The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Hard Truth"
"And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field, in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19).
No more loving statement of the Lord exists in the pages of Scripture than this pronouncement of judgment on Adam after he sinned. Consider. Had God promised Adam joy, a sweatless brow, and everlasting existence as the slave of sin, hatred rather than love would have characterized the response to His creature's unbelief and disobedience. This would have constituted death rather than life, and an eternal existence in the misery of sin's cruel bondage.
"He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will one day perfectly know how perfectly loving our Heavenly Father fulfilled His purposes in our lives. By the world's definition of love, however, we may presently be tempted to wonder why God acts as He does in His determinations and allowances. His love does not always feel like love, unless we remember that the rod of chastening no less reveals His devotion to us than tendermercies. In our present existence, we require both blessing and buffeting from the hand of God. "Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I have kept Thy Word" (Psalm 119:67).
Had the consequences of Eden, executed by God's rod, been without sorrow, pain, and loss, no hope would have existed for Adam's fallen race. If the Lord had been sentimental rather than uncompromising, He would have hated rather than loved humanity. The hard truth is that we require sorrow, sweat, and even the portents of death to prepare our hearts for being open to God and His saving truth. This applies to both believer and unbeliever. Apart from the rod, lost souls would remain eternally lost, and without hope for redemption. Without the rod, redeemed souls would have no hope for our being conformed to the spiritual and moral image of the Lord Jesus. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
God takes no pleasure in the administration and allowance of human suffering. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezekiel 33:11). He will not be deterred, however, from doing that which is best for humanity, rather than what is pleasant. This particularly applies to His trusting sons and daughters in Christ. Our Father loves us enough to hurt us, or to allow others to do so, if pain and sorrow will further His redemptive purpose in our lives. Any other way of His providential heart and hand would be hatred rather than love. Thus, the pronouncement of consequence in Eden no less proclaims the love of God than John 3:16. This we must know, first because it is true, and then because apart from the realization, we will never understand our Father's ways as He works in the world, and in our lives.
"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth."
Weekly Memory Verse
Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
(I Corinthians 1:30)