Monday, August 1, 2016

A Familiar Accusation

I was having a good week.  I just turned 30, I was showered with gifts, encouragement, and love.  My wife had her birthday just two days later, and we got to spend the whole day together without our kids, which was so awesome.  God was so good to us.  But that attitude turned in an instant. 

On Thursday, we went to talk with Lowes about the counter tops that we wanted to install.  We thought we had plenty of time to get the counter tops in by our move in date, August 12th.  So when they told us it would take a month or more, the news felt devastating.  I didn't take time to ask questions like whether we could still move in, or other rational, sane questions.  No, instead, when Heather told me the news, I displayed my wrath.  I angrily shouted I was going for a walk, slammed the door behind me, and went out on an angry vent against God. 

"Aren't you powerful enough to get us back into our house when we want?!"  I cried. 

"If you were really for MY good, then you'd get us back into our house now!"

As I said those words, Genesis 3 flashed into my mind.  I had been studying it as I was preparing a sermon for church.

Satan comes and tempts Adam and Eve, and one thing in particular stood out as I studied the passage.  "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5)

As a standalone verse, it seems innocent enough.  But in context, this is a damning accusation of God.  Satan is telling Adam and Eve about why God is wrong about them eating the fruit.  And in verse 5, he declares the worst accusation of God: He is keeping something good from them.  God doesn't want them to have that fruit, because He doesn't want to give them good things.  He's clearly not good. 

This is a devastating assault on God's character.  And to believe such a lie after all God had given them!  He had given them life, creation, dominion over all the earth!  And, He gave them one another in marriage! 

To eat the fruit was to believe that God wasn't good, even though He had proven His goodness by their very existence!  And my accusation was the exact same thing.  If we are honest, our sin is often a familiar accusation that God is holding out on us.  It's why we are greedy, why we lust after men or women that aren't our spouse, and why we complain and get angry when we don't get what we want.  We believe a dirty lie that God is holding out on us, and that if He were good, He would give us what we want.  Worse yet, we believe He is holding out on what we deserve. 

Here's where we see the goodness of God truly displayed.  You see, because we sinned, there is something that we deserve.  But it's not good.  We deserve God's wrath and judgment.  We deserve to die in our sin.  But God is holding that back.  He will hold it back FOREVER if we trust in Christ, because He, the perfect righteous one, the one who deserved all good things, died so that we wouldn't get what we deserve. 

God is gracious in not giving us what we deserve.  He is gracious in giving us good things.  And so when things look bleak in our lives, it might be tempting to believe the worst about God.  But refuse to do so.  Look instead to the cross, the truest symbol that God will never hold out on us, because He held out on His Son for our sake.