The moral depravity of this day and age is nothing new. Since Adam and Eve inhabited the Garden of Eden, man has had a fatal flaw – something that has kept him from experiencing full fellowship with God and the joy He intended us to have. …
Throughout the Old Testament of the Bible, God has used man and his imperfections to teach mankind many lessons, oftentimes using nations and lands outside of Israel to fulfill His divine purpose. Whether it is the Egyptians in the time of Moses, the Philistines in the time of David, the Babylonians in the time of Daniel, or the Persians in the time of Esther, God used His people – the Jews – to achieve mighty works that would serve as examples of faith to future Hebrew generations and as warnings to outside nations that worshiped false gods and opposed His people. But this is not the full picture. God often worked within His own camp – the people of Israel – to expose their corrupt nature, punish them, purge them of their sins, and bring them back into His mercy and blessings. With Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Job, Noah, and others figures in the Old Testament, God used traumatic or catastrophic events in order to steer man back on the right path of godliness and submission to Him.
The best place to start when examining how God used the people and places of the Bible is the book of Genesis, which means “origins” in Greek and “in the beginning” in Hebrew, (Hamilton 1). And the genesis of mankind, of course, dates back to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, a perfect paradise on earth devoid of any of the toils or strife that we experience every day on earth. But when God put Adam and Eve in the midst of this unblemished land, corruption was speedily on its way. Soon after God created Adam from the dust, He chose to create Eve out of his rib because He said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him,” (NIV Study Bible, Gen. 2.18). But not long after God had given the warning not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Satan – through the guise of a serpent – persuaded Eve that God did not want her and Adam to eat the tree’s fruit because He was afraid they would become like Him. In essence, Satan called God a liar, telling Eve that if she ate the fruit, she would not die, going against what God had said. Eve took the bait, and the horrific legacy of sin has permeated every facet of man’s life ever since. Once Eve and Adam had partaken of that cataclysmic snack, Satan’s wrath of sin, misery, and treachery was ushered into the world. Adam and Eve soon discovered shame, guilt, fear, and all the other trappings that come with sin and disobedience. God quickly banished the first couple from the garden – which was located in the area of modern-day Iraq – and the two experienced grief, pain, and suffering for the first time. Reaping the consequences for this initial disobedience was a tough lesson to learn, and even though the inheritance of this sinful nature has perpetuated for 7,000 years ? from early Old Testament times up through today – God has shown man in many miraculous ways that He has the victory over Satan and sin. Cain and Abel were the first offspring to inherit their parents’ sinful nature, yet where there is sin, there is grace. Through these two brothers, we also witness the world’s first sibling rivalry. Whereas the firstborn – Cain – worked the soil and harvested crops, his younger brother Abel tended the flocks as a shepherd. When they went before God to offer a portion of their livelihoods, Cain brought some of his fruits, while ...
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