By Design – Anger Yet Compassion

Posted: February 9, 2011 in By Design

“There is an ongoing battle between conscience and self-interest in which, at some point,we have to take sides.”  Robert Brault

My role in tilling and tending the earth becomes much more difficult outside of the safe confines of Eden. God says to me, Cursed shall be the ground because of you, by toil you shall eat of it (Gen. 3:18). my primary task transforms from the easy work of caring for a garden to the difficult and hardships of farming a field, which now i must do to survive. But there is more at stake than survival. Tilling the relationship with the woman just became more difficult as well. That means that relationships in general will be more difficult.

At the same time that God’s temper flares, He shows his compassion towards myself and the woman as His creations. All of this seems somewhat contradictory. Created outside the garden, placed in the garden, and then given dominion over the whole earth and not just the garden, makes me ask why not just leave me outside the garden. Then God gives me free choice knowing ful well i will misuse it and it actually ends up being my downfall… well not really. Saying that God giving me free choice is my downfall is not the truth. It was my mismanagement of the free choice. But all this seems like i was destined to fall and knowing what i know now, that  He already had the plan of redemption in mind and place only adds to my wonder.

The compassionate side of God has already given both of us opportunities for working in the garden that surely prove valuable when we must farm for our own food in the wilderness.  Having learned to till and take care of the garden, we are consequently capable of doing so elsewhere even if the conditions are significantly rougher. God also gives us a chance to become accustomed to one another, so that when we are more interdependent on each other for survival, it will not come as so great a shock. Furthermore, in addition to not immediately carrying out the punishment of death He previously promised, God allows both of us to keep the knowledge of good and bad that we receive from our disobedience. This also makes me wonder… was my disobedience the introduction of physical death for all mankind orrrrrr, was it the introduction of spiritual death to mankind orrrrr, both? God was obviously not a new comer to disobedience as He dealt with it in the angels. So disobedience did already exist in that sense.

Being the good parent that God is He now provides us with clothing, as we are now conscious of our nakedness, for it says, And the LORD God made garments of skins for Adam and his wife, and clothed them (Gen. 3:21). God simultaneously shows his fury at being disobeyed and the consequences of disobedience as well as his capability for compassion and providing His creations with the tools necessary for survival and success. To me this seems like putting my son or daughter in a time out and giving them a cookie to occupy their time while there. So i am grateful for all the side of God’s emotions. The punishments given out by God to myself, woman and the serpent, are in effect simply statements of our normal biological realities.  To each of these tasks there is a positive aspect, the most important of which is that without procreation, we (later generations) would simply not exist. Adam and Eve still have their purposes to fulfill as caretakers of the world. i still have my purpose to fulfill as a caretaker of the world. Now that i am outside of Eden i am to fully comply with God’s commandment to [be] fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it (Gen. 1:28). God says, now ed has become like one of Us, knowing good and bad (Gen. 3: 22).  While it is for this reason that God expels man from the garden of Eden, at the same time the milestone marks the fulfillment of God’s first declaration regarding man, that he be in our image, after our likeness (Gen. 1:26), and  that i have dominion and tasks that must be done outside of the garden. Seems to be a two-edged sword at this point.

If creation had been left to me… i have no doubt that i would have done a few things different. But, as i look at Onething Prayer Center it seems to follow the pattern that God used more than my design.

“Persons with weight of character carry, like planets, their atmospheres along with them in their orbits.” Thomas Hardy
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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