How Mankind Responds To God's Goodness

    God created mankind and placed them in a garden which provided a wholesome, healthful environment. They responded by disobeying God's one commandment of restraint. God expelled them from Eden, yet He continued to bless them with the needs of life, for which they had to toil much harder. The guilt of their sin was held in remembrance, and its consequences affected their descendants greatly.

    Cain and Abel were blessed with instruction from God. Abel served God by faith, but Cain was disobedient and took his anger out on his own brother, by killing him. A hard sentence was given to Cain in his life, and his sin held in remembrance.

    By the time of Noah, in the comparatively few generations from the beginning, most of the human race had corrupted themselves to the degree that they thought about evil continually. Noah was an exception. He obeyed God by faith, found favor with God, and was delivered from the flood by doing what God told him to do. All people except the family of Noah perished in the flood. After that great salvation, Noah's son, Ham, acted wickedly and incurred the judgment of God upon him.

    In the days of Abraham, the world was greatly involved in idolatry. Abraham, the exception to many, was a faithful servant of God. God made promises to Abraham that would fulfill His plan of offering to fallen humanity a way of redemption form their transgression. How great are the longsuffering, mercy, and grace of God!

    God had looked upon this great drama of life before He ever brought it to pass, and had concluded that salvation was to be a part of this great story, in spite of His foreseeing the disobedience of His future creatures. He foresaw that some would repent if they were given opportunity, so He made provisions for that opportunity. What a trial He endured from the children of Israel in order to accomplish His purpose and keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! How ungrateful the Israelites were!

    With a mighty hand God brought Israel out of Egypt, provided for them in the wilderness, and gave them the land He had told Abraham that He would give his descendants. He gave them His law, gave them great leaders, and protected them from their wicked enemies. Yet they turned away from Him to idolatry, and their sins were multiplied. Through defeat and captivity, God brought a remnant back to their land to serve Him.

    He sent His Son to them, and they rejected and killed the Son -- as God had foreknown. Even then, God loved humanity — what inexpressible love! The gospel was proclaimed, and the majority of the race rejected it. It is still being proclaimed, and the majority of the race still rejects it. What a wonderful and sad story!  Where are you in this equation or sad story?

—Gilbert Alexander