Summary: God's pursuit of humanity.

March 06, 2021

Because once wasn't enough, we are going to take another journey through the Bible. This time we are going to investigate my favorite thing about each book – a theme, thought, sentence, story, etc.

First up is Genesis.

Creation – The Flood – The Patriarchs – Joseph --- all excellent and worthy topics, but they are not my favorite thing.

Genesis 3:9 - But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

Why is this 11-word sentence my favorite thing about Genesis? It’s simple, really. This one sentence, at the beginning of the story, encapsulates the entire Plan of Salvation and the “Good News” of Scripture – God’s pursuit of humanity.

Humans were the crowning achievement of creation week – “Let US make man in OUR image and after OUR likeness”

Humans……….. made in the very image of God. They had everything they needed for a productive, happy and holy life, but then something awful happened – the Villain – whose only desire is to disrupt, derail and destroy – showed up and everything changed.

Genesis 3:1-8 - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Every evil, hurtful, destructive and terrible thing that happens in this world is rooted in this awful moment - the day Adam and Eve made a choice and sin entered into the human experience.

But something else also happened in that moment – GRACE

• Ellen White {HP 34.3} - We should never have learned the meaning of this word "grace" had we not fallen. God loves the sinless angels, who do His service and are obedient to all His commands, but He does not give them grace. These heavenly beings know nought of grace; they have never needed it, for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We ourselves did not seek after it, but it was sent out in search of us. God rejoices to bestow this grace upon all who hunger for it, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our need is the qualification which gives us the assurance that we shall receive this gift.

It was God’s custom to join Adam and Eve in the cool of the day for fellowship and communion. Now, they’d sinned. Fear and shame replaced intimacy and the relationship between humans and God was forever changed. He had every right to stay away. He could have abandoned them to their choice and moved on to another corner of the galaxy, but He didn’t. He came back anyway! He went searching for them anyway! He called out to them anyway!

Were there consequences? Yes, there were, just as He said there would be. However, and I think this is something that we miss…. God could have just started over. If He could speak the world into existence, He could certainly speak it out of existence. After all, He had specifically said that on the day they ate of the fruit of THAT tree, they would most certainly die. That was the ultimate consequence = DEATH = non-existence = eternal separation.

While there were some minor consequences - all reminders that sin exacts a high price:

• Slithering

• Pain in child birth

• Marriage inequality {I just want to point out that the subservient nature of the marriage relationship is a consequence of sin and NOT the reality of God’s original plan. Therefore, Christians should aim for God’s original plan = equality and not insist that the consequence of sin be the norm.}

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