Eve listens to the words of the serpent and she and Adam sin against God. God judges them and kicks Adam and Eve out of the Garden.
Cain is jealous of Abel’s offering to God and murders him. God judges Cain and causes him to be a wanderer on the earth.
The whole earth is filled with violence. God decides to cover the earth with a flood and kill every living creature.
Mankind wants to make a name for themselves and begin to build a tower to reach heaven. God sees their actions and scatters them across the earth.
God provides clothing and a new home for Adam and Eve.
God provides a mark of protection for Cain.
God provides an escape from the flood to Noah and his family through the ark.
In the midst of God scattering the people of the earth, God calls out Abram.
These are some of the biblical narratives we’ve been examining in our current small group study. In our discussion, one person suggested that in these narratives God seems to be weeding out people until God finds those who will believe through faith. I can see how someone might be able to extract that from the narratives but I see God doing something else.
Instead of God closing the door on people, God seems to be opening the door for them to come in. At the very least God is allowing the door to remain open when there is every reason to close it. In other words, what we see in each of these narratives is God’s grace. In the midst of each of mankind’s mistakes and coupled with God’s discipline is God’s grace.
Grace that doesn’t shut people out from God but provides a way for people to come to God. Grace that provides for needs. Grace that protects. Grace that saves. Grace that establishes a people called by God.
We see God’s grace in the midst of judgment so often in Scripture that I think we can safely say that God always provides an avenue for grace. If this was not true, how could Paul writes that “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20)?
As we look around in our world, we can become overwhelmed by the amount of rebellion we see against God. We might even be amazed at the creativity in the means by which we see rebellion against God occurring around us. What are we to do?
Instead of being overwhelmed by the sins we see in the world, we should be amazed at the avenues of grace that we see. It takes a flip of our perspective.
What rebellion against God do you see around you? How can that become an avenue of grace?
“The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, as that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20-21.