Ask most people what God is like and they might say warm, inviting, loving and forgiving. Some might say vengeful and controlling. What is God really like?
Ask most people what born-again Christians are like and they might say exclusionary, self-righteous, “perfect” and uppity. Others might say kind and courteous. What are we supposed to be like?
Both of theses kinds of observations are based on the type of experience the individuals you asked have had with God and His ambassadors on Earth. In order to get a more accurate observation and answer the questions, we need to go to His Word given to men that were with the Master on Earth.
In chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis, we are shown the great Creator building His perfect masterpiece. God created the heaven and the earth and all that fills both realms. God said that is all was good. He created man to have complete dominion over all (Gen 1:26). He also required obedience to His instructions from the very beginning (Gen 2:16-17).
He also said that man was good. However, we are the only creature in heaven and earth that were given a choice. He entrusted us with the rest of His creation.
After entrusting us with His creation, humankind chose to be disobedient (Gen. 3:6). We opened mistrust and shame and allowed sin to enter. As we continue to read, we see the immediate consequences for that choice; mistrust, accusation, enmity between loved ones, pain, sorrow, hardship and death (Gen 3:9-19).
Poor choices and problems continue to plague mankind (Gen 6:5). So much so that God, shows grace and mercy to Noah’s family (Gen 6:8) by telling them that the firmament will be flooded and they have been chosen to continue on with the animals. Noah’s obedience to God’s instructions spared human and animal kind from certain destruction (Gen 6:22).
Continue reading in the Old Testament and you will see the same pattern. Mercy, grace and provision for obedience; Wrath and destruction for disobedience.
The greatest demonstration of love for his wayward creation was made in the New Testament. God robed himself in flesh (temptation) (Mt 1:18-25), lived a sinless, obedient life through Jesus and died so that we might all be reconciled to the perfection of the beginning.
Are God’s character and His actions more evident after this review? He is, indeed, all those things in the observations made in the beginning of this article. What did we learn about mankind in this review? Humans have choices. We can make good ones or bad ones. These choices reflect our hearts and create circumstances (consequences).
God said that his creation was good. He Word also says that we were created in His own image (Gen 1:27). Because of these truths, all mankind is redeemable. Each can choose the path of obedience and blessing or of disobedience and cursing.
Check the mirror. Are you reflecting His image? Or do you see something else?
If you are grieved, chances are He is too. Redemption and condemnation are choices. Only you can make that choice.
Ellen Conn Taylor