Judgement or Consequences

Too easily we mistake the consequences of our sin with the judgement of God. This article was written very early in the Game Start series. I now feel that a later article, About Punishment, captures a more complete view of this topic.

Created: 2008/09/24. Updated 2011/09/23.

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First I will introduce a few concepts after which I will explore them in the Genesis context.

OK, letís get into Genesis...

In Genesis 3:14-19 God curses the snake and the ground, but does not curse Adam or Eve. Instead He declared that Adam came from dust and will return to dust. Dust of the earth always refers to mortality. Adam was created mortal. Then, in Genesis 3:22, to prevent Adam living forever, God removes Adamís access to the tree of life. God provided the tree of life so that as long as Adam was living in fellowship with God, he could live forever. It was Adamís decision to sin that brought this consequence on him and on all mankind. (By the way, in the Book of Revelation, the tree of life is restored Ė praise God!)

Truly Godís word to Adam that the day he ate of the tree of good and evil, he would die, (Genesis 2:17) was full filled. The death that God was referring to was the eternal separation from God that was caused by sin. This is the second death (Revelation 2:11). This is fulfilled the day Adam sins. But Adam and his descendants live on for over 900 years. The day is like a thousand years scriptures (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8) are now relevant. Clearly 1000 years is the length of life that God created Adam to have and the day Adam sins the Tree of Life is removed and Adamís natural life span cuts in.

I also believe that Adam was created in perfection. What else for the Son of God? He was immune to all diseases and degenerative disorders. But alas, when Adamís descendants intermarried with daughters of the other men (Genesis 6), their DNA was polluted. This pollution gradually takes effect and then, in the very small population group created by Noahís sons, the degeneration rapidly takes effect and life spans ramp down quickly. But this was simply the consequence of manís sin.

What foolishness to write down 120 years for manís life span in Genesis 6:3 and then to describe men living to 600 and 900 years. Did the author made a mistake? Genetics is not my speciality but I am aware of scenarios where isolated animal populations in breed and develop different traits. Isnít this exactly what we would expect as the corrupt genes start to spread in the population, and then with the very small breeding group created by Noah and his sonís, suddenly the life spans start rolling down very quickly. Even Jacob made comment about this in Genesis 47:9. The scattering of Noahís descendants at the Tower of Babel again created small breeding groups which then led to different races. (See the timeline in Appendix A2 of Page-1-God.)

A Quick Review

In the last few paragraphs I have cast a lot of the bad things that happened to Adam and his descendants as the consequences of their actions. Hooray, God does not do anything bad! It is just the consequences of our decisions. Well, not so! In Genesis 3:16-19 God specifically says that the womanís pain in childbirth is increased and, that men will have ďpainful toilĒ in producing food. Not nice! What can I say?

Throughout the Old Testament we see that when things were nice Israel would drift away from God and when God allowed some enemy or famine to come against them they would turn back to God. Adam and Eve had perfection and they turned away. Godís judgement here is clearly described as painful but itís because God wants them to turn back to Him.

The classic role for a man is as provider and a woman as the child bearer. Godís judgement goes to the very core of these roles. But God had always planned that it was His role to be provider and He was the creator of life. When Adam and Eve rejected Godís command they usurped Godís role and took the consequences.

About 120 years

Here is something I said to put a positive spin on the 120 years...

However this was clearly the consequence of interbreeding with inferior day-6 women. Inferior because their DNA was only programmed to give them shorter lives. This grieved God. He was not angry but sorry that this had happened. However God works through all things for good. In this case our shorter life serves to draw us back to Him before our hearts become hard. (So why did God give day-6 man so much shorter life than He gave to Adam? Probably to ensure that these day-6 men would see Adam as superior just as the angels in heaven understand God is sovereign.)

I discuss other surprising aspects of this in more detail in chapter 20, ďAbout the NephilimĒ, of Page-1-God.

Some comparisons

From the Garden of Eden flowed 4 rivers, which I suppose to have clear sparking water, fed from a river from within Eden. At its centre was the tree bearing the fruit of life. The New Jerusalem has four walls of sparkling jewels. At its centre is the throne of Jesus who is Life and the river of life flows out from the throne.

Godís judgement of Adam and Eve was to exclude them from the garden and cause them pain. Godís judgement on those who reject Jesus is to exclude them from the New Jerusalem leaving only eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. From the very start God has been signalling the very end.

Late Update

A couple of years after writing this I grasped something new. It is fully explained in Page-1-God, Appendix B3, ďAbsence of goodĒ, in the section, ďSo how did all this happen?Ē This deals especially with Genesis 6 but uncovers a fundamental truth, namely, the bad things are not God punishing man for his wickedness (because it has never worked), but God is merely exhausting all possibilities before He sent His son to die in our place.

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