BIBLE STUDIES ON SUFFERING
© Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2002
4: FURTHER RESULTS OF SIN
As we read further into Genesis we find two further crises in the history of the world in which sin is punished in a general, all embracing way, and from which dramatic changes/consequences resulted which are still with us today.
A. The Flood: Genesis 6 - 9
These chapters teach us:
- There is a limit to God's forbearance (6:3).
- Wickedness had become total (6:5,11-13).
- The Lord is grieved and pained by this pervasive evil (6:6,7).
- God announces the immanent destruction of all the inhabitants of the earth (6:7,13,17; 7:4).
We will deal with the salvation of those in the ark in a later study. What is relevant here is the catastrophic nature of this worldwide judgement and its long term effects on the physical earth. Not only we living in a world suffering both the consequences and the curse of the original sin in Genesis 3, we are also living in a world changed forever by the flood catastrophe. These changes are involved in some of the suffering which the world at large experiences today because of climate changes, geographical changes, geomorphological and vegetation changes. For further information about these changes read material recommended by Answers in Genesis. Their website is www.AnswersInGenesis.org
B. The Tower of Babel: Genesis 11:1-9
In Genesis 11 we read of the first recorded attempt of mankind at secular humanism - an attempt to protect, secure and preserve itself and its future by its own efforts apart from God (11:4). To thwart this godless and independent effort God confused the language and scattered the people (11:7-9). In this origin of the races/nations is the origin of the racial/international strife which has hounded our history ever since.
In addition to these two Genesis records, we also find in the Scripture further results/consequences of, and judgements on, sin, which are related to suffering:
C. The addition of Law.
Study the following to understand that it is only the presence of sin that necessitates the presence of law. Law is essential, not only to define sin and its legal consequences, and to identify our need for someone to redeem us from these legal consequences, but also to limit sin and the suffering it causes.
- Matthew 19:9.
- Romans 13:1-7; Mark 12:13-17.
- Galatians 3:19.
- Romans 3:19-20; 5:20.
- 1 Timothy 1:8-10.
The Christian ought not to see law, either God's or man's, as an enemy, but rather as God's gracious provision for our protection and preservation from our own and other's sinfulness, which, without law, would have annihilated life on earth centuries ago.
D. The existence of a limit:
To the question 'How long will God allow the world to exist in its present abnormal state of sin and suffering?' the answer is that he does have a limit. Study the following, and you will see that, although God shows great patience and what we could, if if referred to a human, call 'self-restraint', the seeming slackness of God in dealing with our sin and suffering does have a point beyond which he will not allow us to go. This has been evidenced in the past in respect to almost the entire world and in respect to individuals and nations; and God has made it quite clear that a final day is coming when the final limit will come. [Please note that God's 'delay' is because of his grace, not because of slack standards or expectations.]
- Genesis 6:3.
- Genesis 18:22-33.
- Exodus 32:9-10.
- Romans 1:24.26,28.
- Hebrews 3:7,15.
- 2 Peter 3:3-14.