So what of this evil? Was mankind just doomed to be evil? No! It is possible for you to have been born with the gene that predisposes you to an illness. That means it may be easier for you to catch that illness than someone who did not have that gene. But through the Grace of God and your careful choices, your body can resist the manifestation of that illness.
God’s Design for us was still perfection. He did not give up on us. Do you believe it is possible to be sinless and perfect? Many people would say, “No, only Jesus was perfect.” But what did Jesus Himself say to us?
Be Perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is Perfect!
So what is perfect? God was very present with His expelled children, showing them what was good and what was evil. While we do not want to concentrate on evil in life, it is true that the dark lines in a picture remind us to color inside the lines. Recognizing the dark lines helps us to stay within the boundaries that keep us safe.
When we recognize darkness, we appreciate even more the light that eliminates darkness. God was now going to beat satan at his own game, so to speak. Satan wanted to be evil. God would shine the Light and reveal just what evil looked like.
God delivered the Children of Israel from Egypt. In spite of many miracles God did right in front of them, they were very prone to complain. We can be amazed at their story, and yet much of our life story looks just like their story. God repeatedly saves us and yet at the next difficult moment in our life, we complain again!
During one of their many episodes of complaining, God allowed snakes to bite them. At first glance, this might seem like a cruel thing to do. But it got their attention, and focused them once again on the actions of their adversary, the serpent.
God then did a curious thing. He told Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. He told the people to look at it and whoever did would be saved.
Is this idol worship? Why would God do such a thing? He wanted to illustrate what was evil and what was good. The live snake was dangerous and did have the power to hurt them. But God was more powerful. In the Presence of God, in fact, the snake had no power.
What saved the people? Obeying God. Doing exactly what He said to do, even when it seemed like foolishness to their minds. When the people did exactly what God said to do, they lived. (Remember this story — we will discuss in a future post how Jesus compared His Crucifixion to this bronze snake!)
On many occasions, God spelled out very vividly what He wanted the people to understand. They had the freedom to make the choice. But God wanted them to understand exactly what they were getting in obeying Him and exactly what they were getting in obeying satan.
You Have A Choice!
Listen to the following Words God spoke through His Servant, Moses.
See if you agree God is pretty plain spoken!
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.
For I command you today to love the Lord your God,
to walk in obedience to Him
and to keep His Commands, decrees and laws;
then you will live and increase
and the Lord your God will bless you in the land
you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient,
and if you are drawn away
to bow down to other gods and worship them,
I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed.
You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan
to enter and possess.
This day I call the heavens and earth as witnesses against you
that I have set before you Life and death,
blessings and curses.
Now choose Life, so that you and your children may live
and that you may love the Lord your God,
listen to His Voice,
and hold fast to Him.
For the Lord is your Life …
God, Ever the Creator, Spoke In Creative Ways!
God was constantly with His Children. He appeared to them in all kinds of ways as documented in the Old Testament. He spoke through Fire, Wind, Prophets, and even a donkey! He outdid Himself in guiding His People toward the Truth that He was ever present with them and that He loved them, even as they continued to sin.
And then came the day God took it up a big notch! He spoke to His Children through the Body of a Man called Jesus Immanuel. The Name Jesus means “He will save His People from their sins.” Immanuel means “God with us!”
Trust and Obey!
Right from the beginning, obedience to God was a key factor in the selection of Jesus’ earthly parents. An angel appeared to Mary and gave her the good news she was to be the Mother of Jesus, After hearing the angel tell her in great detail what Jesus would do in His Time on earth, Mary just had one question.
“How will be this,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
God does not mind our asking Him questions. Sometimes He answers in detail. Sometimes He does not. The angel did give Mary an answer (Luke 1: 35-37), but with not nearly as many details as I would have wanted. However, the angel’s summary statement was enough for Mary. The angel said,
For No Word from God will ever fail!
Mary’s Answer reflects one powerful Word — Obedience! Mary surrendered everything she knew or would ever hope to know to the One Who knew everything. She surrendered her very body, as would the Son she would carry into the world. Mary said,
“I am the Lord’s Servant,” Mary answered.
“May Your Word to me be fulfilled!”
And what of Joseph, the young devout man who loved God and loved Mary? He too was presented with a perplexing prophecy. He too was given little details. But what was his answer?
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Joseph, like Mary, surrendered everything to God. He obeyed!
The outstanding traits of Jesus’ earthly parents would be part of His Life and His Message. Trust! Surrender! Obedience! Faithfulness! Love!
Created In The Image of God!
God had revealed Himself in many ways from the very beginning of Time, but nothing could top His revealing His Presence in human form. Jesus would reveal an astounding Truth. We, like Adam and Eve, have been created in the very Image of God! If we lived life like Jesus, we could escape the clutches of sin and find the Kingdom of Heaven, even right here on earth!
So God created mankind in His Own Image,
in the Image of God He created them;
male and female He created them.
If we are made in the Image of God, then we should see Him when we look in the mirror. Do you?
Satan would prefer that you do not see the Lord looking back. In fact, he would do anything to prevent your knowing the Truth of Genesis 1:27. He would like you to think there was a horrible mutation that has carried down through the ages to you. He would like you to think it has damaged you so much that you do not even resemble God at all. And more than that, satan would like you to believe you are repulsive to your Creator.
I remember vividly my first Halloween. I had a scary looking mask. It just looked funny on the shelf in the store. But when I put it on and looked in the mirror, I was terrified! Even though I knew I was still me, the figure in the mirror looked so realistic, I was frightened and cried!
Many times in the life that followed, I looked in the mirror and did not see God. I saw a person who looked as ugly as that mask. I felt sure God could not love someone who looked like that.
One of satan’s lies to Adam and Eve in the Garden was to tell them something was so wrong with the way they had been created, they needed to cover themselves immediately and then they needed to hide from God.
Satan has given the same message down through the ages. Have you ever thought, “There is just something wrong with me. I don’t know why I am the way I am. I need to cover myself and hide.” Are you wearing a mask you wish you could give up? Would you like to see God in your mirror?
We will look at the Life and Message of Jesus in our next post.
In the meantime, look a little closer at yourself in the mirror
and hear God’s Words to you about why Jesus came.
(Try reading each scripture out loud. Between each one, look in the mirror. Absorb how God looks upon you with Love. No matter what you have come to see, God sees you as His Designer Original!)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
Who ever believed in Him is not condemned …
Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known!
1 Corinthians 13:12