AN ACT OF LOVE AND GRACE

When people look at the way the world is they often conclude that God, if indeed there is such a being, cannot possibly be a God of love.

There is too much pain. There is too much suffering. There is too much sadness. Surely only a terribly sadistic god could create such an obviously wrong world. Surely no being with any love in his heart, with any compassion in his soul, with anything even close to the kindness humans sometimes feel towards each other, could bring the tortured world we live in into existence.

But the Bible clearly teaches that God did create the world, and the Bible clearly teaches that God is a God of love and of amazing grace. Indeed we read in the Bible that 'God is love' [1 John 4:16].

Back before the beginning of time God chose to create this world and us. And back before the beginning of time, God in his omniscience, knowing the end from the beginning, chose to implement his plan to create this world and us, even though he knew that we would rebel against him, rejecting the role for which he created us and plummeting the whole world and ourselves into the tragedy and trauma that is now the norm and that has been the norm ever since Genesis 3.

Back before the beginning of time, in an act of incomprehensible love and grace, God did not discard his creative purpose. For some reason he deemed it more loving to create us, even though we would wreck both the world and ourselves, than to leave us non-existent.

That is a choice of amazing grace and love: that God gave, and continues to give, the gift of life and existence to those he knows will corrupt and destroy that gift.

Our unloving short-sighted hearts ask: Why bother?

Why on earth did God bother? Why did he not abortt his plan to create the very moment he first conceived it?

There, even there before the beginning of time, God saw, beyond the sin and the suffering and the sadness, inexpressible joy and glory.

The sin, the suffering, the sadness were not there in the beginning. God did not create the world as it now is. But the threat and the possibility of sin and suffering and sadness were present in God's one original, prohibitive command: 'you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die' [Genesis 2:17]. Beyond that boundary, excluded by God's 'no', and co-identical with rejecting God, death, and all that leads to death, waited.  Non-existent, but possible. A reality that would inevitably commence the instant we, in our ancestor Adam, severed ourselves from God.

And even then, back before the beginning, knowing that we would reject him, God went ahead and created us, knowing also exactly what he would do to reverse the results of our choice. Before the beginning of time, and giving his act of creation the quality of incredible and incomprehensible love, God knew that at the right time in human history, he would send his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as one of us, to reverse the result of our choice, to redeem us from the death we had chosen, to reconcile us to the God we had rejected, and to reinstate us into the eternal life, joy and glory for which he created us. [Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:19-20; Ephesians 1:4; Matthew 13:35; Hebrews 12:2; Isaiah 53:10-11; Colossians 1:272 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:8; Zephaniah 3:17]

Thus God's act of creation, far from being a cruel sadistic act, is an act of the amazing and sacrificial love and costly grace.