It’s a new year, and I’m starting to read through a new Bible. (This one is the “God’s Word” translation. I enjoy reading different versions because it lends freshness. It will be given to one of my grandchildren later with all my notes and markings.)
Each time I re-read this precious Book, I ask the Author to teach me something I hadn’t seen before, or that I had forgotten. And He does! Here’s what I saw this morning in the first chapters of Genesis:
Did you realize that of the very first three people who lived on the earth, each of them were given special instructions by God about something they should not do, each chose to do it anyway, each was visited by God for reprimand and punishment (banishment)—but was not killed.
I think this chart helps me see it better:
What an amazing God we have—full of love, wisdom, justice and mercy!
What sense of justice did God weave into the earth itself when He made it? I find four times in the Bible when an inanimate thing “cries out” in protest:
In Genesis 4:10, Abel’s blood cries out to God from the ground where Cain has spilled it.
In Genesis 18:20, God had heard an outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah about their grievous sin.
In Habakkuk 2:11, the stones and rafters of the Babylonians’ homes would cry out because of their excessive cruelty against the nations that they destroyed.
In all of these, there is a moral outrage that demands—and receives—divine retribution on oppressors.
Luke 19:40 is different. If the cheering children are prohibited from praising Jesus, the stones would have to cry out and do it.
The expression of God’s glory is as much of a moral mandate as is the justice due to oppressed people. Elsewhere we read of the heavens declaring God’s glory and the trees of the field applauding. But His ultimate praise is from the mouths of humans He’s created. Is that why at times I just have to burst out in song?