Section 9: Old Testament Evaluation

This has been a long road through the Old Testament.  What began as God's idea -- creating matter and then life -- soon expanded into an artistic creation: God's Self-expression in making man in His image.  Think of it -- the two-fold nature of man (male and female) expressing the tripartite personhood of God.  Of all His visible creation, only human beings can respond to Him, because we are of like nature -- spirit.  And, like Him, we are free moral agents.  God has "painted" Himself in us, as in a living canvas.  His capacities are mirrored in us in miniscule proportions.

         

At first He began with one canvas -- Adam.  And though that was "good", it was not good enough.  Adam, and God's Self-revelation in His workmanship, was incomplete.  Adam needed another being to interact with, cooperate with, converse with, and finally to perpetuate himself through...and this was Eve.  At this point, the paintings were spoiled by the intervention of Satan, even before the first children were born. So Eden lacked an ideal family.  Both sons were born after the Fall, and inherited its characteristics: disconnection from God, hostility to one each other,  the overwhelming propensity to misuse freedom.   The fatal jealousy of Cain towards Abel was both a consequence of their parents' sin and an enlargement of it. 

        

God's focus widened -- from one man to his family, to his descendants, to all the known world.  But as men "became fruitful and multiplied," so also the contagion of sin spread throughout humanity.  And God regretted that He had invested Himself in human beings.  He tore up the canvasses, all but one -- the family of Noah.  He resolved to start again, using "pure stock."  But no sooner had God established His covenant with Noah and all flesh than anger and discord surfaced again, in Noah's own family.  Noah cursed his own grandson.