"God's Love in the Old Testament" - Recap 5



Recap 5 covering chapters 12 to 14




Recap 5 covering chapters 12 to 14 


This is a synopsis of the first three chapter group that form Part 3. (If you click on any of he chapter headings they will take you to that chapter)

A. Overview


Chapter 12 – Banning Mankind from the Garden (1)

12.1 The Complaint Expressed

12.2 Affirming Genesis

12.3 The Existence and General Role of Satan

12.4 The Work of God through Satan in the Garden

12.5 Recapping God's Goodness

12.6 Brief Summary

Chapter 13 – Banning Mankind from the Garden (2)

13.1 The Consequences seen in Adam and Eve

13.2 The Consequences of the Fall seen in God's actions

13.3 The Exclusion from the Garden

13.4 Why God can't stay with Sinners

13.5 The Ongoing Outworking of the Exclusion from the Garden

13.6 Summary-Conclusion

13.7 A Closing Analogy    

Chapter 14 – What about the Flood?

14.1 The Complaint Observed

14.2 Recap: What we know of God

14.3 The Uncertainties about the Record

14.4 The State of the Earth

14.5 The Alternatives for Action

14.6 Keeping Perspective



B. Detail


Chapter 12 – Banning Mankind from the Garden (1)


Here we have Adam and Eve who have been led astray by the serpent – who God must have created and allowed in the garden – so it wasn't really their fault! Then we see God dealing with them quite harshly and casting them out of His presence and out of the garden to get on with life alone. Wasn't He condemning them to failure right from the outset?


We may not be able to be clear about the time-frame of Genesis 1-3, but there is remarkable clarity of the account that is there, which is conveyed in historical terms.


Genesis is validated by:

  • the testimony of the rest of the Bible
  • the things it teaches us found nowhere else


Satan, a fallen angel appearing in a variety of disguises, is used by God in revealing and dealing with Sin, and to bring correction to mankind.


In the Garden of Eden he is used to reveal

  • the fact that we have the capability to make responsible choices,
  • the fact that our choices have consequences which we have to live with,
  • the vulnerability of the hearts of Eve & Adam to temptation,
  • the immaturity of the couple who had not yet learned to rely upon God,
  • their taking for granted the love of God which they had experienced in abundance, and
  • their immaturity and inability to take responsibility, but instead make excuses.
  • that without God:
    •  we are vulnerable to getting it wrong and
    •  not strong enough to resist temptation AND
    •  we take God's love for granted!

God's love and goodness is seen in these accounts in His incredible provision for Adam and Eve,



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Chapter 13 – Banning Mankind from the Garden (2)


The consequences within Adam and Eve of their fall were:

  • self-consciousness
  • fear
  • blame
  • refusal to take responsibility

God's actions following their fall were:

  • to step back and allow anguish in childbearing
  • to step back and allow stress between the man and the woman
  • to step back and let the man manage his own ‘gardening' with much effort
  • to clothe the couple properly
  • to exclude them from the Garden:
    • to cut them off from the life of God that is eternal
    • to avoid intervening constantly with their imperfect lives
    • to avoid bringing constant judgment on them
  • nevertheless to interact with mankind working out His plans and purposes to draw people to Himself in ongoing history and eventually provide eternal salvation for whoever would receive it.


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Chapter 14 – What about the Flood?


Any thinking person must ask themselves about a God who is willing to wipe out the inhabitants of the earth.


Whatever happened must be seen in the light of all else the Bible tells us about God,


Although it is not completely certain, the text would suggest a universal flood.


The ultimate cause of the flood was the terrible state of mankind whereby mankind's sinful propensity had reached such a climax that it would move God in such a way, with no alternative being left to Him.


When we think of a ‘crime' and think of what we would do if we were authority observing ongoing crime, we recognise limited possibilities:

•  to do nothing – unthinkable in the face of thoughts on justice,

•  to bring minor remedial action – unlikely to have any effect,

•  to bring death – the only thing big enough to change this state of affairs.


We also need to keep death in perspective and recognise that our sin brings thousands of deaths in the world every day, and that death is not the end, only the end of this very short period of existence.


A full reading of the Bible reveals God's love and wisdom and the fact that God does not make mistakes and is not unjust. Whatever our hasty responses to this episode may be, we perhaps need to reflect more on the awful state of mankind and the inevitability of what took place, bearing in mind that this was NOT the end of mankind.



C. And So?


Perhaps one reason we get so crabby about God's activities in the Old Testament, is because they show up mankind – and that includes us – in such a bad light. Adam and Eve remind us that we so often take God's love for granted and so appreciate it.


The Flood reminds us of the awful depths that mankind can sink to, but we prefer to take sin for granted and because we live in a world where the media reveals wrong doing around the world on a regular basis, we take it for granted. Indeed we live in such an age where authority is being questioned and moral absolutes have been cast out, that we are afraid to say, “This is wrong” or “There are certain behaviours that are wrong.”


For many of us, we feel uncomfortable with this sort of language because deep down we know that the lifestyle we are living is falling short of what it could be – but don't you dare say that! to think about a God who holds us accountable is uncomfortable is we have not understood His wonderful love shown through His Son, Jesus Christ. We are fearful of our inadequacies, weaknesses and failures being pointed out and so we would rather make excuses for a civilisation that completely fell off the rails, rather than face the truth about ourselves. Shame on us.



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