everyone did what was right in his own eyes."  While we are seeing many of the same effects in our nation of such a foolishness, Judges gives a glimpse further down the road.  What results from living as self determined people.  The book describes idolatry, rebellion, homosexuality, rape, murder, genocide, kidnapping.  It is a dark time!  That is what results from "being like God knowing good and evil."  Misery!

And yet, the book of Ruth describes events going on during the time of Judges.  It describes how God  was quietly moving to bring about David and National deliverance; Davids greater son Jesus and eternal spiritual deliverance; and hope for even the individuals suffering unimaginable pains in the midst of it all.  Reader, consider God today.  Consider how you might relate to Him by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Be saved out of the misery of a life of self determined rightness and wrongness and trust that our loving, wise, powerful God really has revealed what is the best way to live.