Monday, 1 June 2009


We have defied God and have rejected his love and his life.

Why do we rebel against God and treat each other so badly? We wouldn’t do so unless we were convinced we had something to gain. In the account of the Fall Adam and Eve sought to be equal to God and independent of him. In spite of his warning, they thought they had nothing to lose by disobeying him. Pride in thinking we know better than God lies at the heart of all sin.

Sadly, we discover that our rebellion brings discord into our relationship with God, with each other and even with our environment. That was the experience of Adam and Eve, who instead of walking with God in the cool of the evening were unable to face him or even themselves in their naked humanity. They quarrelled with each other, and the very environment which God had entrusted to their care became arduousand hostile. Far from gaining by sinning they had forfeited what was most precious to them.

In the subsequent chapters of Genesis and the rest of the Bible we see the ripple effect of evil spreading throughout the world. We are very aware of that in our own lives and in the world in which we live. Our behaviour effects other people, for better or worse. We use others to our own advantage, forgetting that they are our brothers and sisters, with the same dignity and rights as we claim for ourselves.

But instead of writing us off as worthless, God sets about repairing the damage our sins have caused. This is suggested by his open hands in the present picture, and will be developed in the subsequent illustrations. They form a brief approach to salvation history.

This is suggested in this picture.

While the man shakes his fist defiantly against God, The woman gives Yahweh the contemptuous ‘V’ sign. Both of them are starting to turn away from him. Even though sinful man has rejected Yahweh’s loving hands, they remain open, ever eager to welcome us back. God’s love is of its very nature steadfast, not fickle or brittle. That means that he owes it to himself to be merciful in welcoming sinners back, if that’s what we really want.

‘If we are faithless, he remains faithful -for he cannot deny himself.’
2 Tim. 2. 13

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