Aliens & Strangers

“So Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and goodly to look upon, and she took of the fruit and ate it. And she gave some to her husband, and he ate also.” 
“And God came down to walk in the garden in the cool of the day, but the man and woman knew that they were naked and they hid themselves.”

If selfishness is the defining attribute of the sin nature, then alienation or loneliness is its chief result. Eve saw the fruit and decided her own “need” to be “wise like God” (as the serpent told her) was more important than His law. As soon as the first couple ate of the tree, they plunged the human race into a mire of self-centered depravity.

In God’s good creation, He intended humans to live in a warm glow of fellowship and service for one another.  But self-centeredness, by definition, makes us incapable of forming real bonds with other people. Thanks to the Fall, the great chain of friendship lies shattered in a million links. Humans sit alone in the dark and cold, refusing to believe that a warm fire blazes in the Great Hall of the Father.

Our relationship with God works itself out in a hundred “models” here on earth – called friendships. Just as sin cut us off from the Healer and Light, our sin nature pushes us toward loneliness and isolation here on earth. It is the fate of fallen humanity—apart from God’s gracious intervention—to feel utterly alone.

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Depravity guarantees our blindness to goodness, truth, and beauty. The hallmark of our fallen state, biased eyes fail to acknowledge God’s good gifts and favor even when He waves them in front of our faces. Instead, we doubt His motives, call His gifts “evil,” and stubbornly sit in a corner alone to nurse our own catalog of life’s “injustices.”

The Trinity existed in perfect harmony with each other for eons before God created humans. Perfect love, perfect fellowship, perfect unity flows among the Three-in-One. Yahweh intended to share that beautiful gift with His creatures … and even our perverse depravity cannot entirely shut out the warmth of fellowship. “In those moments when we find sweet fellowship here on earth, it’s like a taste of heaven,” a friend remarked to me recently.

God does not need us … yet He chooses to put up with the petulant cries of darkened humans who reject His love, doubt His motives, and stomp on His gifts. I’m talking about Christians here—about myself … God’s own family members. We are the ones who have the most reasons to trust our Father, yet fail repeatedly to even bother.

It is when my own attempts to love someone are rejected out of hand, trampled, or thrown back in my face with contempt that I catch a slight glimmer of how much heartache it costs our Savior to do the daily, gritty, mundane work of Redemption.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem – how often would I have gathered you to Myself like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you would not.”

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