One of the simplest reasons it is difficult for people to lose weight is because you have to eat. You don’t have to smoke, in order to survive. You don’t have to drink or do drugs to survive. Yes, I know it feels like it when you are quitting these things, but the point is that you can quit them. You can’t quit eating. So we have to learn to do other things: eat less, eat smarter, use up more calories, etc. We all know the drill. But you still have to eat.
It causes great stress when we are expected to stop doing something we must do. Or, we can state the opposite as well: It causes great stress when we are expected to do something we can’t do.
Adam and Eve, their children, and the generations that followed were somehow expected to survive an existence where they were drawn to the Lord by the need in their hearts, but unable to reach Him and reconnect with Him. They had lost their communion, their unity, with Him and had no way to restore it. No matter how much they wanted to return to the Lord, they couldn’t. The one thing that could connect them with the heart of God, His life in them, was gone. That’s why He told them they would die.
There were certainly people who knew and loved God before the cross. I think Adam and Eve remained close to God and He cared for them. We know that He interacted with their family. But it wasn’t the same. The life was gone. The relationship was so much less than it was in the Garden.
In the Garden, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. I expect that they laughed with Him and each other. Their life was so much better than anything we can imagine. But the only example we have in Scripture of anyone else enjoying that kind of relationship with God was Jesus. We see glimpses of it as He walked in the garden with the Father. His times of prayer were true communion with the Father. No one else had that. There were hints. Enoch walked with God. Moses talked with God. Abraham and David and Isaiah had special relationships with God. But always from a distance. Always less than what was.
But the need was there. Humans were made to live in communion with God. Nothing would be right until that was restored. The tension and sadness in the heart allowed sin to compound. Separation grew to hate. Hate grew to murder. Murder grew to war. Loss led to grief. Grief led to depression. Depression led to self-destruction. Trying to satisfy the longing, the emptiness, either became the ambition or the destruction of humanity. Human history, human religion, human art—all reveal the effect of this inherent suffering.
From the beginning, God had a plan of restoration. Yet, He knew that humans would develop their own plan as well. The two plans grew until a day of choice would come again.
Grace 101 is a simple attempt to explain what has happened to us and what God has done for us. So much of what we have learned has been confused by sectarian doctrines and theological jargon. It is sometimes difficult to see the message the Lord wants us to understand as we read the Bible or worship together. The series of posts will be found in the category called Grace 101 and begins here. Enjoy!