God's Agenda For Coronavirus, Part 4
We are on a journey to understand what God’s agenda for the Coronavirus is. We have made a few critically important stops along the way in order to pick up points of view that allow for God to speak to us through His divine nature and unchanging character. Like so many times in history, humanity has foisted upon God and attributed to God things that are in all honesty, human induced as a consequence of the power of human choice- free will, if you like. Is our present situation one of these times?
The focus of the last post was to understand the nature and origin of good and evil, light and dark. Good being all that is in harmony with God and evil being all that is out of harmony with God. So a question that has to be answered is: where did evil come from and did God create it? Here is a simple yet profound truth from scripture:
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. [1 Jo 1:5 NLT]
God is light, pure light, and no darkness exists or can come out from God. We have already established that darkness can never affect the intensity of light, but light always transforms darkness. We have seen from the Genesis account of creation that God was hovering over a mass of dark nothingness and creating the known universe by sending light into it (His Word) and transforming it into something that was in harmony (good) with Him and His will. When God finished transforming all the darkness into what He desired, He declared that it was all very good. The addition of the descriptive, very good, indicated the apex of goodness or we might say, “it doesn’t get any better than this.” All that God transformed the darkness (everything that was not yet aligned to His will) into was the perfect expression of God’s will.
The addition of the word, very, is also connected to what God created just prior to this declaration - humanity. Humans are the apex of all that God called good. We may be able to comprehend God’s almighty power to create something from a mass of nothing but do we understand His motivation? Why did God create? And why, in particular, did God create humanity? I submit to you that above the great revelation that God is light is the revelation that God is LOVE (1 John 4:8). God’s motivation to create was just an expression of His love and His passionate desire to share His creation with beings that are made in His image.
In a previous post we established that at the core of love is selflessness. Love is never controlling or coercive so if God created humanity to be the greatest expression of His love then God must, by the very nature of love, build into the nature of His love for us the possibility that humanity would be able to reject this love and return back into the darkness. This ability to choose to live in the light or in the darkness created the possibility for man to exist in a state of being out of harmony with God. This is what we call evil. Evil does not have to be what we would consider to be ugly, vile, and utterly destructive. That is one expression of evil.
Evil can also look good, that is why it can be deceptive. Evil is the state of being out of harmony with God and therefore, separated from God. The further the journey away from harmony with God, the darker and more diabolical the evil gets.
It seems to me that God took a monumental risk in allowing for the choice of rejection. God, in His infinite wisdom and knowledge, also built into this choice a way back to Him if the choice to reject Him was enacted by humanity. And this is the very saga we see presented to us in the scriptures. God has done everything possible and necessary for humanity to be in, stay in, and be restored back into perfect harmony with Him. Salvation was built into creation.
Travel back for a moment in your imagination and try to picture a time and a place where all that God created was still very good. Remember, our only point of reference for creation is our “known” universe. God created it but He also exists outside of it so there must be a reality that is not knowable through merely human interaction. This is the realm that we might call heaven. In the Genesis account, we see humanity in the state of perfect harmony with God enjoying creation, and more importantly, enjoying the Creator. At some point, we are introduced to a being, manifested in the form of a serpent (it was not a snake yet), whatever that was, whose sole intention was to deceive Adam and Eve into believing that they could exist in harmony with God on their own terms. We don’t know much about this being (Satan, Lucifer, the devil...) but what we do know is that he tried to do this very thing himself and ended up being eternally trapped in the darkness that exists outside of God.
In the exchange recorded between Eve (and I believe, Adam), the serpent introduced the thought of being equal to God by making an autonomous choice to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve knew what good was, but this evil, this was new. The lie was that if they ate it they would not only know good (what they already had) but that they would know evil, the knowledge that only God had. How could being equal with God be a bad thing? If they were to carry out their assignment, why not have both sides of the story?
The choice they made set in motion a decay of creation back into darkness (out of harmony with God). So what can we extract about the nature of evil from this? God did not create evil, but allowed for the possibility of its existence on the earth through a necessary choice of love. The serpent (Satan, the devil) did not create evil, it only used its possibility to deceive humanity to follow its lead into the darkness of separation from God in which it existed. Humanity did not create evil, but allowed its possibility to become a reality and infect their relationship with God, themselves, and all that God created. So evil is the necessary result of humanity choosing not to live in the Light. This is why we have evil loosed on our planet. If we are honest, there are many things that are not in harmony with God (Light & Love) on our planet that are completely the resultant consequence of humanity rejecting God.
After the tragic events of that decision, God had to let Adam and Eve know what the results of their decision to allow darkness into the world would come to. Evil would wreak havoc in their physical bodies, their relationships, their work, in child bearing, in their relationship to God, and even in all created matter. In Genesis (3:17), God speaks of even the ground being “cursed” because of the results of their decision. The word cursed is not rooted in a punitive action of God for the rebellion of humanity, but rather a resultant consequence of what evil does by its very nature - it brings things out of harmony with God. The root of the word cursed in the original language is “to excrete.” The picture is that the created world, under the influence of evil, would begin to excrete waste and become a toxic dump of darkness. If this process were to be left unchecked, death would eventually envelop the planet.
Knowing this, God built into creation the regenerative power of love, which is for God to take all the darkness (evil) upon Himself and transform it back into light. This is exactly what we see in Jesus dying on the cross. Before His death, He cried out, “if I be lifted up, I will draw all to me.” We like to insert the word “men” to indicate that Jesus died to save humanity, and YES He did. But this verse means much more than that. Jesus is saying that when He would be crucified, He would draw ALL humanity and their sin, darkness, punishment, evil, & indeed anything that was out of harmony with God, to Himself and transform it back into good. Jesus is the light of the world and that is the essence of what light does!
Now that we have established that the nature of the problem before us is that darkness is still excreting evil on our planet, we can look at God's place and agenda for all of this. This is where the story gets really exciting and this is where we come in. Through one man, Adam, evil came into the world, and now, through one Man (the God/Man), Jesus, the light is back in charge- transforming the world (Romans 5:17)!
So, stay tuned and tune in...
by Pastor Jim Anan