Series: The Mind of God
Message: What Was He Thinking?
Preacher: Mark Johnson
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 32:6-11.
Read: Hebrews 1:1-3 - As you re-read for the final time this week in the ESV translation, what did you discover new about God’s character?
Reflect: A summary of what we’ve been talking about so far this week is found in John 8:44. Satan, the one whose lies and promises caused Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden. He had been perfect until unrighteousness had been found in him, and he had corrupted his wisdom because of his pride and his pursuit of power. We’ve hinted that his ability to fall was based on God’s determination that His moral creatures would have freedom of choice, Satan’s choice led to war in heaven and his being “thrown down to this earth” with his followers. So what was God thinking when He created Adam and Eve? God, the freedom-loving, benevolent and merciful Creator He claimed to be, or was He the arbitrary, harsh, demanding, severe, and capricious God His enemy portrays? Do the stories of Creation and The Fall help us answer this question? It all depends.
One way of looking at this is to see a loving Creator at work. He shared His creative power and love with Adam and Eve. He did put the tree in the middle of the garden, near the Tree of Life, so a choice had to be made on a daily basis as to whether or not they would heed this warning. When Adam and Eve did sin, He gave them hope by promising a Savior who would defeat the tempter and make a way of salvation available to them and their offspring.
Tragically, there is another way of looking at this. Some see it this way: God created a perfect world with a perfect garden for mankind. He shared His creative power and love with us by creating us as man and woman with emotional and physical desires that were to be kept under control and used only for procreation. After their very first sin He condemned them to a life of misery and eternal death unless they lived perfect lives, which they couldn’t do on their own, so they had to fight their natures and surrender their freedom and wills to God.
What was God thinking? How we answer this question for ourselves has eternal consequences.
Respond: Pray for guidance.
Research: How does one get to know “the mind” of someone else? Has God given us enough evidence to know His mind?