DayBreaks for 7/29/16 – The Cost of the Fall

DayBreaks for 7/29/16 – The Cost of the Fall

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:

When we stop to contemplate the story of the fall in the early chapters of Genesis, we see humanity being affected by the fall and the creation itself being affected as it is cursed.  And, we naturally think of the cost of the fall on Christ – it was because of the fall that the cross was even necessary.

Perhaps, we minimize (I’m sure we do) the effect of the fall on God Himself.  Philip Yancey had something interesting to say about that in his book, Finding God in Unexpected Places, when he wrote: “Throughout the Old Testament, God seems to alternate between Spectator and Participant…The New Testament, though, shows the God who selflessly shared the dignity of causation by descending to become its Victim.  He who had the right to destroy the world – and had nearly done so once in Noah’s day – chose instead to love the world, at any cost.

“I sometimes wonder how hard it has been for God not to act in history.  How must it feel to see the glories of creation – the rain forests, the whales, the elephants – obliterated one by one?  How must it feel to see the Jews themselves nearly annihilated?  To lose a Son?  What is the cost of God’s self-restraint?

“I had always thought of the Fall in terms of its effect on us humans, namely the penalties outlined in Genesis 3. This time I was struck by its effect on God.  The Bible devotes only two chapters to the glories of original creation. All that follows describes the agonizing course of re-creation.”

Galen’s thoughts: What took God 6 days to create, merely by speaking, has now taken at least thousands of years to “re-create”.  And, as we can tell by looking around us, it’s got a long way to go before the glory of the original creation is again visible. The process of re-creation must be much more difficult (or seemingly so) than making the stuff originally.  At least, God thinks that the process of re-creation is worth the time and effort to make it happen – even if it takes thousands of years.  

But we find parallels in our human relationships, too.  A reputation can be destroyed in an instant by sinful actions or by gossip or slander, and it takes a long, long time for that reputation to be rebuilt and regained, if it ever can be fully restored.  It also appears that it is not God’s fault that re-creation, at least as far as it applies to us personally, takes so long.  We are quite pathetic when it comes to “straightening up” and “flying right” – we love our sin too much to give it up so easily and quickly.

The fall was tremendously costly to us.  It was costly to the original creation.  But it won’t prevent God’s ultimate completion of the re-creation of our souls and the glorious universe He made to begin with.

2 Peter 3:13 (NLT) – But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.

PRAYER:  We confess, Lord, that we tend to think of ourselves far too often and not think nearly enough about what we do and how it affect you. We’re too selfish and small-minded to think outside of ourselves very often.  Thank You that You believe we are worth all the trouble of re-creating us, and that You will re-created a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness (and we) will dwell.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:

 

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DayBreaks for 08/03/12 – The Duffel Bag of Weariness

DayBreaks for 08/03/12 – The Duffel Bag of Weariness

He makes me lie down in green pastures…”  (Ps. 23:2)

Americans have a problem.  (Well, lots of them, if the truth be told.)  The one I’m thinking of is weariness.  Boy – I am acquainted with this one!  Consider these facts:

  1. It affects 70 million Americans and is faulted for 38,000 deaths each year.
  2. It costs the US economy $70 billion in lost productivity each year.
  3. Teens suffer from it.  64% blame their poor school performance on it.
  4. Mid-lifers face it constantly, and researchers say that the most severe cases happen between 30 and 40 years of age (humm…I think that should be extended!!!).
  5. Senior citizens find that over half of them 65 years old or older have this problem.
  6. Americans consume 30 TONS of aspirin, sleeping pills and tranquilizers every DAY trying to cope with this problem.

So what is the problem?  Insomnia.  The lack of ability to get to sleep or to stay asleep.

I can usually get to sleep just fine.  Staying asleep is another story.  I wake up and can’t go back to sleep.  My mind may be focused on work or just on the digital read-out on the face of the clock reminding me that the time designated for sleep is flying by and I’m losing out on it.  And that makes me upset, which helps keep me awake.  The result: I’m weary, tired and constantly craving rest.

As Max Lucado wrote: “People with too much work and too little sleep step over to the baggage claim of life and grab the duffel bag of weariness.  You don’t carry this one.  You don’t hoist it onto your shoulder and stride down the street.  You drag it as you would a stubborn St. Bernard.  Weariness wearies.

Most animals know how to rest.  There is one exception.  These creatures are wooly, simple-minded and slow.  No, not husbands on Saturday – sheep!  Sheep can’t sleep…for sheep to sleep, everything must be just right…sheep cannot find safe pasture, nor can they spray insecticide, deal with the frictions or find food.  They need help.  They need a shepherd to lead them and help them lie down in green pastures.  Without a shepherd, they can’t rest…neither can we.

What is the secret to finding rest as one of the “sheep of his pasture”?  (Ps. 95:7)  “Note the two pronouns preceding the two verbs.  HE makes me…HE leads me.  Who is the active one?  Who is in charge?  The shepherd.  The sheep’s job is to watch the shepherd.  With our eyes on our Shepherd, we’ll be able to get some sleep.  ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.’  (Is. 26:3)

Life can get so loud we forget to shut it down…Of the ten declarations carved in the tables, which one occupies the most space?  Murder?  Adultery?  Stealing?  You’d think so.  Certainly such are worthy of ample coverage. But curiously, these commands are tributes to brevity.  God needed only 5 English words to condemn adultery and four to denounce thievery and murder.  But when he came to the topic of rest, one sentence would not suffice: “8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-11)

Do you think God cares about our rest?  I do.  Was He serious about us getting enough of it?  It was one of the commands to have a day of rest.  “God’s message is plain: ‘If creation didn’t crash when I rested, it won’t crash when you do.’

Get some rest.  God approves of it!.

PRAYER: God, we give our frantic weariness to You.  Teach us to lay down our duffel bag of weariness and activity and rest!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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All Things New

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. – Revelation 21:5

 

Behold, I make all things new...

Oh, how I cherish this promise of Jesus!  Of all the promises in Scripture, this one lifts my heart perhaps the most.

 

Most of the time when I think about Jesus making all things new, I think of things like this planet, of the universe being set free from the existing laws of thermodynamics with its inevitable demise.  I think of the polluted rivers and streams and lakes and oceans.  I think of the erosion that has scarred much of the earth.  I think of the hunger and homelessness of billions on this planet and my heart breaks for them.  I recall the faces of those I met in Haiti who will never have much of anything in this life – and how I wish there were some quick and easy answer for them.  I think of the wars, killings, genocide, diseases.  I think of hatred, racism, of death and dying.  I think of dead bodies being raised in glory as immortal beings who will reflect God’s glory forever.

But I think I’ve missed the most important thing of all with my musings about what will be made new.  You know what I long for?  It will be great to have a new body that won’t age or die, but what I/we most need is not new rivers, forests or mountains.  What we need the most are new hearts.  Jesus will make that new, too.  And I think that will be one of the most wonderful new things that there could ever be!  We need new hearts.  Scripture is clear that the imaginations of our hearts are continuously evil and selfish (Genesis 6:5).  Won’t it be awesome when the imaginations of our heart only dance with that which is pure, holy, righteous, loving, compassionate and kind?

PRAYER: Even now, Lord, cleanse our hearts and begin the process of giving us hearts of love, not hearts of stone!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>