God of wonders, God of grace, God of goodness and mercy – We say it, we sing it and most of us believe it…or do we? How many times have we looked at the world news in disgust at the devastation around us and raised our fists to God, so to speak, wondering why He caused such horrible things to happen? I think we do it often enough to give this topic closer examination. (In this particular recipe, we are looking at the ingredients for living an unhappy life, and how we might avoid it.)
In last week’s article, Everything is Spiritual, we discussed the origin of all things bad. We focussed on the relationship between man and God, looked at the decision made by Adam and Eve to end that relationship and the devastating outcome of that decision: fear and the fight for survival. I would like to look at that again this week from a slightly different angle.
Is He Really A God of Goodness and Mercy?
I have never heard it taught, that our God was willing to be merciful to Adam and Eve, so I hesitate just a little to make the statement. However, take a look at these scriptures from the third chapter of Genesis:
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me —she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Obviously, God knew what they had done, but He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, looking for His friends, Adam and Eve. It appears from that simple fact that our God of goodness and mercy was as willing then as he is now to forgive and maintain a relationship with mankind.
So what really happened?
Why did the curse come to be, and why are things so bad today? Look again at verse 12.
The man said, “The woman you put here with me —she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people make a terrible mess of things, then say something incredibly stupid, like “Well…God has a plan.” Here, we have the first recorded instance of such foolishness. Take a look!
“The woman you put here with me…” Adam blamed his God. “She gave me some fruit from the tree…” Adam blamed his woman. In the very next verse, Eve blamed the serpent. This was judgement day for Adam and Eve and as they stood facing God, waiting on their sentencing, they absolutely refused to take responsibility for their own actions. They kind of shook their fists at God, didn’t they, and said “You did this,” and even though He was still there calling out to them, they never asked Him for mercy.
This tells me this cursed world in which we now live, with its devastating storms, drought, poverty, hunger and even cancer, was NOT caused by one single decision and it certainly was not caused by God. It was the outcome of a newly developed, with Satan’s influence, attitude, a mode of operation or way of thinking and it was a choice.
21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.