~ Choose the Good Portion – Week Eight ~
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.
~ Genesis 1:31 CSB ~
When our first two daughters were little my husband and I decided to build them a big lumber and beams play set. When it was finished and we were ready to show them the big surprise, we talked to them about how this brand-new play set was because we wanted to show them that we loved them and it was a way for us to spend time playing together as a family. We told them, “Have fun and enjoy every part of the play set and sandy area. You have to stay in these boundaries of the backyard though and cannot go on the road.” We warned them that the road is dangerous, and they could be hurt.
Head on back to Genesis chapter one with me for a moment. Each day ends with God looking at all that He created for us, and He sees that it is GOOD! However, we see something a bit different on day six, the final day of creation. The day that He finished decorating our temporary home, making it look, smell, and feel like love for us, was, I believe, a day of great excitement for God. This day was what it was all about! Day six was when He got to create us, His children and start spending time in relationship with us! What’s different about the end of this day, is that He didn’t look upon it and say that it was good. He looked upon it and saw that it was VERY GOOD INDEED!
Have you ever looked up the word indeed? I have. I’m nerdy that way. I like to know the truth and fullness of all things. And let me tell you that there’s a LOT within the indeed that wraps up Genesis chapter one. If you were to get in touch with your nerd-self and look up the word indeed you would find in its meaning, “confirming something already suggested” and “introduction of a further, stronger and more surprising point”.
When God ends this beautiful love song of Genesis 1 with the words “very good indeed”. He’s confirming something that His creation already suggests. He’s confirming, “Yes, indeed, I love you!” And in that same word that confirms His love for us, He is also setting the stage to introduce us to a stronger more surprising point. Stay tuned for what that surprise is!
Like I said in last week’s post, Genesis chapter one is just the first six days of the most amazing love story and it’s introducing us to all that is available to us when we choose the good portion of relationship with Him!
Now, let’s look at the next chapter when He puts man in the garden of Eden. This place is like paradise! Everything was set up in such a way that Adam and Eve would never want for food and would never have to work for it. They could literally play and laze the day away while God used nature to take care of them.
Right away God shows His love for us, by not forcing anything upon us. See, He didn’t want to create little robots that were programmed to love Him. God is a loving father and love does not insist on its own way (1 Corinthians 13:5). He wanted us to choose Him, just as He chose us. So, He created the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And He wasn’t a drill sergeant father with a lot of rules and expectations. He had only one. Don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
God says, “I love you so much that I have provided for your every need. There are lots and LOTS of trees with amazing fruit to eat from, including that of the tree of life. Enjoy yourselves! Have fun! Eat, drink and be merry! But I have one rule. Don’t eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Its poison will destroy you.”
This is just like when my husband and I showed our littles their new play set and talked of all the fun to be had, but also had to warn them of the dangers of the road. Here God is warning Adam and Eve of the dangers of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And just as every one of our four children ignored our warning to not go on the road at one point in their life or another, so Adam and Eve decided to ignore God’s warning. They ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
You may wonder, as I used, to why God created a tree with fruit they couldn’t eat. Well, that goes back to what I said earlier. He created us for relationship with Him, but He didn’t want to force himself upon us. He wants us to choose Him like He chose us. Without the tree of knowledge of good and evil we wouldn’t have a choice. Relationship with God would then be forced. And who wants to be in a pre-arranged relationship?
When our kids didn’t stay in the designated play area. When their curiosity lead them out of the safe area we created for them and onto the road where it’s dangerous, our children received a time out and had to go sit inside. Adam’s and Eve’s choice to indulge their curiosity and leave the safe place God created for them meant they could no longer stay in the garden. They would now have to leave, and life would become difficult for them.
It is here where God’s love is once again revealed. When God sends them away from the garden of Eden, we don’t see Him become a tyrannical leader. He never tells them, now here’s all the rules and this is the only way you can please me. He just sends them out to live their life telling them that because they made the wrong choice, life will now be harder than God intended it to be.
And life outside the garden would definitely be much harder. When God created Eden it was His loving daddy way of creating a safety net with parental guidelines for his children to play and live without care or worry. But choices have consequences and this consequence took them outside of the garden. Outside of Eden, outside of that safety net, there are far more choices, far more trees with fruit that hold poison and destruction for humanity. But, without choices we don’t realize our need for our Heavenly Father. And, friends, we NEED Him! We need to choose the good portion of relationship with Him and let Him love us like He’s always desired since the beginning of time.
And here is that surprise mentioned earlier! This is where the indeed meaning of “introducing of a further, stronger more surprising point” comes into play. This is where God begins to introduce us to JESUS!
Pray this with me…
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us so gently and not insisting on your own way. Thank you for being loving, kind and patient with us, even when we reject your warnings and rebel against your loving ways. Thank you that you made things so simple that all we need to do is be loved by you and engage in relationship with you. Reveal to us where we’re making wrong choices. Reveal to us where we’re choosing our way instead of the good portion of love and relationship with you. Father, continue to beckon us to your side and help our hearts be open to the way that you love us. Help us to embrace that love and fully submerge ourselves in you. May we learn to love as you love.
* Take time to read these scriptures today:
– Genesis 1:31 – CSB – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day.
– Genesis 2:15 – 17 – The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
* Think About It:
Read Genesis 1:31 in the Christian Standard Bible and think on the meaning of indeed. Journal how God confirms His love for you with the word INDEED! And then, tell Him of your love for Him!
Blessings to you as you Choose the Good Portion today!
All biblical references are ESV unless otherwise noted.