“Here we are, in a desperate state of isolated independence from God, a loss of the relationship and perfect community designed by God. Now, we are living in the age of the fall, the era of mistrust, aloneness, pride, independence, fear, rejection, the pursuit to make a name for oneself, and the list goes on…to somehow deaden the blow of what is felt internally – bankruptcy of enormous proportions, a bankruptcy of the soul. Adam and Eve felt it immediately. Something had changed. They’d been ripped off. And they KNEW it. The eyes of their heart had been opened, and they understood that they had been deceived. They understood that the former intimacy had been robbed from them. Or so they thought. They understood that this knowledge was backfiring somehow. They thought they would be like God, but what had happened is that they had cut themselves off from the former enjoyment with God. But I doubt they fully understood why.
We are blessed that we have the story from beginning to end written out for us in the bible, but even in that, our eyes can remain blinded by deception for a lifetime, that we cannot see, nor understand this grand narrative that I am attempting to describe. (2 Cor. 14-18). Even as Christians it can take us years to finally figure out just how ‘deep the rabbit hole goes’ so to speak, in understanding the human condition, our spiritual bankruptcy, our fallen condition.

We touched on the wrath of God in the last chapter, arising out of a jealous love to protect the ones he loves, and are about to explore a little of God’s frustration, hurt, sense of betrayal and even anger, as he pours out his heart to the ones who have fallen away from him, all the while in a desperate pursuit to win back the heart of the one he loves, as he frequently refers to as his bride, in both the old and the new testament.

You see, our fallen human condition was not merely Adam and Eve alone in this fallen state, but every son and daughter since, has inherited this dreadful condition. As with all things, as a result of the fall, the condition atrophies, it worsens over time. It may have been a simple act of disobedience in the garden of Eden that day, but very soon after, we learn of a murder arising out of the condition of jealousy, among the children of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. And the more you progress in reading the old testament, the greater the atrocities of our sinful human condition emerge. You see King David taking another man’s wife as his own, and having her husband murdered, you see him refuse to do anything for his daughter who was raped, arising an outpouring of wrath among one of his sons adamant for justice, taking justice in his own hands and murdering the one who raped his sister. You see human sacrifices as the people God loved turned away from God and sought other gods and became obedient to the practices of child sacrifices to appease the gods they chose to serve, something that was abominable to the one true God. On and on it goes, the depravity of the human condition, unleashed as man takes matters into his own hands. In our day we see it too, the corruption in our governments, the pursuit of power at the expense of others, the lack of peace in Israel. War and terrorism becoming a real part of our world, and holocausts, killing off whole races of people because one race sees themselves as more superior than another. White supremacy, bringing other races into slavery and abuses of extreme conditions. Human trafficking – the lack of respect for the dignity of human life. Nuclear threats, you name it, not to mention the murders that take place in our own time, due to jealous rage, or racism, or whatever the root cause may be… it all comes back to our sinful, inward condition of waywardness from the intentions God desired for us. It is the result of our falling away from a real and living God who loves us. In our independence, we thought our own human effort was good enough to resolve the condition of the world, ignorant and unaware that coming from a place of fallenness, could not possibly result in a perfect solution.

And so we come to see the grief of God, and his anger at the atrocities he sees in the world.
We first see this great grief expressed in Genesis 6:5: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” In his anger, he said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land… for I am very sorry that I have made them.” This is the cry of a broken heart. For those of you who know the rest of the story, God found a man who was righteous before God, Noah, whom God chose to be the man whom he would rebuild the human race with, after he chose to flood the earth in an attempt to rid the earth of the violence of mankind. When all was said and done, God was again grieved and his anger subsided and he vowed he would never again destroy the whole earth by giving us the sign of the rainbow. But then again… some time later, wickedness arose so desperately in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, that the outcry of their evil deeds arose to God’s attention. He decided to wipe out the whole city. But Abraham interceded to God to spare the city, as he bartered with God from 50 men who were found to be righteous, down to 10. In the end, not 10 were even found righteous, and God allowed the city to burn up in smoke, after allowing the few people in the city who still feared God to flee for their safety.

It is difficult for us to look at these stories and see that God is a loving God that cares for us. When we see his wrath and his anger, we once again, from our fallen condition, reject him still further and wander farther off from him, not seeing his side of the story, his broken heart. His grief at our waywardness. His desire for a community of unity, rather than one that breeds hatred, isolation, and cruelty.

Let us take a closer look at how he feels toward us, this jilted lover, who is broken up over our wandering away from the love and fellowship he desired to share with us.
Listen to his heart:
“I long to be gracious to you. You are precious and honored in my sight, because I love you.”
“From everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him” Psalm 103:17
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you. Therefore he will rise to show you compassion. For the lord is a god of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18
“Love each other, as I have loved you.” John 15:12
“For God so loved the world…” John 3:16a
“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5
“The Lord God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and truth, who keeps his lovingkindness for thousands, and forgives iniquity, transgression and sin. Yet he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished…”
“I have loved you, says the Lord, but you say, “how hast thou loved us?” Malachi 1:2a

Here we see a developing theme of his great unshakeable love for us. But we also see He is equally a God of justice. We complain ever so readily when we feel that God has been unjust, and yet, every time he displays his acts of justice, we assume that he is cruel and lacks mercy. Exactly like this last quote we just read out of Malachi, where the Lord is speaking to us telling us that he has loved us, but complains that we say back to him, ‘how have you loved us?’ because we cannot believe. We are all locked in this state of blindness and hostility toward God, that we cannot turn to him even if we will it, by our own might. “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God, and it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh, cannot please God.” Romans 8:7,8.

God intends to show us mercy. God has envisioned a plan for our redemption. But before we see this plan unfold, we must take a painful look at God’s side of the story. The anguish and grief, the sorrow and anger that burns within him at our wayward condition, and his desperation to renew a right standing between God and mankind once again.”

The above is an excerpt from the book I’m writing, called Found Wanting. I think I will leave it there for now.

Next Monday, I will try and attempt to unpack how desperately God loves and longs and yearns for relationship with us.

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