The Problem

Day Two

Prayer for the day

I will listen to what the LORD God is saying, for he is speaking peace to his faithful people and to those who turn their hearts to him.

Scripture for the day

Genesis 4-6, Matthew 2

Seems like death and destruction is on order for today.  Reading through Genesis 4-6 was like reading through a horror movie script: you can see what’s coming, and you know it’s going to be pretty rough.  Matthew 2 works out much the same, though it comes to the point a little more closely.  In Genesis, God is going to wipe out humanity because of their wickedness.  In Matthew, Herod is going to wipe out humanity (a small percentage of it, anyway) because of his own wickedness. Turns out that wickedness isn’t all that great.

I find it interesting that the scriptures are not speaking so much of punishment in these two passages (though arguably Genesis is concerned with punishment) but with consequences. It seems that both passages are giving a fairly broad-brush account of what happens when people allow themselves free-reign, and descend into evil. That may sound ominous or overdramatic, but God clearly links the two: evil and death. We know from all sorts of scriptures that evil leads to death, but these passages show that the ratio is not so easy nor so tidy. In one, humanity’s wickedness leads to its own demise. In the other, one human’s wickedness leads to the demise of others. Yet in both, we get a glimpse of God’s goodness in the midst of evil. In Genesis, God remains faithful to his creation, saving some. In Matthew, God saves the holy family and allows them to flee. In both, God saves some. And in both, we can find the hope that evil will not always win. God brings good out of the Genesis account and the Matthew account. He does not prevent the deaths (and in Genesis, he causes the deaths) but he does insist that life continue.
I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse to you today, but I find it comforting that in the midst of death, God continues to create life.

 

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3 thoughts on “The Problem

  1. i find it hard to believe that every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts were only evil, continually. that is a pretty broad brush stroke, and in a certain deeply dark color. equally distressing is the fact that for the evil of man, most of creation was destroyed, not just man. later God seems to put a finer point on things. Which seems, if not always fair, at least more fair then this. Knowing God as Just helps my perspective here. the story seems to oscillate between intimate and global perspectives in a way that isn’t readily available as i narrate the story of my own life and the lives of those who touch mine. i cant help but wonder how important it is to the story to know what the Hebrew names in Adam’s descendants actually mean. Names in Hebrew are always important. In Matthew the perspective is close to home- the added benefit of history and prophesy were public domain already, and the reveal seems more accessible. there’s a line in a song that i like that goes ” someone’s gonna do something someone else will regret”. also not fair, but honest. in the end it was God or his agents that brought Good into the violence and i can appreciate that.

  2. the new year saw a mass murder/suicide in Edmonton and a murder in Calgary too. this is after the worst mass murder in Calgary history last year. seems like violence is getting closer to home. not that it wasn’t always here to begin with.

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