Preacher: David Smith
Daily Walk: David Smith
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 77:10-15.
Read: Genesis 3 (ESV). As you re-read the text for the final time this week in the English Standard Version, what new insights did you discover about God’s character?
Reflect: One of the most startling events of Genesis chapter 2 occurs in verse 9 when God simply asks, “Where are you?" Adam and Eve have eaten the fruit. Sin has entered the garden. Instinctively, they know they have done something very bad and have hidden themselves from God.
Perhaps in their guilt they assume that God must be “out to get" them and so they hide in fear. We’ve all been there before. We’ve messed up and imagine that God is looking down angrily, shaking His mighty fist with rage—maybe even ready to smite us.
Yet what’s most shocking about this passage and the story that follows is that it becomes immediately clear that God is toward Adam and Eve after their sin—in love rather than anger. The separation that occurs isn’t as a result of God moving away from humanity but of humanity moving away from God. It’s an image that appears remarkably consistent throughout Scripture. Man runs from God—but God runs toward man. It’s the picture Jesus relates through the story of the prodigal son. When the son returns home, he has a plan in place that will allow him to live with his father in a greatly reduced state, but he seems no possibility of fulling restoring the broken relationship. But the father has other ideas.
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20).
We’re the ones who drift away from God. We’re the ones who imagine He’s mad at us. We’re the ones who think the chasm is too wide to be bridged. That’s not the case. Graham Maxwell writes in the Adventist Review:
Nowhere, absolutely nowhere, does the Bible say that our loving heavenly Father needs to be pleaded with to be reconciled to His children. On the contrary, ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself’ (2 Corinthians 5:19). (September 18, 1996, pg 16)
God already loves us. God already wants to live for eternity with us. It is we who need reconciling.
Respond: Pray for a revelation of God’s unconditional love for you.
Research: What are other examples in the Bible of God relentlessly pursuing people?