January 2 – Redeemed from the Fall (Gen 3-5, Mt 2)
What is the greatest problem with humanity?
Many answers are offered.
Perhaps, the shocking levels of hunger in the world. Staggering corruption maybe. Others may say low levels of education, shrinking economies or ethnic hatred. All these are valid concerns, but what is the root of these external problems we face as a human race?
While God has created a perfect world, where life flourishes, Genesis 3 introduces us to the source of sin – rebellion to God’s life giving word “did God actually say?”. The common way we think of sin is that it is doing bad stuff or making mistakes. The Bible presents sin as something deeper. Some of the older saints have noted that we are not only sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners.
In other words, sin is not just the stuff we do. It is the nature we have. This sin nature is part of every human being who traces their lineage to the first human being, Adam. This is the concept of original sin. We see how this is traced to Adam’s succeeding generations (Gen 5). The continuing narrative of Genesis will open us to the consequences of sin. First, we are separated from God (Gen 3). Second, sin affects our relationships with other people. So in Genesis 4, we find the first example of sibling rivalry – only that this one ends in death when Cain kills Abel. God is however faithful in giving a new son, Seth, to Adam and Eve. God’s promises through the generations is clear, despite sin and its consequences. The rest of the narrative will follow God’s faithfulness through the line of Seth.
In Matthew 2, the birth of Jesus is recorded. What keeps being repeated is “as it was written” or “to fulfill what the Lord had promised”. Matthew records three places in the Old Testament where Jesus Christ’s birth is prophesied: Micah 5:2, Ezekiel 34:23, and Hosea 11:1. While Herod is the current king of the Jews of the time, Jesus is the King of the nations, promised in the Old Testament as the one who would rule the hearts of men and women.
Each of us is familiar with the rulership of sin. It is a tyrant, selfish and guilt-focused master. Jesus however rules us in wisdom, justice and righteousness leading to our ultimate freedom. His work on the cross, deals with the consequences of sin – death and God’s wrath, by offering us full redemption – eternal life and God’s love. To those ruined by the fall, here is an invitation to redemption.
- How does this passage paint the nature and consequences of sin?
- Is there any promise we find in today’s reading?
- How does this passage shape your understanding of God and your response to him?
Our Father, we confess that many times we have doubted your word – did God really say? Other times, we have neglected your word, your word which brings life. We are grateful that you have decisively dealt with sin on our behalf through your Son. Through faith in him, we are protected from your wrath, forgiven, accepted, cherished and commissioned for service. Help us to live our days under the Lordship of Christ, and through the Spirit’s help, to live honorably before the face of God today. Amen.
A devotional reflection by Kevin Muriithi on the Tabletalk Bible reading plan.
Feature image by Aaron Burden from http://www.unsplash.com