From the moment Adam and Eve were tempted in the garden, one question has remained for humans throughout the centuries: is God actually good?
For Adam and Eve, they chose to believe that the one tree forbidden to them – even though they had the rest of the world to enjoy – was evidence that God was withholding something good from them. Though God had warned them of the dire consequences that would come from eating from that tree (“you must not touch it, or you will die”), they ate anyway. Without pause. And their decision brought spiritual death – pain, brokenness, misery, and separation from God – for all of humanity.
Later, James echoes this same cautionary warning – that “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” He pleads with us! “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”
But let’s not miss his next message. This is where the hope is, friends. This is where we see the answer to the question asked above.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
Let’s take this in for a moment.
After the fall, God didn’t leave Adam and Eve and the rest of humanity in our pain and devastation. He could have, but He didn’t! He began to draw people back to Himself. He began the great story of rescue and redemption that you and I continue to be a part of today. In His goodness and in His grace, He has continued to give us good and perfect gifts from above – namely, Jesus.
Just as was His desire with Adam and Eve, God – who never changes and is always faithful – wants to give you and me the most precious, miraculous, joy-bringing, life-giving gift there is: Himself. He creates beauty from ashes, and causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him. We just have to follow Him. We have to choose life.
May we be men and women who so grasp the depth, the height, and the width of God’s goodness and love for us that we choose life over death.
And remember, in the glorious words of Mr. Beaver in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: “Safe? Who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”