Normally I begin my weekly devotion with a particular scripture but this week’s topic on the believer’s relationship includes scriptures from Genesis to Revelations.
This relationship began in the garden when God established man and woman. He positioned Adam and Even in this perfect environment to be spent in this perfect relationship with God our father, creator, and master. They had everything they needed and wanted at their fingertips. They were created innocent and pure with the tree of life available for eternal use, but there was also another tree that was strictly off limits.
The Bible teaches us that God created everything and included in that masterpiece of development this forbidden tree that possessed the knowledge of good and evil. Now I don’t know if you are like me, but sometimes I have wondered why God put that forbidden tree there in the garden. Then I remember that everything was and is created for the glory of God and his people.
As you read the first couple of chapters of Genesis you will see God placing in the care of his people all kinds of things. There are pets in the air, on the land, and swimming around in the sea. You see the plant growers dream garden comprised of every plant you can imagine, minus the weeds! The temperature is just right, the weather is perfect, and the rivers consisted of the perfect content. I could go on and on but even my vivid imagination begins to struggle to explain how amazing the garden was for Adam and his help mate Eve and my knowledge of the story quickly takes my mind to that one day everything got messed up.
I would say it was a typical day in the life of Adam and Eve. Pick a few berries, maybe swim a little, and who knows what else they were able to do in a given day. But this particular day something different took place. The serpent decided he would cause a little trouble for our friends Adam and Eve.
The serpent in Genesis 3 is explained as being cunning and in my terms he had a little mean streak in him. So on this day Adam and Eve happen to be in the wrong place at the right time to be enticed to try out this amazing fruit that God had strictly said they should never eat.
I don’t know if you have ever thought about it this way but the serpent’s intent was what Satan still does today and that was to drive a wedge between us and God. He said surly God will not kill you if you eat it, and he was right. He said when you eat it you will know everything God knows and actually used the word “ye shall be as gods.”
Seeds of doubt were planted, heart strings were played, the actual consequences of their actions were made to seem so minor, and the decision to JUST DO it was made! The Bible says immediately their eyes were open and the full truth and reality of life hit them like a Mack truck traveling 100 miles per hour.
Here they stand with all this knowledge coursing through their minds. All this innocence that God never intended to be corrupted, gone. Here they stand again with this knowledge, but no true wisdom of how to handle it. Adam and Even have fallen in their relationship.
In Genesis 3:8 the Bible says that after their hearts and minds were open to good and evil God walks by calling for them to come out and spend time with him and I think these words articulate the beginning of a troubled relationship for God and his human creation, “Who told thee that thou wast?”. In other words he said why are you listening to anyone but me? He implied was I not enough? His undertone was “I created you in my image and gave you everything.” Friends from that point, our ancestor’s time in the garden was over and the relationship was tarnished, but God still loved us and was still in control.
It was at that point Jesus’ role was made known. The Old Testament unfolds with many who attempted to bring God’s people into a right relationship but through prophets and time the path of salvations was starting to be revealed in God’s perfect timing.
In Isaiah 7:14 we see the virgin birth prophesized. The line of David begins and grows through his sons. And finally Jesus comes and dwells among us. Paul in Colossians 1:15-16 said this, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, where they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”
You see, all along God was in control. Isaiah the prophet in addition to his insight into the virgin birth also gave us this from Isaiah 55:8 that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and our ways are not God’s ways. From the time we messed up to the day Christ died for our sins God had a plan to re-unite us with him. We have not made it back to the garden yet, but if the believer will establish a relationship, the promise is one day we will and this Garden is called heaven!
Rev. Ewell Vernon is pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in Lowgap.