So, where did it all go wrong?
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.Genesis 1 v 31
A beautiful world, made by a perfect God, given to a sinless humanity. Why is this reality so distant from our own experience?
This week we’ll consider the episode called ‘The Fall’ – when humanity fell from this state of blessing and plenty. The descent begins with a failure to appreciate God’s character.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”Genesis 3
The first question of the serpent is so clever. His question sounds like a question of clarification ‘just let me confirm what God said…’ But by this question he puts doubt in the woman’s mind about God’s goodness. ‘Did God really forbid you all this goodness and plenty? Is God’s generosity limited? Is the Creator really as kind as He claims?’
And although the woman responds to this challenge, there is no gratitude or praise on her lips. She does not declare the generosity of God or sing of His goodness. Instead, she mis-repeats and overstates the limitation given in Genesis 2. Already she is doubting God’s character.
A misunderstanding of God’s character is at the root of sin. Our lives depend on what we believe about who God is.
- If we do not believe that He is the Creator – we will not think we owe Him anything.
- If we do not believe that He is reliable – we will not trust Him to keep his promises.
- If we do not believe that He is all-powerful – then we won’t believe that He can do what He says.
- If we do not believe that He is good – then we won’t think He wants the best for us.
- If we do not believe that He is all-wise – then we won’t trust that He knows better than us.
- If we do not believe all these things – we will not obey Him.
- If we do not believe that He loves us – then we will not love Him.
In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul explains the human problem.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.Romans 1 v 21
For our first parents the awesome creative power of the Almighty was plain to see. But they did not give God the credit that He deserves. It’s not that God needs His ego stroked, it’s that WE need to appreciate who He is and what He’s like. If we don’t, then we won’t obey … and if we don’t obey, then we face disaster.
And it is the same for us today.
- If we do not acknowledge God as the awesome Creator that He is, we will not see all His gifts.
- If we do not see and appreciate all God’s gifts, then we will not give Him thanks.
- If we do not give Him thanks, we will think that all the good things we enjoy are somehow earned or deserved.
And we will be proud and ungrateful.
Putting it into Practice
- Look at the world around and give God great thanks. Why not set an alarm on your phone for a couple of times later today to stop for 3 minutes and thank God for His good gifts to you.
- Acknowledge your lack of gratitude to God and ask for Him to make in you a thankful heart.