Updated: Mar 7
Here's a thought: God intended for us to be morally injured. I know that sounds harsh but, hear me out. Clearly, He wanted there to be consequences for wrong actions and willful disobedience. One of the first safe guards He put into place in Genesis 2 verse 17 was a prohibition paraphrased as: 'steer clear of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil or else.' Did Adam understand the concept of death? We may never know but it was clear that God spelled out a consequence for the first time; if this, then that. Will we ever know God's motivation for including a forbidden item in an otherwise free garden? Most likely not. Whatever the reason, there was introduced the concept of consequences. For your longevity, for your own moral good, for your relationship with me to remain boundary free, Do.Not.Eat.From.That.Tree.
Gods' moral imperatives were to maintain the Holy nature of His creations. His desire has always been for us to enjoy our lives as lived within His will. Life outside of His will leads to spiritual and often physical death. With that understanding, God ended up leaving it to us to make significant choices for ourselves; each choice with a consequence attached. One could argue that the initial idea of negative consequences was to give us an internal "check" to wrestle with; 'should I, or shouldn't I do a thing? ' You can almost see Eve's internal dialogue when talking to the serpent about the veracity of God's threat. Those who raise toddlers often see this as you watch them suss out 'what will happen if I do...'
As adults, we have an understanding that one bad decision often follows another in the course of a lifetime of living outside of Gods will right? The activation of the emotions guilt and shame are devastatingly witnessed as the holy pair became sin filled right before our eyes. Two of the deepest and most morally gripping emotions were set into motion with that one bite. And then the "blame game" started. Had Eve and Adam admitted to their responsibility in the matter, I kinda think that a different sort of resolution would have taken place immediately. Instead, they were left with their guilt and shame and an undesirable distance between them and their Father.
In Genesis chapter 4, we see Cain murder Able without remorse or acceptance of personal responsibility. Cain was marked and banished to a life basically on the run. And the most chilling part was the lack of a "moral check" for Cain as he chose to offer up an insufficient sacrifice to God and then chose to plot out and execute his brother for no other reason than jealousy surrounding Abel's relationship with God.
We know these stories from childhood. And yet God included them in His Word to be cautionary tales throughoutour lives; not to be glossed over because they may make us uncomfortable about our true sin nature. If we choose to go against His Word it will be at our own peril. When we take a life there is to be an accounting. In Genesis 9: 5-6 NIV it says, "And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.
God intended for us to suffer when we take life.
So, when a woman questions whether or not abortion is right or wrong, she SHOULD struggle morally with the taking of a life. New tactics by the pro-abortionists to make "abortion normal" are attacking the very fundamental notion of humans as moral beings. Our sovereign God's intent for His image bearers was that we were to live long lives, be fruitful and fill the earth. Arguments to minimize the moral struggle a post-abortive woman has surrounding her "choice" are counterproductive to her specifically and society in general. People who recognize their wrong doing and are willing to take responsibility for it are on the first rung of a very graciously placed ladder back to God and themselves. James 4: 9 and 10 reveals this wisdom: 9. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
To recognize her wrong, a woman has to bump up against a prompt or a trigger -something incongruent with her current value system- to move her toward admittance and acceptance and ultimately towards healing. This is the "humbling" that God wants from us. More about that next week.
Feel free to comment below and to pass the blog along. Much love and stay tuned! Sylvia