The deepening snow at our home, bring the deer around. Laura and I have determined that any group of more than two deer, is a ‘squabble’. Eating, sleeping, squabbling and fleeing danger are the extent of their vision. Are you, blessed with a bigger vision than they? Our Father is disarming powers that are ranged against you. “He disarmed the principalities and powers and shamed them publicly by His victory on the cross. So don’t let anyone condemn you.” (Colossians 2:15)
I found a statement in Genesis 4 that sings music in the ears of everyone with a God mission. “Then people began to turn to God” That phrase appears in a startling context. It came more than 200 YEARS AFTER Adam and Eve where sent out of the Garden. From the text it appears that the trauma of being dismissed from the Garden totally devastated Adam and Eve. They had never before experienced any rejection from God. Now it was so total that their whole world was collapsed around them. They had no source of counsel for this new situation; for the labour they were now burdened with; for the deterioration they could see in a once perfect world. They had no more daily walks with God, no rest in the celebration of His presence, no knowledge of expressing His worthship. They must have been totally traumatized.
I have no idea how long they had lived in the Garden … one year … 10 years … 50 years? But soon after they were dismissed they had two sons who grew up to be farmers. Those boys must have heard so many “when we were …” stories about life before.
At 130 years their brother Seth was born. Then 105 years later Seth became father to his firstborn.
And that is when the phrase appears: “Then people began to turn to God”!
It seems that Adam and Eve never turned away from God, but there is no record of them actually turning to God. There is no record of them attempting reconciliation or of modeling worship of their Creator. It’s probable that they did not feel reconciled and possible that they felt their rejection was total. Their only recourse to renew relationship was to pin all their hopes on their children.
At some point ‘in the course of time’ (Gen 4:3) the two boys brought an offering to God. The record doesn’t indicate if this was the first time anyone in the family brought an offering. After the horrendous trauma of their Creator’s rejection, it probably took many years to raise up the courage to re-approach Him. Reconciliation in any relationship is an extremely difficult process. And they had no model, example or instructions. What were the expectations from those two boys as they stood before a Being whom they had never met? A Being who was aloof and didn’t communicate; a Being who had left an angel with a flaming sword as His receptionist; a being who had placed a curse on the entire human race, and on the earth; a Being with whom they wanted to reconnect for the first time. How do you begin to reestablish dialogue and relationship with someone who is furiously angry?
How many years did the family ponder and discuss sacrifices? Was it a momentary whim or had it been discussed for decades?
Where were Adam and Eve during the actual offerings that their son’s made? Where they close by? Or standing at a distance, watching, waiting in trepidation to see what happened. How does a younger brother dare to go against the flow, and not do what his older brother had done? How did Adam and Eve feel and respond when Abel died and Cain disappeared? How did they respond to the godlessness of their other offspring? How were their hearts torn apart at the lack of responsiveness to their tales of what life was like with Jehovah? How did they pour their lives differently into the next 100 years of raising Seth?
I meet a lot of individuals who feel very much like this picture of Adam and Eve. They’ve been committed to many years of ministry but see little accomplished by their vision. Be encouraged. The first parents on earth lived 200 years before “people began to turn to God”!
May you be blessed with hope, founded on Jehovah’s plans, of your purpose and your final outcome. … john Jeremiah 29:11