I have been thinking of the “depravity of humanity” lately (seriously, I have been. Just watch the news and you can’t escape it), and this week we are studying humanity, both our depravity and also the love God has for us.
Have you ever thought about out of all of us seven billion people, none of us, not one, are perfect? Do you every think that maybe God has some responsibility in the defect of our design? Have you ever wondered like Paul says, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will? … Why have You made me like this?”
(I am treading lightly on this because Paul’s inspired response was “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? … Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”) See Romans 9:19-20 (NKJV).
Why are we humans so depraved, so sinful, so mean and evil to one another? There is a biblical answer and hopefully by the end of the week, we will have a deeper understanding of our wickedness…and how God still loves us.
When my two sons were younger, one of them asked me this question, why did God create us so prone to sin? It was a good question and like all good questions, it made me think to come up with an answer.
If we go all the way back to the beginning to Adam and Eve, they were created sinless and innocent, but they were not perfect. They were still given the freedom of choice. In fact, you might think it was careless for God to place the forbidden fruit “in the midst” (or in my translation “the smack-dab middle”) of the garden of Eden. Why was the tree so tempting and why did the fruit look so appealing (pardon the pun if you think it was an apple).
And while we are asking, who let that smooth-talking serpent come into the garden?
Going even further back, the Bible doesn’t talk a lot about how Satan and the demons were formed, but from Genesis to Revelation, there is no mistaking it, there is a real and literal devil and his entourage of fallen angels. We can surmise that Satan was created not just sinless and innocent like Adam and Eve, but he was created without having a tempter to tempt the one who would become the ultimate tempter.
When Satan or Lucifer fell, he was not tempted by a choice or a forbidden fruit or by some design flaw, but rather he fell because he was created so perfectly and so beautifully that he thought he could ascend to become like the Most High (I base this on Isa. 14:13-14).
Getting back to my sons’ question, I turned it around to them. “Which would be better?...
…to be born perfect (or in the angels’ case, created) and if you sinned once, you would be forever damned to torment in hell…
…to be born as a sinner (as all of us born after Adam and Eve) and if you did just one thing right by accepting God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, you would be forever blessed with eternal life.”
I and my two boys agreed that it is far better to be in the latter category than the former with the fallen angels and that smooth talking serpent.
This week we will be looking at humanity and ponder the musings of one of my favorite hymns which says, “and wonder how He could love me, a sinner, condemned unclean.”