Light of the World: Day Three
A Ray of Hope
Read Genesis 3:14-24
As we saw yesterday, Adam and Eve’s disobedience brought darkness into the world. Everything that God had created was very good, yet sin entered the scene and immediately tarnished the perfection mankind and the world had previously known.
God reacted to the man and the woman’s sin by issuing 3 divine disciplines: first, he cursed the serpent (Genesis 3:14-15), next, he told the woman she would have pain with childbearing (Genesis 3:16), then, he cursed the earth (Genesis 3:17-19), which brought about physical death.
While this may seem harsh, it is important to pause here to consider who God is. As we saw yesterday, God is the Creator; and since he is the Creator, he is able to make the rules and standards for which his creation is to live by.
The next important aspect of God's character to remember is that he is holy. When the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of heaven’s throne room, it is God’s holiness that he heard the angels proclaim three-times over:
I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
We see this same repetition repeated in John’s vision from the book of Revelation:
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
God’s holiness (his perfection) is what prohibits him from being near or in relationship with that which is not also perfect. It is mankind’s sinful nature which stains us and makes us unable to be in relationship with him.
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Equally as important as his holiness is God’s justice. It is because of his justice that he must punish (discipline) sin (disobedience).
God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
Throughout Scripture, God is often referred to as a righteous judge. Think for a moment about your own desire for justice. For even the smallest of infractions done against us, we demand justice. We want people to pay for what they’ve done against us or those we love, and it angers us when we see someone get away without the punishment they deserve. Mankind wants judges who administer justice correctly.
God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, David declared that God is a righteous judge. He feels hot anger against sin every single day. Thus, it was perfectly appropriate for this righteous judge to administer the just condemnation that was due because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. While many want to shy away from thinking deeply on God’s justice, we must actually be people that praise and thank him for being a righteous judge. When we stop to remember God is the Creator, he is holy, and he is just first, it amplifies his next characteristic and makes it all the more remarkable.
God is love. And because God is love, he didn’t hand out judgment and leave his creation in a hopeless and helpless state. Even in the midst of this tragic event, we see a ray of hope. He already had a plan to fix mankind's sin problem. Right in the midst of his curse to the serpent, God said:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
This passage is known as the protoevangelium. Protoevangelium is a compound Greek word that is made up of proto, meaning “first,” and evangelium, meaning “good news” or “gospel.” In other words, this is the first time we see the gospel in Scripture. One was coming, the offspring of a woman, who would crush the head of the serpent. One who would reverse the consequences of sin and offer a way for mankind to live at peace with God.
In the midst of that dark day, on the horizon, there was a ray of hope.
Action point: Why does first considering God's holiness and justice deepen our appreciation for his love? Take some time today to thank him for these attributes.