August 9, post #12 in series of God Rescues From Messes
“Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey your word.” Psalm 119:67.
I’ve been writing, in the past several blogs, about God’s mercy. I hope when you read how God’s mercy rescued me, you will see that his mercy is also for you and can lead you into a more intimate relationship with God.
In the last blog, I mentioned that God’s discipline reassured me God would keep his promises for good as well. Idolatry had been my problem. I had idolized my first husband, letting my relationship with Jesus grow lukewarm. Then, after the marriage had died, I did what the man who became my second husband wanted, although it went against God’s commands. As a result of this idolatry and rebellion, I suffered a lot of heartaches and inner turmoil.
But after repentance and forgiveness, God lavished his love upon me! God is so merciful! I still had consequences to pay, but his love gave me hope.
God first showed his mercy to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. God had given them the dominion of the whole earth, but by their disobedience, they had sold out to Satan. Now Satan, the evil one, would be the prince of the earth.
Yet God, desiring to redeem them, gave his first promise—the first part of a red thread of redemption that stretches throughout the Bible. He said someone would come from the seed of the woman who would defeat the evil one, (Gen. 3:15). This ‘someone’ would be the Messiah.
Adam and Eve still had to suffer the consequences of their sin, but God covered them with garments and gave them hope through this promise.
The Bible reveals, little by little, God’s plan
to restore humankind to fellowship with himself
through the Messiah, God’s anointed one.
It is fascinating to see this plan unfold. I like to think of the whole picture of redemption as a puzzle with hundreds of years of puzzle pieces and a red thread of redemption running through it all. God teaches his people, little by little, about the coming Messiah as he fulfills his plan of Salvation.
From the line of Adam and Eve’s third son, Seth, after many generations, Noah was born. Noah was a type of Christ in that he was the “only truly righteous man living on the earth at that time,” (Gen. 6:10, LB) and God chose to save a remnant through him. He obediently carried out the long-term commitment to which God had called him—to build the ark. After Noah and his wife, sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) and their wives, and the animals all survived the flood, God made a covenant with them. He set the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of that covenant.
About ten generations later, Abram was born from the line of Shem. God called Abram (later renamed Abraham) to be the father of his chosen nation. God said he would bless not only Abraham but also those who bless them and promised, “by you, all the families of the earth shall bless themselves,”(Gen. 12:1-3, 22:18, RSV). The blessing (the redemption) was intended for everyone. From Abraham’s seed came the nation of Israel. God’s purpose in choosing the nation of Israel was to bring his plan of salvation to people all over the world.
I can imagine little Abraham sitting often at Noah’s feet as he was growing up, hearing the story of the great flood and salvation in the ark. Noah lived to 950, (Gen. 9:29) and Abram must have been born when he was about 892 according to Genesis 10 and 11.
God redeems us (buys us back) because he is merciful.
The story of redemption, of God’s mercy, continues throughout the entire Bible. In the next blog, we’ll look at several pieces of the puzzle picture of redemption.