Summary: Ever since Adam's Fall, God has been seeking to reconcile the wanderers.
Through all the ages, the God of the Bible has been and is a missionary God!
Because God created all things and all people, the message of the Bible includes every human being. From the beginning, Scripture presents the search of God, not only for Abraham or Israel, but for people from every nation to be brought into relationship with Him. The God of the Bible is the God Who Relates.
The earliest conversation we have on record is among the Persons of the Trinity. Having spoken into existence light, space, and energy; the heavens and the earth; the fish, the fowl and all the animals, God began to converse! Before there was another created person on record, God was a God of Relationship.
Love motivated God to create in order to share the blessings of His Goodness. God did not create persons to fill some vacuum in Himself. He was not lonely! He created persons so that He could bless them.
Genesis 2 introduces us to the man, Adam. Then Eve was provided to expand the relationships. God commanded the primal couple to “multiply and replenish the earth.” The image of God is never more clearly reflected than when people live in loving relationships! Every human is created in the image of God—deserving of love and respect. God made each person capable of enjoying a loving relationship with Himself — not just an objective theological “salvation,” not just a fire escape, but a real relationship.
Very early in human history, we learn that there is another dimension to relationship — Release. Not only is He the God Who Relates, but He is also the God who Releases. Relationship that allows no release is imprisonment! God created Man with freedom — the ability to choose. One tree or the other! Life or Death! Freedom is possible! A terrible Rebellion is possible! All that the Man can achieve in goodness and greatness, he can equal in evil and terror! Where Freedom is possible, a monstrous Fall is possible, even Damnation! But in Divine wisdom and love, God decided to grant His creatures freedom. The only way to enjoy the beauty of Relationship with Man was to risk the dangers of Release.
When the man and the woman chose to disobey His command, amazingly the Almighty stooped to woo the wayward, but He did not coerce them to return. God decided it is better to have a man in hell than a robot in heaven. He refused to violate the freedom He had granted, but He promised to send a Redeemer (Gen.3:15).
The God Who Relates is the God Who Releases, but He is also the God who Reveals. From the beginning, the Creator communicated with the Man. He revealed the nature of the world in which Man lived. He explained the responsibilities and the potentialities of the Garden. Then He revealed the moral nature of life to Adam. He identified the boundaries of choice. Two trees. Two results. He explained things to Adam that the Man had never experienced, but the information was to enrich the relationship between God and Man.
This pattern continues through all history. The Creator reveals in order that He may Relate more closely. God reveals through Nature, through Conscience, through the Incarnation of His Son, and through His Inspired Word. Why does He reveal? That all the world may know Him (John 14:31; 17:23).
He reveals the moral parameters. He sets before us, “life and good, and death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15). He reveals the rightness and wrongness of actions and attitudes (Exodus 20:3-17), sometimes through our Conscience, other times through the remonstrance of those whom we have wronged. He reveals through anointed prophets what kind of God He is and how we are to live in relationship with Him and with others around us.
God reveals generally through the world around us. Everywhere He has left His creative imprint upon our world, the evidences of intelligent design. He reveals specifically through the Bible, culminating in the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of His Son. Emphatically Jesus declared that those who know the revealed truth are entrusted with the responsibility to tell others.
The God Who Reveals is also the God who Reaches. God demonstrated His Initial Reach in Creation, but after the Fall He reaches even farther to those who have fallen, who have “turned every one to his own way.” He woos, invites to return, even pursues. II Petet 3:9 assures us that God is “not willing that any should perish.” Yet He never overrides a human will.
Watch as the first two sons begin to grow. Their characters begin to manifest themselves and Cain chooses to reject God’s instructions.
Will God stop him? No.
Will God pursue cantankerous Cain? Yes!
God pursues Cain, remonstrates with him, shows him how to return to acceptance, and tenderly warns him of the danger. Through all of history, God yearns to bring back the wanderer, the rebel, the stubborn. He even yearns to bring to Himself those who have never heard of Him. Only the dim glimmer of Conscience alerts them that there is Someone above, that there is a right and a wrong, that there is more to life than flesh and bones.