Friday, April 03, 2015

Generational Sin, but Generational Redemption

I completed reading through the Bible at the end of March, so now I'm back in Genesis. Perhaps one of the things I have noticed several times now, is the generational sin that was passed down through our very first parents.

Because God's image in us and our relationship with Him was marred by the sin of Adam and Eve, we, too, carry the curse of brokenness and disunity in all we do. And this time in Genesis I saw more clearly the pattern of sin repeated in generation after generation. We see the results of Adam and Eve's sin in their son, Cain, when he murdered his brother. And it appears that people lived in sin until Seth's son, Enosh, was born. Then the people again began "to call upon the name of the Lord" (Genesis 4:26). After man increasingly multiplied on earth, God destroyed them and their wickedness with the Great Flood, saving only Noah and his family. The curse of sin traveled down through the generations, even with Noah and his sons, and people live in general paganism until God called Abram out from his land, promising him a greater blessing if he would follow God's leading. But even in Abram we see his lying about Sarai carried on to his son Isaac, who also lied about his wife in the same manner. Laban is known for his deceit, and his sister, Rebekah evidences her own abilites in trickery, as well. This in turn was passed down to Jacob, who lived a life of deception, demonstrated even by the meaning of his name ("deceiver"). Jacob's deception was carried down into his son's lives, and he reaped what he had sowed when his sons deceived him about his favorite son, Joseph.

And as the nation of Israel multiplied and moved out of Egypt to claim the Promised Land, we see the first generation continually complaining and grumbling against Moses and the Lord. This generation died, and the second generation crossed the Jordan to claim the Promised Land, but even they didn't obey God in removing the Canaanites from the land, as God had commanded. Really, it goes on and on, perhaps only breaking it's routine when godly kings, judges, and families return to the Lord. But overall, you see the broken fellowship with one another and broken relationship with the Lord God...the lack of faith, the disobedience, and turning away from God.

And yet, somehow and in someway, God calls out a specific nation and specific people and families to bear His name and carry it forward, despite the sin that defaces God's design for mankind. Because He chose a nation and because He set His name among them and promised to love them, He sent a Man to provide a way to restore all the brokenness. He sent a Restorer and a Repairer to bring healing to sin's curse. And the promise of this Savior also carried on through the generations, despite the generational sin. The Savior's line carried further and higher than sin could ever go, for it overthrew sin's power and hold on the generations past, present, and future.

It's our mission today to continue  to carry that Name through the generations. The Name above all names. The God-Man who brought redemption to a dying people, commissioned His followers to spread His message to the world, so that the sin every person is born with would have a way to be conquered. This is where the healing begins: when the Light meets the dark and when redemption collides with sin. 

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.
The sun shall be no more your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon give you light;
but the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down, 
nor your moon withdraw itself;
for the Lord will be your everlasting light
and your days of mourning shall be ended.

(Isaiah 59:15b-16; 60:1-2, 19-20)

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