Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)
TITLE: God in a Box
By Janice Kelley
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God in a Box
“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.“1 The great God of the Universe, Creator of all things, the one and only living God, was satisfied and pleased with His work. He rested from his labors on the seventh day.
In the beautiful and perfect Garden of Eden lived God’s highest creation, man and woman, Adam’s body made from the dust of the earth and Eve’s from Adam’s rib. But they were more than bodies that could walk and talk ….God had given them eternal spirits, fashioned in His own image, to live within those bodies. And He gave them a breath-takingly glorious dwelling place complete with every need and comfort they could want. Theirs was a peaceful, joyous existence as they became acquainted with each other, with the animals and birds who shared the garden with them and with the trees and plants that provided food to sustain their physical beings and beauty in blossoms and foliage to please their sight. More importantly they lived in perfect harmony with their Creator.
God had placed in the middle of the Garden of Eden two trees: one was the tree of life and the second was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God gave to Adam and Eve just ONE simple command to obey: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.”2
Enter Satan. He came in the form of a slippery, slimy, slithering serpent. Satan was clever and cunning and a big, fat liar! Can you hear his soft, appealing, questioning voice? “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”3 From that point on Eve attempted to put God in a “box,” to make God into the person she wanted Him to be. Crafty Satan led Eve on by quoting God, adding just one, little word: “You will not surely die.”4
Eve took her eyes off of God and His divine will and set them instead on the pretty fruit, the luscious taste she was sure to enjoy, the knowledge she would gain making her as smart as God. She reached for the forbidden fruit and at that moment she could have still drawn back her hand and remained in perfect harmony with God. Eve thought she could put God in a box, a box of her own making. She believed the lie of Satan that she would not die. She forgot just Who she was trying to corral.
Since that fateful moment so many years ago mankind has continued to disregard the expectations of God, and to expect God to conform to our desires. Consider the people of Noah’s day whose every thought was evil, and Joseph’s brothers motivated out of hate and jealousy. What of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel who flaunted their self-centered, mean and murderous actions in the face of God, or Ananias and Sapphira who thought to gain glory by telling a lie? The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were religious leaders who of all people should have recognized the Messiah. Instead, they thought they could shove God in a box while they pursued their own evil, jealous desires.
And what of us in 2013? We, only too often, like to give God a big push into the box, slam the lid shut, plump down on the box with a Cheshire cat grin etched across our faces as if to say, “I’ll do it my way.” Satan is still clever and cunning and a big, fat liar! Eve ate the fruit and thought she hadn’t died….just like the serpent told her. But the real truth was she did die, just as God said, spiritually. She no longer could walk in peaceful harmony with her Creator.
Before we look for a box to put God in we should consider two things: 1) there is ALWAYS a price to pay for disobedience to God; and 2) there is ALWAYS a peace-filled eternity for those who are devoted and obedient to Him. The choice is ours.
All Scripture is NIV 1978
1) Genesis 1:31
2) Genesis 2:15-17
3) Genesis 3:1b
4) Genesis 3:4
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