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Separated

DSCF0004_SnapseedIt’s been called a spiritual law: man is sinful and separated from God. The resulting word picture is a deep, uncrossable chasm between a holy Creator and the sinner.

What seems worth thinking about together, though, is how this separation looks in the unfolding story of the Bible.

Let’s back up and think about what happened after that telling moment when our first parents did the one thing  they were warned not to do. What did God do at that point? Did he act as if he were suddenly on the other side of a great gorge of separation?

We need to go slowly here. There’s no question that something tragic and immediate happened. Our first parents would never be the same again, and the legacy of their loss would be read in the story of every child born to them and their descendants.

But does the image of a chasm separating us from God do justice to the resulting relational interaction between God and our first parents?

And what I’m also wondering is how we would compare the response of the God of Genesis— to the actions of One who would later be rudely characterized as “the friend of sinners”?


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68 Responses to “Separated”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    The story of the Bible; the moral of the Bible; the summation of the Bible; learning about our Creator; learning about our Savior.

    I sometimes wonder what is more important, learning about all we can of the above, or just being able to believe and so live a simple quiet life of offending no one and friend to everyone, not trying to figure out God or life.

    In reading the Bible in the OT it seems that God is *only* interacting with the people mentioned there. This being a written record of the creation of man and then more specifically the Israelite people and their struggles with God.

    The OT seems then to use the Israelite story as a means of speaking to the whole of the world, though through them about us all.

    With the NT Jesus spoke to crowds of people not *only* one on one, but to whole groups of people. This of itself is a departure from the OT. The only recorded time of God speaking to more than one person at a time being when He spoke to the people Israel as a group and they were so frightened that they ask that He only speak to them through Moses.

    When I think of the miserable unhappiness and suffering of so many in the world it seems to me that the punishment given Adam and Eve doesn’t fit the crime.

    As written they committed *one* seemingly small infraction of God’s rules. Yet look at the horror their descendants have had to endure as a result. Life outside of Paradise.

    When I look at the story in the Garden, I wonder why did God put this *tree* there in the first place. When I consider that this same God was willing to take on the eternal punishment for Adam’s sin in place of Adam, I wonder why He didn’t prevent Adam’s fall in the first place.

    Oh I know we make up convenient answers to such question for our own peace of mind, but such answers don’t alleviate the suffering and unhappiness of millions around the world and in our own homes.

    In the OT it appears that God observed all that went on with mankind, but only communicated with one person at a time. The NT Jesus spoke to crowds as well as one on one, but when He sent the Holy Spirit we all then are able to have a conversation with God, all of us.

    It seems to me that though very long and drawn out, God never separated Himself from us, His creation, only allowed for *us* to, or think we were.

    Steve

  • remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    As I consider the sameness and the contrast between the God of the OT and the God of the NT – I am enjoying the black and white photo of the Grand Canyon (I believe it is the Grand Canyon). The canyon in the picture is a big, beautiful ditch – not a broad, ugly ditch.

    The vast separation between humankind and God since the fall from grace has been called big and ugly from time to time.

    Is it possible to say that Jesus is the bridge across the vast separation between God and God’s creation, especially human beings? I ask because he willingly laid down his earthly life as a proof that God the Holy Spirit could raise him to New Life – and all who believe in him forever after, annulling the “contract with death” signed at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    Isn’t God’s ultimate intention to keep his covenant of Life mentioned in the OT? I am thinking of Isaiah 50:1. It seems to me Isaiah 50:4, 5, 6 sounds like the Servant who will come to Israel in due time. There is separation, but there is also magnificent reconnection in the New Testament God, Jesus.

    Blessings,
    Maru