The Existence of Death


The title seems like an oxymoron.  But everything on earth has a beginning and an end.  

That statement alone is something to ponder for three weeks.  But let’s take a look at this:

Something strikes me that’s worth thinking about. I don’t exactly know how to prove it by the Bible. But I think there’s enough general knowledge to give this some support.  

From the very beginning God created animals on this planet that had to consume other life in order to survive. I don’t believe that kind of activity could be found in heaven. But then I just don’t know.  

Evidently death was already on this planet before Adam was created. At least a certain kind of death was already here. A plant would grow, produce fruit, and have it be consumed by some other creature. At the very least existence, then nonexistence, was already here.  

Ponder that a few minutes. I would love to know what you think.  

A certain point is very interesting to me: Eve had some understanding of nonexistence before she ate the forbidden fruit. That’s how satan could make a play on God’s words, and expect Eve to understand.

“Suitable” for Who?


The Garden of Earthly Delights [detail]. Neder...

The Garden of Earthly Delights [detail]. Nederlands: De Tuin der Lusten [detail]. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had thought for many years that the creation of Eve was only that God had compassion on Adam.  I thought God considered loneliness in His man.  And that Eve was simply created to fill that void.  But after reading it again (with the new eyes the Lord Jesus has given me to see with), I see something new; something true and continuous from the truth I have come to realize over the years.

The word “suitable” is what turned my understanding.  I had thought that loneliness and companionship were the target of that creation.  Now I see that the word “suitable” stands out as the key to understanding the meaning of Eve’s creation from Adam.

Suitable for who?  Is the proper question to ask.  Suitable for Adam?  From Adam’s perspective?  Absolutely not.  Wasn’t God with him?  Wasn’t it Jesus who walked in the garden to fellowship with Adam?  How much more peace can a man get than to know the Lord of creation in person?  I have never seen Him.  Yet, by the faith He has given me, I see enough of Him to enter even into death with an enormous peace and contentment.  No.  It was not for Adam’s lack that Eve was created.  Suitable has to do with what is purposed by God Himself.

What was suitable for God was to create a place of testing for a people He would later gather into an eternal kingdom.  This was His purpose all along.  And we know that Jesus was crucified from the foundation of the world.

I have often told people who asked, that the two trees were placed in the Garden to create a people to redeem.  The trees were the engine which would Glorify the Son of God.  And then, at the first bite we can hear the engine start up.  Did Adam know this?  How could he?  All Adam knew was that his kind creator had made someone just like him; someone who he would be so attracted to that he would obey any desire she had.

She was weaker, for she was not built from the ground up.  She was built from a small piece of the man.  She was not first.  She was last.  She was the one who was tempted.  And she succumbed because God had planned, all along, that She would bring Adam into sin.

I read that Adam was told not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  And I perceive that obedience was primary within the man.  Where obedience is full, there is no temptation.  So God created a creature which would reach deep inside the man’s heart and pluck out his obedience to the Lord.

All the Glory goes to Jesus.  And that, for the Glory of the Father in heaven.  For He has created this place to produce a crop of holy people who have passed the same test His Son underwent.  Don’t we read that those who overcome will be given the same glory as that of Jesus, short of ownership of all power, authority, strength, and such.  We are designed by God to endure by the power of the Lord Jesus so that God will gather for Himself a people who will never fail to obey Him, regardless the temptation.

All the more then, we struggle to reach out to the God who made us.  The God who tests our hearts, rebukes us as we wander, softens that hardness of heart which the serpent has, and leads us in His eternal ways.  The proving of the man of God is NOW.  Please don’t believe those who say that we can do as we please now.   They say that God will transform us when we see Him face to face.  Please don’t believe that lie.  Submit now and you will enter into the very place God has in mind for you.

By His Grace.

Dress Yourself, For Your Shame is Exposed.


Mediaeval (early 14th century) stone carving o...

Image via Wikipedia

In our prayers we learn that certain phrases are good to speak.   And often these phrases become understood as we continue to use them.  Though we don’t understand their significance at first, they come clear to us as we make them part of our pattern of prayer.  I’m not speaking of using words or phrases over and over so that our prayer will be heard.  I’m speaking of such things as this:  “Father, dress me that I may serve You and those who witness my life.  For one can not serve naked.”

