Monday, April 03, 2006

Just and Merciful From the Beginning

As I read Randy Alcorn's newest book, Heaven, recently, I discovered another astounding picture of God's justice and God's mercy intertwined. I had never considered this, but look at God's words in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned and brought the knowledge of evil into the world:

"And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever'" (Genesis 3:22).

This is just. The first man and woman have disobeyed God's command, and they must be punished. Yet Alcorn explains how this is also merciful:

"As a result of the Curse, the first Adam could no longer eat from the tree of life, which presumably would have made him live forever in his sinful state. Death, though a curse in itself, was also the only way out from under the curse--and that only because God had come up with a way to defeat death and restore mankind's relationship with him."

Wow! God in His justice would no longer let man live forever. God in His mercy had something far better in store than living forever under the curse of sin: He had already foretold the gospel.

"So the LORD God said to the serpent, '...I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel'" (Genesis 3:15).

1 comment:

Combs said...

God always has our best at heart, even if we have to take the long way around to finally see it. Whether we were supposed to go in that direction at first is another question altogether, but it's one I think we put too much attention on. Thanks for the reminder of how far God is willing to go to see us safely home.