Summary: We can never outrun God or hide from His presence. No matter where we go be it to the highest heavens, or the depths of hell or as far away as we can imagine, the Psalmist declared that His hand is able to hold and guide us.
Freedom from captivity
Chapter 11 – Are you trying to Hide or Run?
We read in 2 Corinthians 5:18, “All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.” (GNT)
Have we considered all the marvelous things God has done for us through Jesus Christ, and His work on the cross? While we were in sin, living in opposition and enmity with God, Jesus changed our status to become friends with God. God accomplished this by taking the first step in seeking after fallen man, and redeeming us through the precious blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus. All this was completed by God Himself, only because of His immense love for each one of us.
We might have noticed that when two people are at enmity with each other, there will always be a contention between them, as to who will take the first step to give up their ego and make peace with the other. This is something very common in families too, especially between spouses. Even when there is a small misunderstanding between husband and wife, each one waits for the other to take the first step to set things right. Sometimes when both wait for too long the distance and animosity grows, and a simple disagreement which could have been easily sorted out and settled, sometimes becomes the cause for a permanent separation.
So also when man sinned, he became an enemy of God. When we readGenesis 3:9 which goes like this, “But the LORD God called out to the man, “Where are you?” (GNB), we will realize that it was God who came searching after man, when man sinned against Him. It was God who took the first step towards reconciliation and peace, because He is a God of love and grace.
How did this enmity begin?
In Genesis 2:15-17, we read, “Then the LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it. He told him, "You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day." (GNB)
God gave man the freedom to eat from every fruit that was there in the spectacular Garden of Eden. It must have been a really vast and delightful garden that Adam and Eve were placed in, because the nature of God is such that He is always bountiful and abounding in all He does. The only prohibition God set for them, was not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Isn’t it a sad thought that when Adam and Eve had a really huge garden full of fruits to enjoy, that they chose to desire the only fruit that was forbidden them in the entire garden.
Many have this thought that God could have chosen not to place the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and thereby denied Adam and Eve the access and choice of eating the fruit of that tree.
Here’s the reason why God kept the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden, and gave man the instruction not to eat from it. Of all the things God created, man was the crown of God’s creation because He was made in the image and likeness of God. God has a free will, and he bequeathed this gift of a free will to man, since man was made in His image. If God told man he could eat all that was there in the Garden of Eden, and left him with no other option, man would not have had a chance to exercise the free will that God had bestowed on him. By forbidding man to eat fruit from the one tree in the garden, God placed into man’s hands the freedom to analyze and choose what was good and right for him. That is what makes man different man from all other animals. Animals function entirely on the basis of their instinct, but man has the capacity to think, reason and then make an appropriate choice. For this to materialize, God had to give man the freedom to choose to eat or not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Have you noticed how human beings are delighted when given an option to choose something? Children like it when they have multiple choice questions, men and women go through great lengths in choosing their life partners, and huge malls are preferred over smaller ones only because there is a wider variety of brands to choose from.