Bible Passages: Genesis 3-4, Psalm 2, Proverbs 14, and Matthew 2
Genesis 3-4 highlights the total destructiveness of sin. Adam and Eve yielded to the temptation by Satan, and they forsook the command of God instead of trusting God and finding their delight in him. They sought the delight of their own hearts lead by their stomachs. We see the diabolical battle between our wills and God’s commands. Because of our disobedience we are under the judgment of God and apart from him offering us his grace we are destined to eternally be under the judgment of God. Thankfully, the story does not end in Genesis 3-4. We do not have to languish under the judgment of God; because, he has provided a means of salvation through the sacrifice of his son. The first Adam and his fall pushes us to consider the second Adam and his triumph. The second Adam is Jesus Christ the Son of God.
The story of Cain and Abel illustrates the rapid destructive nature of sin. Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit, yet Cain committed the first murder of his brother Abel. How quickly sin captures and destroys. Adam and Eve’s family would never be the same. No matter how bad it gets, God is still at work accomplishing his plan of redemption. Sin will not thwart God’s plan.
Run to God and flee sin. You run to God by knowing his Word and obeying it. Obedience reveals your relationship to God. If you obey God’s Word, then you have a relationship. If you do not obey God’s Word, then you do not have a relationship with him.
The last line of the Psalm is vital. “It states, “blessed are all who take refuge in him.” The point is that no geopolitical power or kingdom can provide one with security. Only the Lord and his appointed king seated on Mt. Zion can provide anyone with real security. The psalmist’s point is that no matter how strong a geopolitical entity believes themselves to be they cannot compare to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God is in control and countries or rather governments would do well to recognize this.
Place your faith in God and not your government. Governments cannot save one’s soul, but God can.
Proverbs 14:2 declares once again that whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, and he who is devious in his ways despises the Lord. Our actions reveal the disposition and focus of our heart. If we go through life without regard for God and his will, then we show the fact that we despise the creator of the universe. However, if we go through the motions and make it appear like we love the Lord but in all reality we are still living according to our own will, then we still show that we despise the creator of the universe. What a horrific message we can send when in fact we believe we are ok.
Proverbs 14:12 also reiterates this point. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Basically, a man or woman can thing he/she is doing right, but if it is based on his/her own understanding and not the Word of the Lord, then he/she will still experience spiritual death. There is no hope for eternity. Yet, the reverse rings true. If a man/woman bases their life on obedience of the Word of God, then he/she can be confident in their future with God.
We must live in such a way as to fear the Lord. If we live in the fear of the Lord, then we will live under his blessing and we will have a hope for the future. To live under the fear of the Lord is to live realizing that God is the ultimate being and his Word leads to life. Disobedience to him brings about death. Therefore, one lives with a healthy submission to God.
Matthew 2 points us to consider three things. First, the wise men from outside the Promised Land who were outside the covenant with God were more prepared for the entrance of the Messiah than the people of God. Israel should have seen the star, recognized the significance, and proclaimed the Lord’s deliverance from the highest mountains. Instead, we have the wise men who understand the signs and were seeking to worship the Lord. What an indictment against Israel, but also what a great sign that God’s promises are for the whole world.
Second, we see that God is still acting to protect his covenant. He sent the wise men another way home and sent Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to Egypt. God is actively working to bring about his covenant.
Third, in lieu of the recent Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, we see that our enemy often sets his sights on innocent and defenseless children. King Herod was one in a long list which also includes Adam Lanza (the suspected killer at Sandy Hook). Russell Moore makes the great point that Satan’s attacks on the seed of the woman will not and cannot render the promises of God void. The seed of the woman will still crush the head of the serpent. Satan’s efforts to thwart God’s plan will not be successful. Mathew 2 shows us that God’s plan will not be thwarted. Satan can try but God will prevail. Satan may kill some of our children, but God’s promises for them still stand. I encourage you to read Russell Moore’s blog post interpreting the Sandy Hook tragedy.
We must be prepared to accept the Messiah. We should seek to be like the wise men instead o the Israelites. We can also trust that God is still at work fulfilling his promises. God is working on our behalf if we have a relationship with him. We can also see that Satan is still our adversary, but God will work on our behalf to fulfill his promises.