Summary: We all have relational needs that can only be fully met through relationships with each other.
The Good and the Not Good
Two weeks ago, Diana, the Princess of Wales, was tragically killed in a high-speed car accident in Paris.
Just over a week ago, millions from around the world watched her funeral, one of the most emotional and memorable spectacles of this century.
There are many things that could be said about Diana’s life, and the many tributes to her life, and about the amazing exhibition of grief that accompanied her death.
But one of the things I want to focus on this morning, is the vivid contrast many felt during the week between her death and her funeral, a contrast between Diana herself and the royal House of Windsor.
Many people saw Diana’s warm, caring, giving image as the antithesis of the stodgy, reserved Queen Elizabeth and her heir, Prince Charles. Some said Diana represented a “new royalty,” one that smiled,
and cared. . . .
And when Buckingham Palace failed to respond to her death with a public statement or appearance for five days after her death, well, that was seen as an illustration of the
uncaring family the poor princess had married into, an image that has made the monarchy seem
unnecessary and irrelevant to many.
I mention all that simply to say this:
That image of the House of Windsor:
aloof, cold, uncaring, unnecessary, irrelevant,
is the impression many people have
of you and me,
of the church.
They see us as an unnecessary,
institution that is totally out of touch with them,
and their needs.
It may even be your impression of the church.
I believe that impression in the hearts and minds of many people is a direct result of the fact that we have misread,
misapplied God’s Word.
That’s something I hope we can correct this morning.
Would you pray with me, please?
I pray that in these next few moments,
both my speaking
and our hearing
will be the work of Your Holy Spirit.
Would you turn in your Bibles, please, and follow along in Genesis, chapters one and two, as I read aloud from the inspired Word of God.
Genesis, chapter one:
It’s in the Old Testament, the first book in the Bible. . . .
I want to ask you, first, to notice what happens in the account of creation in chapter one.
In verses 1-10:
God created the heavens and earth,
separated the light from the darkness,
separated earth and sky, land and sea,
and then in verse 10, it says, “God saw that it was good.”
Are you with me?
Next, notice that in verses 11 & 12:
God created all kinds of vegetation,
plants and trees,
and then at the end of verse 12, it says, “God saw that it was good.”
Are you still with me?
In verses 14-18:
He created the sun, moon, and stars,
and in verse 18, we read again, “God saw that it was good.”
Again in verse 21, after He created sea creatures and flying creatures,
And yet again in verse 25, after creating land animals of every shape and variety,
we read that “God saw that it was good.”
Throughout chapter one,
God repeatedly looks at His creation,
like an artist stepping back to judge his canvas,
and with each new act of creation, He says,
BUT I want you to notice that, in the account of creation that is found in chapter two, a retelling of sorts to make a different point,
we read, beginning in chapter 2, verse 15,
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
18 The LORD God said, "It is not good....”
NOTICE: God said, “It is not good.”
Throughout the 6 days of Creation to this point, God has pronounced everything good, yet here, in Genesis 2:18 he says, “It is not good. . . .”
Now, when you or I say something’s “not good,” it’s not such a big deal. BUT WHEN GOD SHOWS UP ON THE SCENE AND SAYS, “NOT GOOD,” IT’S A VERY BIG DEAL, IT’S A CRISIS!
So what was the crisis? What could possibly be “not good” about the Garden of Eden?
After all, Adam lived in a perfect world.
There was no death,