Journey into Justice

Redemption, salvation, and God's mission to restore justice

Whispers of rebellion in the Garden

Humanity took its first step into a harmonious world of true peace and justice.

The second step was a killer.

The freedom to be at peace with God and the world also included the freedom to make choices – including bad ones. Mankind was free to go its own way, to seek its own fortunes, rather than enjoy the prosperity God had created for them.

Do you know the story?

The Creator gave Adam and Eve permission to eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except one – the tree of knowing good and evil. His warning was clear: “If you eat it, you will surely die.”

But a voice of rebellion whispered in the garden: “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden? … If you eat that tree’s fruit, you won’t die! Your eyes will be opened. You will become just like God, knowing everything.”

And the man and woman were free to listen, free to disobey God, and free to live with the consequences.

Mankind’s choice? To listen to the Tempter. To abandon the roles ordained for us by the Creator. To rebel against the way God had created the world to work. To seek our own destiny.

The consequences? Shock waves rumbled across the universe. The harmony was shattered. Peace would dissolve into war. Freedom would give way to slavery, prosperity to poverty. Oppression, sickness, greed, and hatred would sweep through the human soul. Living souls, created in the image of God, would be shattered in every way.

Mankind chose rebellion over relationship that day, and God banished us from heaven on earth.

Every generation since has suffered because the man and woman believed an attractive lie: “You can be God. You are gods. You will be gods if you ….” Each generation continues to believe its own versions of the attractive lie.

God had created a good world designed to work in a certain way, but humanity broke the harmony and ruined the relationship. By choosing deception – and the brokenness that comes with rebellion – people enslaved themselves to their lusts and passions. “You deserve a break today.” “Obey your thirst.” “If it feels good, do it.” “If you don’t want it, if it’s inconvenient, kill it.”

A rebellious spirit makes us vulnerable to deception. Disobedience leaves us broken. When God’s peace is broken, his justice is lost, and all we have left is captivity and oppression.

And the most insidious captivity of all is the one in which the slave thinks himself free.

We see so much meanness in the world, and we each feel insignificant and powerless – just one little person who hasn’t accomplished what he thought he would. We become skilled at keeping up appearances, even able to deceive ourselves, but down deep we each know a monster lives in our private place. Every one of us is broken. Each one suffers in her own captivity. Each heart is dark.

Oppression breeds would-be oppressors. Broken souls feel compelled to lord it over other broken souls. We who have believed attractive lies, in turn tell attractive lies to gain power over others. We will resort to brute force to get what we want, if we think we can get away with it.

In my heart’s dark place, I am a would-be oppressor.  I am only too willing to rebel against God’s ways.  There is no wickedness I cannot rationalize, if I believe I will get what I want.  There is no evil I cannot ignore, if I believe I will be better off.

I am broken.  My biggest problem is that a broken person cannot fix himself.  I need someone to rescue me.

As do you.

––––
Think about it
In what ways have you seen lives destroyed by rebellion against God’s ways?

What is the most destructive “attractive lie” people believe?

GETTING REAL
Don’t give up the fight against trafficking!
Zeina* had been on the streets of Hamburg, Germany, for several years. She longs for her children to have a better life than she has had. Zeina works hard to provide that for them, but her “work” led her to the streets. Zeina wants out. She recognizes that this life is not a good one. But getting out is not as easy as it sounds. Click here to read more.

Next chapter: God’s agenda is rescue

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