God’s Work In Human History
Continuing our look into evangelism, we need to finish investigating God’s work in human history. In the last post we had just started seeing God’s work and had to leave off right after His command to Adam to not eat the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What happened next in the narrative is crucial to our understanding of the need for evangelism.
Genesis 3:1-13 explains the temptation of man by Satan and man’s transgression of God’s law. You’re probably familiar with the story: Satan spoke to Eve, convinced her that the fruit on the forbidden tree was to be desired for many reasons, she chose to disobey God, and Adam followed along with her. Now they have sinned, and realize they have disobeyed God so they hide from him.
After this, it says that God walked in the garden and called to Adam, “Where are you?” We must acknowledge that what was happening here was not that God couldn’t find Adam. Rather, God sought out Adam to reveal himself to him; to confess what he had done. After Adam revealed his sin God pronounced the consequences on the man and woman and begins to make some revelations about what he will be doing in the future. While speaking to Satan, he mentions that there will be One coming whom Satan will wound. We don’t get any more information about this One in this scene, but we’ll begin to see more and more of Him as we progress through the Old Testament.
Instead of killing Adam and Eve, as he would have been justified in doing, God instead kills an animal to provide clothing for the couple. In this act we can see the priceless mercy of God and another foreshadow of what’s to come. God chose to continue to care for and love man by giving him a covering for his body, but that covering came at the cost of the life of something else. A sacrifice had to be made, and it had to have blood. Though not foretold verbally at this point, this sacrifice did foretell the ultimate Sacrifice that would be made in the future. Looking forward, perhaps it was hard to see for those involved in the story, but as more and more revelation is made as human history progressed, the vision of the One to come and his ultimate sacrifice became clearer and clearer.
For more pictures of what God was doing in human history, fast-forward to Genesis 6 and 7 where we see the story of Noah, the judgment that was foretold, and the ark that was built for the saving of those who had received God’s mercy: another glimpse of God’s work of salvation that was still on the horizon, coming in the person and work of Christ.
Move on, next, to Genesis 22 and see Abraham, told by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on the mountain, about to complete the deed. God stays his hand, and provides for him a ram caught in the bush. All of this was pre-arranged by God, though unknown by Abraham, and all of it pointed to that “Isaac” which would not be rescued from death. It all pointed to that Lamb of God which would take away sin, not just cover it.
Shortage of time requires that we continue looking at human history and what God’s doing in it in our next posts.
Thanks for reading.