One of the many things that I have always struggled with as a Christian is the idea that God could have stopped Adam and Eve from disobeying Him. He didn’t even have to give them a choice. So why did He? And since we know from Scripture that God knows all things, then we know that He knew that they would sin. He knew when He created Satan that He would swell up with pride and leave his heavenly home and take 1/3 of the other angelic creatures with him. So why did God, in His Sovereignty and foreknowledge, allow all of these things to happen, knowing all the pain it would cause Him and so many others?
I believe that God may have revealed a little bit of this to me by helping piece together in my mind the things revealed in Scripture, not to mention, a bit of common sense. In other words, I came away thinking, “Why have I never thought of this before?!”
These thoughts struck me at the end of my Pastor’s sermon on Sunday. We have been discussing and studying the book of Titus. We are still in the first few verses because they are so rich and full of meaning. We were discussing the first two verses which say, “Paul, a servant (slave) of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of (or because of) eternal life which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began,” or more literally from the Greek, “before times eternal.” We discussed the idea that God’s plan of salvation was made before creation, and that there are several other passages of Scripture that support this idea, and the idea that those of us who believe had our names written before the ages began. If you would like, take a look at 2 Timothy 1:8-10, 1 Peter 1:20-21, Revelation 13:8 and Ephesians 1:3-7, just to name a few.
We discussed that, if we had a choice, most of us would choose to live in a world where God was perfectly honored, where we had never known sin, death, pain or anything else bad, and where Adam and Eve had never sinned. But we realized that the way it is, is the way God allowed it to be because it gives Him the most glory.
I sat there and pondered that for a while. I do believe this to be true, I just still didn’t and still don’t completely understand how and why this is so. But then God brought to my mind 1 Peter 1:12 which talks about Salvation as something “into which the angels long to look.” I began to wonder why the angels, who are with God and know Him, would long to know Salvation. Then I realized that the angels who are still with God cannot experience all of who He is in the same way we can. They have never sinned against Him and have not known His wrath and justice, therefore have had no need to experience His Grace and Salvation. The angels who did sin against God will experience His wrath and judgment and have no hope of ever experiencing His Grace because they did know Him intimately and have turned away and are now working fervently against Him.
I came to realize that if there had been no fall, God would not be able to display all that He is. He would not need to display His love, mercy, grace, justice, righteousness or wrath. Without the fall, there would be no need for wrath or justice, therefore there would be no need for grace or mercy. Simply put: No fall, no wrath. No wrath, no grace or mercy. God wanted to be able to display and pour out ALL of His wonderful attributes, and they are all wonderful.
I realize that this may not make sense to many and it most certainly doesn’t completely make sense to me either. After all, this is God we are talking about. If we could fully understand Him, it would mean that we could have created Him rather than the other way around. I continue to pray daily for the wisdom and humility to understand and love God more and to love those around me more, and to understand His Holy Word more. I find it incredibly humbling that He would allow us to know Him when we are bent completely on running away from Him.
Praise be to our God for ALL that He is!!