One of the many attributes of God is that He is and has always been an all-knowing God. One of the many questions I have had a hard time understanding is if God is all knowing, created us and the world we live in, which was meant to be perfect then why did the first man and woman commit a sin that caused the perfect creation to fall and become what it is?
The Garden of Eden was perfect! God, man and woman, animals and all creation were able to live in harmony. Man and woman had everything they needed except there was something they did not need. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil with a delicious fruit to instill temptation to take and savor and an instigator to encourage it. No, not just to encourage it but to trick man into it.
What were his tactics? deceitfulness! Yes, you have everything but you can have more. Did God really say. May be He meant something else. You desire it, you deserve it, therefore be good to yourself. It is all about you and It will enrich you! God does not want your best. You don’t have to be under His control. He doesn’t want you to know more than He does. Your destiny is on your hands!
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them! The bible says that the earth was formless and God began a process of making it a breathing and living space with beauty beyond measure. It does not say what He did to the Heavens and it does not say that He created everything in the Heavens at the same time.
Ezequiel 28 tells us of a beautiful being that was created in perfection who was placed in the garden of Eden(28:13). He was full of wisdom and perfect in beauty but pride filled his heart and became full of himself, perfect on his own accord and deserving of praise instead of praising the one who created him. Isaiah 14 describes him as well.
Ezequiel 28:18-19 says: ” by the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you. All who know you among the people are appalled at you; you have become terrified and you will cease to be forever.
Jesus spoke of him and at the beginning of His ministry He encountered him in the desert. His spirit was on those who nailed Jesus to the cross. He had no idea there was a greater plan. From Jesus’ teachings, we know that he has no power unless we give it to him. His only tools are lies. Revelation describes him as a dragon who the angel Michael and his angels fought against and the angels he had convinced to join him. They were thrown down.
Revelation 12:9 says: “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; He was thrown down to the earth and his angels with him”. What are the times of all this? I would not claim to know. Could it have been that his spirit took the image of the serpent in the garden of Eden? Possibly.
I like the book of John because as he desires to make Jesus known to us, he bring us back to the beginning. He takes us back to creation and describes Jesus as a word. At the beginning of the book, He says “in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God” through my understanding of this passage, I am going to attempt to put into words my understanding of John’s meaning.
God wanted a being that had all His characteristics and someone capable of living in community with Him. This being was to be capable of acquiring purity as God has purity, of being love just as God is love and of being in unity with God forever just as God had lived in unity with Son and Holy Spirit.
So, In the beginning, God created man and woman. Jesus, the Son, was in God. The Holy Spirit was also in God from the beginning. From the beginning the plan was set and It was the word. It was known what man and woman needed to go through to end in the perfection God had foreseen.
None of the encounters or actions have ever or will ever be unknown to God. But the word, the story is already written. The plan for completion is in the person of His Son Jesus (God the son) Little did the devil know! His craftiness in lying to Eve and cause sin to stain us, therefore separating us from that perfect community with God, each other and the world was not to last forever.
The question was how to lead man through this process? No, it was not a question on God’s mind. He knew the how to; Remember the word? The plan? Jesus? Yes, it was set. God would choose a group of people and would walk them through life to show the world how to get back to Him.
He gave us this story. “Walk closely with Me and I will deliver you and bring you home” He has had many people in this story teach us over and over on the what and the how but somehow we have a hard time on the processing.
After Adam and Eve, the sons of Adam and Eve were initially a mess. Cain killed Abel over the same sin, the love for self. Adam and Eve had more children and God picked one named Seth who choose to do what was right in God’s eyes and out of his descendants came a man named Noah. The Bible describes him as a righteous man, blameless in his time who walked with God (Genesis 6:9)
At the time of Noah, the people multiplied but sin was rampant and God caused a flood that was only survived by Noah and his family. Noah warned the people of the impending doom but they did not listen and thought Noah was cookoo! They survived in the ark for 40 days and 40 nights and the world was rebooted using Noah, his family and the animals that were preserved in the ark.
From the new world, started by Noah and his three sons, a son named Shem was chosen because of his obedience to God and the relationship he was willing or choosing to develop with Him. Out of his descendents, God chose a tribe to show the world his plan to take us home.
Which tribe was it? The tribe of the Israelites. They are the sons of Israel, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Shem. In the story, The first from this clan was Abraham and he ended up having two major descendants, one from his wife Sara, later refer to by Paul as the free woman; and one from his slave; A woman named Hagar (Galatians 4:23).
The story is told using the son of the free woman. His name was Isaac and he was the father of Jacob who was renamed by God as Israel. God renamed him after Israel wrestled with God. God renames His people after they choose to walk with Him. Even if at times people wrestle with the idea of Him but when they get to know Him there is a change (Genesis 32:28).
He gives us a new identity. He also renamed Abram to Abraham and his wife’s name Sarai to Sarah. In the new testament we see the same pattern. Simon is renamed to Peter, Saul is renamed to Paul etc. Israel had twelve sons and one daughter. His twelve sons are the leaders of the tribe.
After He chose Abraham and during Abraham’s old age, He gave him a promise that He would make his children as numerous as the sand in the sea! Hard to believe! At the age of seventy-five! It was later explained by Paul in the new testament that those children were to be spiritual children. Born of the spirit by faith(Galatians 3:7)
Wait a minute! What do I mean? I mean that we are not just of a physical form but of Spiritual form. We are first of all a soul that has a Spirit and lives in a physical body. Makes sense? There are many Spirits out in the world. Good spirits and bad spirits. The good spirits are heavenly; God’s. The bad spirits are those that were thrown down from heaven; the devil’s.
