1/2/15: How God Deals with His Children
Anyone who has ever had children knows that children can be disobedient. In fact, disobedience seems to be part of the criteria for being a child. Think about it: no one has ever had to teach a child to do the wrong thing. Pundits who believe children are born as a blank slate and pick up all their negative tendencies from their environment never dealt with an uncomfortable baby or a stubborn two-year-old. As sweet as my new precious grandson is, I’m aware that he was born as a little sinner, and sooner or later, that sin nature will rear its ugly head in opposition to his parents’ will and direction.
We have Adam and Eve to thank for setting the sin nature in motion back in the Garden of Eden. Read the whole sordid story in Genesis chapter 3, but let’s concentrate today on how God dealt with the cataclysmic stumble of His first children.
Immediately after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they became frighteningly aware that something wasn’t right. “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 Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:7-8 (NKJ). God also knew something wasn’t right; He knew everything was wrong, so watch how He handled the situation.
First, God called Adam. Fully aware of what Adam had done and where he was hiding, God gave Adam the invitation to come out of hiding and turn to Him. Next, God challenged Adam. Upon Adam’s admission that he was afraid, naked, and hiding, God asked him how he knew these things. Third, God cross-examined and corrected everyone involved in the incident. When Adam passed the buck to Eve (“The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate” Genesis 3:12), God questioned her. When she passed the buck to the serpent (“The serpent deceived me, and I ate” Genesis 3:13), God turned and cursed it. (God didn’t give the serpent a chance to make an excuse because it didn’t have a leg to stand on!) Notice that Adam and Eve did not escape punishment just because they ‘fessed up. From then on, women would have pain in childbirth and husbands would rule over their wives, and men would eek out a living by the sweat of their brow, and all life would end in death (see Genesis 3:16-19).
But God wasn’t finished with Adam and Eve after pronouncing their punishment. The fourth thing God did was clothe them. To hide their nakedness, Adam and Eve had sewn fig leaf outfits for themselves. God had better fashion sense and “made tunics of skin, and clothed them” Genesis 3:21. This meant some animal had to die in order for their sin to be properly covered.
Finally, God changed Adam and Eve’s location. “Now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever… therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken” Genesis 3:23. In order to keep them from doing eternal harm to themselves, God set them on a completely different path.
So what does all of this have to do with us? Simply this: No matter what new year’s resolutions we make or how determined we are to walk more closely with the Lord this year, we’ll inevitably sin. We’ll recognize our sin, be fearful of God’s wrath, and try to hide. But God will call us and invite us out of hiding and into His presence. He’ll challenge us to confess our sin, and He’ll correct us. But just as Adam and Eve did not have to faint under the weight of His correction, He’ll clothe us with His righteousness through Jesus and with new mercy. Then He’ll change the direction of our focus and give us new vistas in which to work.
Called, challenged, corrected, clothed, and changed: this system never gets old to God, and is always a tremendous blessing to us.
©2015 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Pick up a copy of Sharon’s newest release,
Why I Get Into Trouble
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Also still available:
Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)