ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« Three Men | Main | Turbulence »

The Redemptive Relationship 

As we have seen, radical change upended the relationship between God and man following our first parents’ exile from the Garden of Eden.  The catalyst was the invasion of sin into paradise, a factor that a holy God could not ignore.  It was a deal-breaker.  Pushed to the precipice, the relationship could only be saved by an act even more dramatic than the sin that ruined it.  But, this exigency could not find completion until all components were in place.  While it evolved, the divine and human relationship traveled through a number of significant stages.  These vital aspects of a relationship with God were listed earlier as 1) Unconditional Love, 2) Open Communication, 3) Total Transparency, 4) Divine Authority, 5) Adoring Worship, 6) Submission (or Obedience), 7) Responsiveness, and 8) Commitment.  We may learn much about our own carnal selves as we watch this ancient relationship surge, wane, stabilize and stagger, and finally move into a totally new dimension and new covenant at Sinai.  The analysis of this era reinforces a bedrock principle: a relationship with God cannot exist without laws and guidelines.

The Relationship before Moses and the Law

Unrestrained passion and social disorder erupted during the era between Adam and Eve’s exile from the Garden of Eden and the institution of the Law of Moses.  Violence became a way of life to get revenge, gain superiority or settle disputes.  The Bible relates two instances of violence—Cain, who murdered his brother, Abel, and Lamech, a later descendant, who killed a young man whose name is unknown.  It was a microcosm of the conflict and deadly struggles that pervaded society because corruption began spreading like a cancer.  But the times were also dotted with new discoveries and inventions.  Cultural sophistication began to advance in farming, music and entertainment, and metallurgy.  A man named Jabal developed animal husbandry, Jubal, his brother, invented the harp and flute and another brother, Tubal-Cain, became the father of craftsman in bronze and iron.  Man began to organize into tribes as he established communities and built cities, but sin, violence and rebellion against God, soon caused mankind to spiral downward to widespread corruption.  “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5.

This universal wickedness ended in the cataclysm we now call the Great Flood.  Only Noah and his family escaped in the ark, along with all the basic animal species necessary to restart the human race and replenish the earth with livestock and game.  In Genesis, chapters six through ten, we are given a detailed play-by-play of the flood, an account of the family of Noah multiplying and rebuilding the social structure, and then a meticulous history of how the nations developed.  Because of inherent sin, however, the descendants of Noah returned to their depravity.  In its early stages, sin corrupted man in a personal, individual way. 

The tower of Babel, however, illustrated the propensity of man’s moral contagion to become organized and increase its power.  Beginning as a small virus, it grew into a frothing laboratory of wickedness.  “And they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” Genesis 11:4. The disobedience of our first parents matured into full-blown, systemic rebellion.  Some scholars think that the tower was man’s attempt to escape another flood.  Others believe man was trying to exalt himself into the heavens so he could challenge God Himself.  Whatever the reason, God decreed that it could not stand.  “So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.  Therefore, its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:8-9.

As we survey this era in the specific terms of relationship, we see a depressing picture of the human race.  How could God enter into a relationship with such hard core sinners?  Man became obsessed with gaining power over others, whether by violence or cunning, and had little time for God.  Not only was there a dearth of spirituality, there seemed to be a deliberate abandonment of anything that referenced God.  But, it is out of these abysmal circumstances that we can discern something about relationship.  Remember that the essential problem that developed in the Garden of Eden was disobedience.  Disobedience both impacts and reveals character.  People disobey their authority when they believe they are equal to or superior to that authority.  They also disobey when they take the consequences of their disobedience lightly.  A relationship with God dies if we think of ourselves as equal to—or better than—God Himself.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>