So who am I? Let me tell you what I understand and keep on with the story to perhaps give more clarity to the plan. The scriptures say that God choose the Israelites who had been enslaved in Egypt and were in misery under the hand of Pharaoh. He rescued them through a set of miraculous processes. He delivered them from the hands of those that oppressed them whose leader was the Pharaoh (a picture of satan in our lives)
Remember the story? God used Moses to lead this deliverance in which Moses was the voice of God; an ambassador for his people facing Pharaoh with the task of convincing him to let them go. This is something that took hard work but also supernatural action from God as He sent plagues, and ended with the death of the first-born of the Egyptians before Pharaoh released them.
Through this deliverance He opened the red sea, walked them through the desert and was always in a cloud in front and behind to protect them. He also revealed Himself in many ways to make Himself known to them and to instill trust. Some of them received it freely and were faithful and obedient to Him and some of them preferred to grumble, be rebellious and desire the life they had back as slaves to Egypt.
In the desert, God gave them a set of laws and guidelines to be followed. Those are found in the books of Leviticus and Numbers They were not meant to be used to control them but to protect them. They also had rituals to clean them from their sins and be able to continue communion with God. Sin required blood. Did that mean that when we choose to do what is wrong someone ends up suffering? It could be.
Within the tribes, there was a tribe whose job was to be the priests and facilitate communion with God. They were the ones people came to with their confessions of sins and they were the one’s to perform the sacrifices that granted Spiritual cleanliness. They were also the one’s that taught and administered the law.
God kept emphasizing how sin separates us from Him. There were instructions from God on what to do for specific sins. They had ceremonial times. One of those times was the Passover. This time was to be kept even when they had reached their final destination to remind them of their freedom from Egypt.
The last thing that God did to force Pharaoh into letting His people go was to send the angel of death and take the life of all the first-born of the Egyptian people; including Pharaoh’s son. The sign for the Angel to recognize the Israelites from the Egyptians was the blood from a perfect unblemished lamb placed on their door post.
Was this a sign of things to be? That Lamb signifies Christ and the significance of His death and resurrection over us. He is our Pasover Lamb. Because of Him on the last day, we will be spared. He who had no sin took the sacrificial place of the unblemished lamb once and for all to redeem us from our sins.
In the Story of the Israelites, there is also a time when the Israelites were blaspheming against God and God sent venomous snakes to bite them and many died so they asked Moses to intercede for them. In Numbers 21:8 God told Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole. Anyone looking at it could be healed and lived.
That too was an example of what Jesus is for us. Jesus said in John 3:14-16 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Eventually, through Moses and many faithful of God’s servants, The Israelites reached the promised land. It took 40 years of walking with them through the desert and teaching them and us through them about His Character and plan for humanity. No, this was not their final destination for their final destination is also all of our destination.
In this journey of ours, there is no distinction except the common bond of our faith in the Lord Jesus. We are told in the scriptures that He alone is our passage and our connection to God. Galatians 3 is very explicit in the truth that it is through Faith in Christ that we receive the Spirit of God and therefore the freedom from being in bondage to becoming the sons and daughers of God through faith.
The promise to all the descendants of Abraham is not of descendants by blood but by faith. Galatians 3:26-29 says:For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
So on the question of who I am? The answer is that if I have asked Jesus into my heart and He is my Lord, then the Spirit of God takes residence in me and I am a new creature. I am the daughter of the most high. I am no longer in bondage but have freedom in Christ and a promise of eternal life with God.
During the time between the Israelites reaching of the promise land and the coming of Christ, We have many prophets who came to deliver a message from God. These are found in books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezequiel, Daniel and all the major and minor prophets. That message was always the same. There is a final judgement day where I will make all things new. I will destroy the world as it is and make a new heaven and a new earth.
I will send you a deliverer just like Moses who will lead you to Me. Do not fear for I Am with you. I am in front and behind you. I will send you My son The Messiah. Keep your eyes on Him, accept my gift of Grace and no harm will befall you. He is My beloved Son. Listen to Him.
There is also messages of punishment for disobedience and that too is depicted in times the tribe of Israel was stubborn and disobedient and were captured by other kings as God left them to their own devices. Their struggle is meant to teach us to be wise. There are things man can’t understand because they are too great for us to comprehend but the message is to keep our eyes on Jesus and we will conquer even when the journey is difficult.
The prophets also gave us descriptions of where the Messiah would be born and how the world would treat Him and would choose to ignore Him. They also told us of God’s sadness over our lack of understanding of the scriptures as the one main thing that He desired the most from us was to have a close relationship with Him.
In the call from the Prophets, God told us His plans and His love for us. God used them all in different ways to show us how He also wants to use us in this world. In the book of the Psalms, we have examples of the cryes or joys of our soul through the writings of David and some of the other psalmists.
On this journey, books like Job, show us that trials and tribulations some times are not meant to harm us but for a greater outcome. The greater outcome is always the saving of our soul and most importantly, the ability to know the almighty. Sometimes it is for our own deliverance and other times for the deliverance of our fellow human beings. The book of the proverbs impart in us wisdom for a daily life.
When John says that the word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, this is what he is describing. That plan of Salvation that God had from the beginning came to earth as a man. He is full of grace and truth. We are to listen to Him. We don’t deserve His grace but we got it anyway if we so accept it.
John testified that He surpassed him for John was a man who was created. Jesus was from before creation. He was the Word personified. He also said that the law came through Moses. Yes, Moses gave us the physical law and the how to’s and the what not to’s but Jesus came to fulfill the how to’s and show us the physical form of the Father who’s got control of the world.
He said ” No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known. So when the question arises in our minds as to our life story, there is no better place to find the truth of that question but through Jesus! There is no better place to find your origin and your destination but on Him!