Lesson 4 -- third quarter 1999
June 27, 1999
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications
Sin indulged in, even carelessly, almost inevitably leads to more and greater sin. The person who doesn't worry about "small" infractions will almost inevitably graduate to "more significant" violations of truth and right. Don't let that person be you!
This lesson begins with a testament to the head-shaking slide from perfection to the "little" fruit-eating sin to the incomprehensible state of continual evil. I realize this transpired in the course of several generations, but that does not at all detract from this sobering truth: Someone, somewhere, starts the slide; someone, somewhere, continues the slide. Don't let that someone be you!
I cannot imagine that Eve even conceived the possibility that her deed would lead to world state described in Genesis 6. And I am certain that you and I often cannot imagine (or do not care to imagine) the long-term, far-reaching consequences of our own disobedience and sin. But I want you to get this clearly: Eve didn't have to, and neither do we. That is absolutely right! We do not need the ability to perceive the future consequences of our present decisions in order to make wise decisions. All we need is a heart set to live righteously in our generation. If I choose what is right, I need not concern myself with the consequences of choosing wrong.
So far we have focused on the precipitous slide in man's moral and spiritual condition. We must not overlook the effect this slide had on man's Creator. Is not this such a tremendous tragedy?
"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).
The Creator's response? "It repented the LORD that he had made man...and it grieved him at his heart"!
I do not understand many of this verse's implications and ramifications. I assure you, though, that I do not believe this means God figured out He had actually done wrong in creating man. The impact I get here as a human is one of immense regret and grief. Whatever else this may say to you, notice this: God did not wallow in His regret and grief. He set to implementing a remedy of redemption.
Now to a question I ask myself. Does it ever repent the LORD to have made me? Does it ever grieve Him at His heart? I know I have not always been, nor am I always, a worthy sample of His spiritual power and creativity. But I also know that He has lovingly and faithfully implemented a redemptive remedy! Even in my bleakest moments and most miserable failures, God extends to me His forgiveness, restoration and power. Same to you!
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