Posts Tagged ‘God’s Will’

Jacob, Esau, and the short comings of biblical parents.

January 12, 2010

Question:

Isaac favored Esau.  Rebekah favored Jacob.  Isaac and Rebekah didn’t love both of their sons equally?  Rebekah told Jacob to put on Esau’s clothes so that he can receive Esau’s blessings from his father.  Why didn’t God stop Jacob?

Answer:

It is fairly obvious that Isaac and Rebekah did not love their sons equally.  This is nothing new though, Noah clearly showed favor to Japheth and Shem over Ham, Abraham showed favor to Isaac over Ishmael, and Jacob infamously showed favor to Joseph over all his other brothers.  Remember that these men and women were not perfect people, they were sinful humans who had wills of their own.

Isaac Blessing Jacob Gioachino Assereto, 1640

Rebekah even stooped so low as to deceive her husband so to advance her own will and see that Jacob would get the blessing from Isaac.  God did not stop Jacob for a couple reasons.  First of all, we are not puppets and God is not a puppet master, God allows us to make decisions that are deceitful and evil, but he also allows us to make decisions that are righteous and ultimately glorifying to him (learn more about God’s will and our will here).  Secondly, God can accomplish his will despite our deception and evil.  Esau may have deserved the blessing by birth right, but he was also an impulsive glutton who had already traded away his birth right to Jacob for some soup (see Genesis 25:29-34).  God had his reasons for allowing this deceit to take place, and ultimately God’s will would be done even in the midst of it.  As you continue to read the story, you see the way that God establishes his people through the line of Jacob.  And as Jacob’s son Joseph says to his brothers at the end of Genesis, “what you meant for evil God meant for good,” this is also the case with Jacob and many others in scripture.

What’s the deal with with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

January 5, 2010

Wouldn't it have been better if God didn't make The Tree of Knowledge and Evil?

The significance of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil has everything to do with God’s glory and the way that God is glorified when we do his will.  Yes, God could have made a creation where it would have been impossible for us to sin and disobey God.  But instead he designed a creation that had the potential to give Him the utmost amount of glory.  Let me explain…

When God made everything, it’s very existence and perfection radiated glory to Him.  But God designed his creation in such a way that he could be even more greatly glorified…  He made humans in His image who could choose Him or not choose Him.   As humans, when we choose to worship God, when we choose to do his will, he is glorified more greatly.  God is not conceited, but He is perfectly self-centered, after all, what else would he be centered on, He’s God!  That is often hard for us to understand because it is so hard for us to grasp the infinite worth of God.  But God gets it, so he designed a creation that he could love and that could choose to love him back, and in doing so he would be most greatly glorified.

Enter the tree… God made the Tree of Good and Evil because he wanted us to be able to choose him.  If he had made us robots without a will, then we would not have been able to choose him, obey him, and worship him.  Think about that for a minute… think how great God’s glory must be if he was willing to make a creation where his creatures could choose to not even believe him.  This may seem like a great design flaw, but if you think about it, this really points to how much God is glorified when we do choose him, when we do worship him.  It was worth it because God wanted us to choose him.  And when we do he get’s what he deserves… supreme glory.

What does it mean that we are “made in the image of God”?

January 1, 2010

There are a few important points to see here…

Firstly, it is clear in Genesis 1 & 2 that human beings are different from the rest of creation.  So while evolution may be a part of God’s creation, it is unlikely that humans evolved from some other animal, because we were set apart and made differently.

Michelangelo portrayed God as looking like a human. While that is not the meaning behind "being made in the image of God" it is a powerful reminder that humans have uniquely close relationship with our creator.

Secondly, this statement from Genesis is not about what we look like or what God looks like.  Rather, the concept of being “made in God’s image” is about our role on earth.  It says in Genesis 1 that God commanded humans to rule over creation, to subdue it.  In other words, just like God is a ruler, he made us stewards and rulers over creation.  No other part of creation has ruler-type status, humans are on top, for better or worse.  So you can forget those movies like “Avatar” or “Day After Tomorrow” where Mother Nature steps in and takes control.  That’s not the way God made it.

Finally, there is a very specific thing that comes along with the whole package of being made in the image of God.  Namely, that we have a will.  We can choose what we want to do, we can go the direction we want to go, just like God.  So when God gave humans the command to care for and rule over creation, we actually have the option to say ‘no’.  No other creature is like that.  God has a will and as creatures who are made in his own image we have our own wills.  God gives us commands to follow, but we can choose to disobey.  Thus sets up the great tension of the Bible.