copyright 2022 by Glenn Davis
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God created a perfect world and desired it to be populated with people who could and would enjoy an immortal life to the fullest. They were given a rewarding and challenging job - to rule and develop the earth under God and for the benefit of all. However, for mankind to reach its highest and greatest potential, they had to be given a choice between obedience to God or rebellion. Anything less would have made mankind simply sophisticated robots.
God did everything He could to set mankind up for success. Adam and Eve had no sin nature, which means, unlike us, they had no desire to do anything wrong. They were placed in a perfect environment, given complete information, used their brains at 100% capacity, and were only forbidden one thing on the entire planet. How easy is that?
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Gen. 2:16-17, NIV
Adam was the representative of the human race. In other words, whatever decision he made would be applied to everyone. This is reality - no point in getting upset about it. Besides, every time you or I do something wrong, we are saying that we agree with Adam’s decision.
Obviously, Adam decided was to commit rebellion and treason against the God Who had made him, loved him, and had given him every good thing. God had warned him that that one decision would introduce death into the universe. With Adam’s treacherous betrayal of God, the sin bomb exploded, sending shrapnel to the furthest corners of the universe. Everything changed. Nature was no longer inherently good. People now desired to do evil, to promote and satisfy themselves at the expense of others. It wasn’t long before the first murder was committed. Sickness, pain, crime, poverty, ruined relationships, natural disasters, war, famine, etc. are consequences of one act of rebellion. We may choose the action, but not the consequences. Adam chose rebellion on our behalf, so we all live with the consequences.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— Rom. 5:12, NIV
The mass contagion of sin infected everyone worldwide. And not just people, animals began preying on other animals, storms would rage, droughts would devastate, etc. The entire universe was affected. The world we experience today is vastly different on multiple levels than the world God created and intended to be.
When you hurt someone - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually - you are not acting how God designed you to live. Let’s face it, intentionally or unintentionally, we have all hurt other people. It was not God’s will for you to spread the effects of sin, but we are all carriers. We all suffer the consequences of sin, our own and others, and we all pass it on. But that was not the original design, nor is it God’s will.
The same is true when we experience sin. Perhaps we are the victim of a crime, the butt of someone’s joke, the lash of someone’s anger. Perhaps we have been in an accident, been born with a disability, or suffer from a disease. Maybe our home has been destroyed in a flood, or circumstances beyond our control have forced us into poverty. Perhaps we suffer from addictions; the list could go on and on.
This is all part of the sin bomb that exploded in the Garden of Eden. Satan lobbed the bomb, but it would never have exploded without Adam’s willing cooperation.
Here are some essential aspects of reality we must realize.
1. Some of the things we experience are consequences of our own actions. If we choose to be financially irresponsible, we will end up in poverty. If we decide to abuse alcohol or drugs, we will end up addicted. If we abuse relationships, we will end up with broken marriages and friendships, etc. In God’s original creation, none of these things would have happened, not because the consequences would not have been there, but because, without the infection of sin, we never would have made the poor choices that led to the hurtful consequences. And, yes, [a] we are responsible for our own choices despite the sin in us, and [b] none of this is God’s fault.
2. Some of the things we experience are because of other people’s sinful choices. We may be innocent victims of their choices. No one chooses for their spouse to commit adultery. Nobody chooses to be raped or murdered. No one chooses to be robbed or hit by a drunk driver. And so on. Again, none of these things would have happened in God’s perfect world. Someone is responsible for the hurt and pain they have caused. [God’s requirement is full restitution which, in some cases, includes capital punishment, but that is a different topic.] None of this is God’s fault.
3. Some things happen which are no one’s fault. Natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes are part of a world out of balance with its original design. Many sicknesses happen that are simply the fault of living in a world contaminated with sin. My son contracted Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 5. No one’s fault. [It should be noted that many times disasters, like famine, are caused by governmental interference in people’s lives - which would put it under point two above.] It is not God’s desire or will that people suffer from these things.
This is reality. However, at this point some ask: If God is All-Powerful, why doesn’t He stop it? If He loves me, why doesn’t He intervene? That is what we are going to look at in the next chapter.