Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Stage is Set

א בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ- In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Every story has a beginning and the most important one of all begins with the most important character of all, God, the Alpha and the Omega, Beginning and End. It seems rudimentary to reflect on the fact that God created, but this always leads me to ask why He created. God knew man would sin against Him, destroying His perfect world, and continue to do so. He knew that He would have to go and personally save mankind at the cost of His own life, yet He still did. Why?God did this for the same reason He does anything, for His own glory. He created a world of people who were totally dependent on Him in a perfect paradise where they could praise Him and bring Him glory. When they fell, He continued on with His perfect plan working it out in every instance to bring Himself the glory He is due. Ultimately all of history points to the redemption of man by God. God created for His own purpose, self - fulfilling glorification.

We all know the story about creation, maybe have even heard a song that goes something like, "Day one - day and night, Day two - heaven and earth, Day three - sea and land, Day four - sun, moon and stars, Day five - creatures of the sky and of the sea, Day six - creatures of dry land and then came man, then God saw that it was good, all of His creation, so He took the seventh day and on that day he rested." God created everything perfect beautiful uncorrupted. Milton put it perfectly in Paradise Lost,
"His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;
Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow
All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit" (4.215 - 219)

When God created man, he commanded them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." God created man in His own image giving Him His own moral standards, so that we would be capable of ruling over His creation.

I think it is beautiful that we are given a glimpse of perfection and sad that in our rebellion we chose to give that up for temporal selfish gain. But then history would not unfold, the ultimate sacrifice would not have been necessary, and we would not see the beauty of the cross.

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