Summary: Things that hinder our relationship with God
Community Busters - Genesis 3-11
We are in the beginning of a great journey, looking at the lives of those who have gone before us. We want to look at their highs and lows, their steps of faith and their pitfalls into sin. We are traveling through the record of their lives that is found in the Old Testament. This is not just a boring lecture about laws and sacrifices, but a very relevant message for each one of us today. I want to personally invite each one here to travel with us. Each week we will be reading a few chapters of the Old Testament and talking about it the following Sunday. There is a list in the back to sign up to buy a Bible Reading guide which will help you by offering a few questions for reflection on each day’s reading. The reading will be printed in the bulletin each week. And we will be changed as we read through God’s word together. As we get started this morning, as an encouragement to you to read along with us, I want you to watch this video of one person who chose to do this.
**PLAY DVD segment
The power and love of our great God is displayed over and over again throughout the Old Testament. Last week, as we looked in the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 1 & 2, we saw that the basic questions of man’s existence - Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? - are answered for us here in the very beginning of Genesis. We were created to be in a loving community with God and each other. But as we will see today, flawed thinking and disobedient action separated man from that loving community.
***Get 5 volunteers -
God eternally has existed in a fellowship, a community of three - Father, Son, and Spirit. And in creation, He invited man into that circle - Adam and Eve. But sin separated man and woman from community with God and community with each other. And ever since, as a result of sin, every man and woman has been born going his and her own way.
Now God’s plan was not bad - it was good. To have community with us - was a great plan. But our sin caused that fellowship to be broken. Our sin causes us to run from the community that God desires for us. And we’ll see that in the OT today.
A television program before the 1988 Winter Olympics showed blind skiers being trained for slalom skiing, impossible as that sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught on the flats how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where their sighted partners skied beside them shouting, "Left!" and "Right!" As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skiers' word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.
Our relationship with God is like that, just infinitely more so. Just like in blind slalom skiing, it’s either complete trust or catastrophe. Genesis 3-11 tells the story of man’s distrusting God in various ways, and the horrible things that came from that. They distrusted God because they fell into believing things about God that are not true—deadly beliefs that poisoned their relationship with God and with each other. Today we’re going to take a look at these deadly beliefs, because often we hold to the same flawed line of thinking. We want to identify this wrong thinking and see how God can cure us of it and restore us into relationship with himself.
The first lesson from these chapters comes in chapter 3, in the lesson of Adam and Eve.
1. Adam and Eve: “God is STINGY.”
Adam and Eve were made perfectly by God. So often we blame our circumstances for our sin. We say, if only my circumstances were better, I could do right and follow God. Yet here is a perfect man and a perfect woman in a perfect sinless environment, but they fall prey to faulty thinking. They believe God is stingy. They don’t believe God wants to provide all good things for them. They end up thinking “maybe God isn’t so good after all.” ***Read Genesis 3:1-10.
God has placed them in a wonderful garden with everything they need - yet he places restrictions on them. And they rebel against those restrictions. At the root of all disobedience to God is the idea that maybe God isn’t so good after all. That maybe he doesn’t have my best interest at heart. Eve believed that lie and so did Adam. They disobeyed God, and the result was alienation from him, from each other, and from creation, and that very day they entered into a new world of pain and death. It’s either complete trust or catastrophe.