Posted by: dhkrause | January 2, 2017

Trusting in God’s Goodness

gods-unfailing-love

Photo credit: https://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/a-collection-of-bible-verses-scriptures-in-pictures-to-lift-comfort-and-encourage/

Learning to trust in God’s goodness is a key to living life victoriously in His presence.  From the beginning, God created mankind with the capacity for intimate fellowship with Him, and to be stewards over His creation, as seen in Genesis 1:26-28.  Throughout human history, God has been reaching for His people to respond to His love, culminating with the redeeming life and ministry of Jesus Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.

Genesis 1 (NKJV)
26 
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In Genesis chapter 3, enticed by the devil in the form of a serpent, Eve, and after her Adam, ate fruit from the tree God had said not to eat.  Their hearts were desiring freedom from God instead of freedom for God.  As a consequence, God evicted them from the Garden and they became subject to pain, sickness and mortality.  At the same time, God spoke both a judgment and prophecy to the serpent:

Genesis 3 (NKJV)
14 
So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”

The “Seed of the woman” was referring to a Savior who would be born from a virgin, who would remove the usurped authority of the devil (bruise his head), though the devil would “bruise His heel” (harm Him physically).  This prophecy was the first good news (proto-evangel) after mankind’s fall.

The fruit of sin was again seen when Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, murdered his brother Abel in anger.  Through the centuries sin and violence raged so universally that God brought a flood over the whole earth, with only Noah and his family surviving.  Later, God called Abraham to walk with Him and to be the father of a nation who would be in a covenant relationship of mutual commitment with God.  This covenant was extended to Abraham’s son Isaac, and to Isaac’s son Jacob (later named Israel).

After four hundred years of slavery in Egypt, God brought the nation to freedom under the leadership of Moses, just as He had promised Abraham.  At Mount Sinai, God gave the Ten Commandments and other instructions to the people through Moses.  The people committed themselves to this new covenant, and God led and nurtured them for forty years in the wilderness before leading them into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua.

Over a long period of generations, and against overwhelming odds, Israel finally, under King David, conquered all the land promised to Abraham centuries earlier.  Later, because of rebellion and idolatry, Israel was in turn conquered by other nations, first by Assyria (northern kingdom) and then Babylon (southern kingdom).  At the time of Jesus’ birth, the nation was under the rulership of the Roman empire.

In the fullness of time, God sent His own Son to live a sinless life and to take upon Himself the judgment of the sins of the world.  He came to fulfill God’s original purpose in Creation, and in calling the people of Israel to represent Him as a light to the world.  Through His Son Jesus, God came into the world that He had made, to reconcile the world to Himself, as described in John 1.

John 1 (NKJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
. . .
29 
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus is “the Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world, and He is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep.  He is risen from the dead and alive forevermore, leading His people from every nation by the presence of the Holy Spirit into life victorious, abundant and eternal.

John 10 (NKJV)
10 
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
. . .
14 
I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/   1/1/2017


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