Theme of the Week: Reconciliation
Bible Verse: “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15b; “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21; “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus], and through him [Jesus] to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his [Jesus’s] blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:19-20
Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1-24
Let’s be honest here, adequately covering the need for and provision of reconciliation between God and humanity cannot (and will not, so don’t get your hopes up) be covered in a daily devotional, even in a week or a month, or a year dedicated to the topic. It is too deep, too rich, and too complex. But since this is a devotional, the hope is that today, in the next few moments, we can turn our hearts toward God, understand Him and ourselves a bit better, and respond in such a way that honors what God has done on our behalf.
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of God’s movement toward us to remove the barrier that had been erected by the deception of the serpent, and the disobedience of Adam and Eve is the speed with which He moved.
When God confronts the trio of actors naked and afraid humans after learning of the events that had transpired, he first confronts the serpent. In his pronouncement of the curse, he proclaims what is theologically called the proto evangelion. That simply means the first or early good news. The good news is that one day, the seed of the woman the serpent used would crush the serpent’s head. God promised that one day the cause, the reason behind the separation between God and humanity, would be crushed and destroyed. That is good news. It is in the first words that God spoke to His newly corrupted creation.
But God’s movement toward humanity is not exhausted with a future promise. God takes two further steps to provide for His wayward creation. First, he covers their nakedness. This deserves some reflection. God left them naked in the first place. It was not bad to be naked, but in order to help the humans find some comfort, he provided them with coverings. This was the first sacrifice to cover (literally) human sin. Animals that Adam and Eve knew, that Adam had named, had to die in order to offer a covering for a perceived shame. God does not try to convince them that their nakedness is okay. Instead, He moves within the brokenness of the couple to provide them with something for their benefit.
Second, He expelled them from the garden. This was not done out of spite or punishment. This was a loving and gracious act. God drove them out so that they could not take the fruit from the tree of life and live forever. The humans were not allowed to live in their sin forever. What a gracious act! God did not want His creation to suffer forever under the curses of sin. He not only provided for them in their state, but saw to it that their state of living in sin would end.
God moves toward His fallen creation in acts of reconciliation. He moves toward us in compassion and action.
Prayer: God, it is not always easy to see how you are working on our behalf. Thank you for taking the first steps toward us when we were far away from you. Help me to see how and where you are working to reconcile the world to yourself.
Reflection: How can you thank God for what He has done in the course of your life to continue bringing you close to Him?
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