Owl's Head Lighthouse, Owl's Head, ME

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

CHOICES.....From Creation to the Cross

Out of darkness, He brought light.

That was where we began. God, Creator, took the blackness of nothing and brought light. In every instance, that is the essence of what God does. When we wonder if something is from God, we only need to look for the light.

In those first hours and days of earth's history, God, who had always been, created only good. Day and night, earth and sky, seas and land, plants and animals. All of this He made and declared it good. You have only to read Genesis 1 to see this expressed in beautiful simplicity.

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:31

While every part of this creation was beautiful and perfect, there was a crown to it all. God desired to make man, a creature that would be made in His very image. This man would be a leader of all of the rest of creation. Nothing else compared to this man in intellect or skill. Why?

 Because he was the only creation made in the Creator's image.

We learn something about our Creator as we look at this man. Because man was in the image of God, God made this man with a free will. This created being would have the capacity to reason, to feel and to choose. God, the Creator, in His infinite knowledge, knew what this would mean, but He desired the man to choose right....to choose Him, knowing that he would not always do so.

Because I am not God, and do not have infinite understanding and wisdom, I would have created a man without risk to myself. One which I knew would always remain faithful to me. I would not knowingly allow hurt into my world. But I am not God.

This gift of free will is a double-edged sword. We complain today that if the world were a better place, if everything were perfect, then people would choose right. God knew from the beginning that we would think this. Man, himself, proved this wrong.

After creating a man, and then a woman from the body of the man, and uniting them as one, in a perfect place, He prepared a Garden of beauty and perfection for them. They were fed from the bountiful branches of the trees and plants God had newly created. There were no outside stresses. They reined over this beauty but did not labor. They fellowshipped directly with their Creator/God each day. Their Garden of Eden was what we each long for.

Beauty. Quiet. Peace. Perfection. Fellowship.

It was in this environment that free will was exercised and sin entered the world.

Genesis 3 tells the tale that explains all of the evil we know in this world today.

Free will. We each have it, but we have something else as well. Because of the choices this first couple made....sinful choices....we are each born with this sin in us. We think this isn't fair, but the reality is that every day we make choices, and they are not always right. We believe we aren't really that bad.

I guess it depends upon the standard we use to judge ourselves, doesn't it?

Previously, I said that everything in this story I am telling, is based on the assumption that the Bible is the very Word of God, and as such, is truth. So I refer to what God Himself, says in His Word.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 14:1-3

As much as we want to believe ourselves good, we cannot be. For there is only one standard that is true, and it is the the Holiness of the Lord God, Creator. His perfection is beyond our understanding, but there comes a time when He opens our eyes to what we are, and we much choose whether to continue in the filth of our own choices or to seek His holiness.

If we look only around us, we will find those who are worse in our estimation. It is not until we look up to Truth that our eyes will be opened to our own need.

For the place we long for....That Garden of Eden. A place of peace and of fellowship with God. It is out of our human reach. Our goodness can never be good enough.

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6

What hope is there?

There is a Hope provided by this gracious, loving Creator....one that wholly meets the need of man created by his own sinful choices.

At this point, God pointed ahead to the ultimate Gift He would provide. He took this man and this woman who had chosen wrong over Him, and He said there are consequences to your sin. Because of this choice, this sin, I cannot accept you in my presence. I am Holy. I cannot have sin in my presence, but I love you. Someday, I will send a Gift that will provide a way to me.

Until that time, sacrifices had to be made. Only the very purest blood would cover the sin. Animals were given in sacrifice to a Holy God. Not because the animal was holy, but because God was showing the judgement for sin was death. An innocent animal sacrificed to cover the sins of people who were not innocent.

In faith, this first man and woman, prepared their sacrifice, as did the people who chose to follow God for the next several thousand years.

Today, we are surrounded by filth. We long to close our eyes to the sin and evil that abounds. It is too much. When we look inside ourselves, we may be surprised by the truth of us.

We are sinners.

We are filthy.

"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.....Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory....Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isaiah 6:1-5

Our need is so great...........His Gift is greater.

I must leave you with a taste of this Gift, for God does not leave us hopeless.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

If you long for peace, then come to Him.  

He will turn the darkness into light

"All things were made by Him;  and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."  John 1:3-5

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