I’ve often brought that to the Lord with a limited understanding.  I know that He is dressed in Glory and Righteousness.  And I know that those who had been beheaded for the sake of the Gospel, those in the book of Revelation who reside under the throne of God and wait for a moment of God’s wise choosing, were given white robes to wear and told to wait a little longer.  Even these souls were given appropriate clothes to wear.

Then it struck me.  When Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden, the Lord killed animals and prepared clothing for them to wear.  Thus it has been so from the fall of man.  That our nakedness, that is to say our sin must have a covering.  And wasn’t this also so when those two recognized that they were naked?  Do we now see the necessity of the fig leaves which they used to cover themselves?

It is appropriate, even absolutely necessary, that man must be covered to hide his shame.  And what covering should there be that we should wear as we serve the Living God?  Only the righteousness of Jesus will cover us before the eyes of He to whom we must give account. 

He who desires to serve the Lord without the covering of Jesus will only end up serving himself.  He remains naked and his shame is exposed before the Most High God.  And he should not think that he will receive the blessing of God.  Dress yourself with an understanding of your sinful tendencies.  Even the most battle hardened saint will require the covering of God when he goes to prayer.  How should we who struggle to understand the basics be any different?

By His Grace.

Questions vs. Clarity.


Bronnbach Abbey. Choir stalls by Daniel Aschau...

Image via Wikipedia

There are questions which plague man as he reads the Holy Word of God in the Bible.  There are questions such as this:  “God made the two trees in the garden of Eden.  There was the tree of Life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Why?  And how come Adam and Eve didn’t go over to the tree of life and eat from it?  Why was temptation introduced to them to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?”

As I pondered these things, it came to me that I have no right to even ask such questions.  It is enough for me to understand the Gospel of God in Jesus His Son.  If God thought, in His eternal wisdom that such questions should have an answer He would have produced those answers in His Bible.  We often ask things too high for us to understand.  And isn’t it our curiosity that we should ponder these things. And wouldn’t the answers stroke our human pride?  Yet, isn’t it our folly that we should waste time thinking of these things when we should be producing obedience through blind faith?   

Who are we that we should think we deserve to know all things?  If we were to come to understand what HAS been given to us, it would be enough.  We question the things of God as if to bring us up to His level.  And we accuse the Lord when we don’t get or have answers as if to bring Him down to our level.  This should not be.  Consume yourself with the things provided and be pleased to know the Lord.  This is enough.  To worship the Lord by the power of His Spirit is enough for any man.  Leave the questions to those who hate Him.  If He wishes to speak to you regarding the things unknown what will stop His will?  And if He desires to continue to hide such things from man, who are we to complain against Him?

He is God.  And He does as He pleases.  His wisdom reaches from before creation to eternity beyond.  Worship the Lord God of all with reverence and awe.  He is a consuming fire of purity, truth, power, and wisdom.  And all who stand against Him will know the folly of their lives.  Yet all who stand with Him, by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice, will receive the gifts He has promised.  Be wise and allow God to be God.  Be wise and allow yourself to see who you are with eyes of clarity.

The book of Genesis is said to have been written by Moses.  These are the words God decided to render to His people.  Who are we to question what God has done by His wisdom?  This is what God provided to us as He marked out the boundaries of His people’s knowledge.  It was enough for them.  It must be enough for us.  And I will point out something of great importance.  Those who received the rule of God through Moses also died in the desert for lack of understanding and obedience.  If you wish to join them, have at it.  If you desire life then accept the limits the Lord has placed on His people.  Isn’t there enough knowledge to eat from what has been provided?  What has not been provided is a source of contention and speculation among His people.  This should not be.  And who among us can know all the  knowledge He has written down for us?  Be humble before the Lord of Eternity and accept what He has given.  That should be enough to consume all the days of your life.

In our sin we desire to have what is not available for us to eat.  Like a little child who wants what is sweet and will refuse to devour what is placed before him.  Man complains that what is given to him is not what he wants.  Ah the foolishness of the pride of man!  He wants peaches while he is commanded to eat green beans.  Learn to obey what is before you.  Then, perhaps, you will be given something sweet.  Only respect the Lord and give Him praise for what He has wisely considered essential for man.

You ask, “Why has this problem or source of irritation been given to me?  Why has it been allowed to fester into some hideous monster?”  Why would you waste your time considering such things when He has provided enough to you that you might inherit eternal life?  Be content with what you have!  It is enough.

 

By His Grace.