Friends: The next two days we continue with my good friend and pastor, David Niednagel. He uses the S.O.A.P method in his morning devotional time. Study, Observe, Apply, Pray. If you are looking for a help-method for your daily study time that will help you maximize your fellowship and growth in your relationship with God….try the S.O.A.P method. 😊 Blessings, dh
Genesis 3:17-19 A world of pain and suffering
17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” ESV
God first pronounced a curse on the serpent, then the woman. Here He cursed the earth and the man. Adam had listened to the voice of his wife. That is a good thing, but not when her words call him to disobey God. In Rom 8:20 Paul says the curse on the earth is still in effect until the return of the Lord, – there are now thorns and thistles, and it will take hard work and sweat to make a living. For thousands of years billions of people have struggled and suffered diseases, broken relationships, earthquakes, murder, injustice and sorrow – all because Adam and Eve ignored God’s clear commands. They rejected His authority over them and ate fruit from the only tree that God said they could not. They had thousands of other trees, but for the “freedom” to make their own choice, they took away the freedom of every human since then. Was it worth it? Even to them?
One of the main questions people raise against the idea of God, is if God is supposed to be good, how do we account for all the pain and suffering in the world. How could/would a good God allow all this suffering? This section gives a clear answer to that. God does not just allow it, he warned Adam that if he ate from the fruit of that one tree – if he rejected God – he would unleash evil on the earth. God warned Adam, but he did not take God seriously. The world is full of pain and evil because of their sin. He made them with the capacity to make real choices – choices that have real significance and consequences – choices that even lead to death. God did not make us “bullet proof”. We can (and do) experience physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual pain. Because of sin death entered the world. And because all sin, all will die and then face the judgment of the Creator.
Lord, our world is so broken, and so full of hurting people. We know that will continue till You return. But thank You for the “offspring of the woman” who died to provide our forgiveness, and lives to allow us to come back into relationship with You. Thank You that we can now be agents of reconciliation for individuals, and for our world. Help me always take You seriously and never think I am smarter than You. Help me trust You and obey You with a glad heart, and use me to help others come back to You too. Amen