Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Shot at Redemption

My mom has always said that if she would have had my brother first, she probably wouldn't have tried again.  If you have ever spent a brief period of time with a boy between the age of 12 months and 3 years, you probably know what she's talking about.  Boys are crazy (and some girls...but let's make this simple for now...)!  They are constantly getting into things and climbing onto things that you have told them one hundred and fifty times to stay out/off of.  But no matter how many times he climbs on top of the dining room table or how many times he takes everything out of the kitchen cupboards (faster than you can say "stop"), you still love that little boy.  You will give him chance after chance to get it right the next time because even though you know he knows he isn't supposed to do those things, he is still learning.

Genesis 8:21 - The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

We see in this verse that the intent (purpose, framework - Strong's) of man's heart is evil from his youth.  In other words, our hearts are naturally wicked (Easton's).  God notes this after the flood.  What we should expect to hear from Him after this conclusion is "Therefore that guilty race shall be extinguished" (Henry).  But instead, He promises never to destroy every living thing again as He had just done.  He sees our plight, He sees that we have to fight our natural inclinations in order to be good and He takes pity on us.

So thus far, just eight short chapters into the Word of God, we are learning the hard truth: our hearts are naturally wicked.  But just think about that for a second - God wants us to see first and foremost that our hearts our wicked, because if we never understand that, we can never truly understand His redemption.  He promises never to destroy all living things as He had done so that we have a chance to choose goodness instead of wickedness.  Like a one-year-old boy, we have chance after chance because even though we know we are doing wrong, we are still learning.  God is giving us a chance (or 500) to overcome our natural inclination of wickedness - He continually gives us a shot at redemption.

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