My teenagers and I are currently working through a study/overview of the Bible produced by Ligonier Ministries (check out Dust to Glory here). First we looked at Creation, in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Then, in Genesis 3, the Fall. Here, only three chapters into the Bible, we have our first parents willfully disobeying the God who created and loved them. Before they've even wiped the juice from their chins, Adam and Eve make several new acquaintances: guilt, shame, nakedness, fear, deceit. Terrified of the God in whom they had once delighted, our parents run for the bushes. God comes looking for them in the cool of the evening, just as He had before, seeking their fellowship. But rather than running toward the God they were created to glorify, Adam and Eve run even deeper into the trees.
This is what every human on the planet - save one - has been doing every since. Running from God. Whether vaguely aware of our inadequacy or painfully and undeniably certain of our guilt and shame, we run. Run away, and keep on running.
But here is an amazing twist to the story. In my honking big copy of the Bible, the Fall occurs on page 12. We fallen humans start running. Then, for the next 1862 pages, God pursues. God pursues His people, His beloved, beginning right there in Genesis chapter 3, and continuing on through the last verse of Revelation. God pursues His fallen children, redeems us, addresses our shame and guilt, restores us to fellowship, sanctifies us, causes us once again to truly delight in Him rather than to fear and flee from Him. And He does this, NOT because we are seeking Him...because we aren't. He does this, because He loves us. And, being our sovereign, wise, all-powerful Creator, God finds us in our hiding places and brings us back into the light. He doesn't lose a single one of His children.
A friend and I were reading together in the book of Jude Tuesday evening. This tiny, next-to-the-last book of the Bible ends with this doxology: Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Pursued, caught, held captive by the love and beauty of my Redeemer...and one day, as it was in the very beginning, standing in the presence of the glory of God, with great joy.
3 days ago