Friday, 7 August 2009


Why do we defy God and reject his love and his life?

Why do we rebel against God and behave so badly?

We wouldn't do so unless we thought we had something to gain by sinning.

In the Biblical account of the Fall Adam and Eve sought to be equal to God and independent of him. In spite of his warnings 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 others and even with the environment. That was the experience of Adam and Eve, who, instead of walking with God in the cool of the evening were no longer able to face him or even themselves in their naked humanity. They quarrelled with each other. The very environment, which God had entrusted to their care became arduous and hostile. Far from gaining through sinning they had forfeited what was most precious to them -being at peace in a loving relationship with God.

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 only too aware of that in our own lives and in the world in which we live. Our behaviour affects other people, for better or for worse. We use each other 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 opens hands in the present picture, and will be developed in the subsequent illustrations. They form a brief approach to some aspects of salvation history.

While the man in the picture shakes his hand defiantly at God, the woman gives Yahweh the contemptuous 'V' sign. Both of them are starting to turn away from him.

There's a sadness in Yahweh's open, empty hands, as the couple turn their backs on him and he pleads for them -for us -to return to him.

But, even though sinful man may reject Yahweh's loving hands, they always remain open, ever eager to welcome back the repentant sinner. God's love for us, is of its very nature steadfast, not fickle or brittle. That means that he owes it to himself to be merciful in welcoming the repentant sinner back, if that's what he or she really wants.

"If we are faithless, he remains faithful -for he cannot deny himself"

2 Tim. 2. 13

Isidore O.P.

Next we will see how God begins to repair the damage caused by sin

1 comment:

  1. I feel a certain kinship with the couple in this week's painting as their behavior towards God is a reflection of my own on many occasions.
    I love the point about the apparent sadness in Yahweh's open,empty hands and the final quotation is breathtaking.