Do you ever get questions about God?
Like have you ever wondered, if God could choose to start over with a brand new world and wipe out the human race with all our sins, then why didn’t He? Or, if God is all-powerful, then why didn’t He stop Adam and Eve from eating from the forbidden tree?
God doesn’t mind questions. He’s not intimidated by them, nor offended by us questioning Him. In fact, He probably rather enjoys the exchange. The answer may not come immediately, but if you dare to ask, know that God will surely answer. It may come in the form of anointed preaching, sharing by another believer, something you see when you read the Bible, or an inner voice from within telling you – these are just some of the more common ways.
How will you know it’s the real answer? Through having an inner sense of (His) righteousness, peace and joy, because that’s what God’s truth and His kingdom always brings (Romans 14:17). It will reveal more of Jesus and His righteousness, which He has put in us as believers today, and it will bring rest, peace and joy within us.
So why doesn’t God answer immediately? We don’t know all the reasons for this, and we may never will, but having come through some long seasons of waiting myself I’ve learnt that God may be showing us something or preparing us in the interim. And sometimes it’s not that He’s not saying anything, but we’re too busy listening to so many other voices – our own, people around us, the media, the experts – that we miss out on what God is saying to us.
So back to our starting questions: why didn’t God just start over when things got bad with man, and why didn’t He stop Adam and Eve from sinning?
God is a God of love; in fact, God is love. And love longs to share. All of us know that a sunset is never as beautiful as when you have someone to enjoy it with; neither is a funny movie as hilarious as when you have someone to laugh along with you. Man was never built for isolation – today, we share our lives more than ever, posting and sharing everything we see, do and eat with our mates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Love craves relationship.
In the beginning, it was just God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit – the triune God. And Jesus was daily God’s delight (Proverbs 8:30). But because God is so full of love, He wanted somebody more He could pour His love out onto; so God created man, according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26). And Jesus’s delight was with the sons of men (Proverbs 8:31). He loved us right from the beginning.
And God created man with free choice, because there can be no real relationship with puppets or robots. If our spouses and children did everything we said and told us “I love you” on command, we would never really feel loved. It might feel great for a while, but that feeling will quickly turn hollow. We feel genuinely and truly loved when we know that they could very well choose to disregard what we said and asked but still did things for us, and when we see the love and warmth in their eyes as they tell us “I love you” out of their own free will. A true relationship involves free choice.
So when God created an amazing universe and earth, before making man last, to allow man to enjoy all of His creation, there had to be something that man had to keep away from in the garden. Because if everything was good and free for man, then there would be no need to choose either way and no free choice for man to exercise.
So God asked man to not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, to reserve it as an honour to God. Everything that God had made He said was good; and man, He called very good. It wasn’t that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was bad in itself, it was just bad for man. But man chose wrongly, and as a result suffered the consequences of his choice, which is sin, death, and curse.
But praise be to God that by Jesus’s one perfect work, sin’s effect is once and for all cancelled forever in man’s life and man is restored to a level far greater than when he started, to every one who believes. Jesus’s finished work has turned man from having dominion over the earth (under Adam), to becoming joint heirs with Christ, of the entire cosmos. What unbelievable grace!
God’s grace is such that it takes the worst things that have been done and turns them into the greatest blessings and restoration beyond imagination. It doesn’t mean that we should thus sin more to see more of His grace. It simply means that God’s amazing grace is far, far, far greater than the worst sins that have been or can ever be committed. Jesus’s work and His grace is always greater than anything man can do.
So then comes the biggest question of all: If God is all love, then why doesn’t He just automatically pardon and place everyone under the work of Jesus?
It’s all about relationship. If we never had to make a choice, or to say yes to receive His love, then there’s no willing choice or the entering into a relationship to speak of. The only way to enter into a relationship with God is to accept His grace, which is Jesus – to believe in Jesus and what He has done at the cross for you. It has to be through Jesus, otherwise there’d be no perfect payment and cancellation of our sins and nothing would make sense, and we’d just be denying that sin carries consequences or clinging on to the false belief that we can do something of ourselves to atone for our sins.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the only way to eternal life. And all God needs us to do is to consent to be saved.
God longs to share His amazing love and grace with you. He wants you to enjoy a truly fulfilled and blessed life, in every single area. Consent to enjoy it.
Because when you encounter Jesus, you encounter grace.