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Love Rejected

Now you may ask yourself: If we were "designed for love," why is there so much unhappiness around us? Why is there so little real love between human beings - even between those who live close to one another?

In the same book of Genesis, which tells us that God created everything good, we read about terrible sins! Murder (Genesis 4:8), drunkenness (9:12), rape (34:1-3), incest (19:30-38), homosexuality (19:5), pro~stitution (38:13-19) and adultery (39:7).

It is clear from Genesis 1 and 2 that God created us good. Some people like to put the blame on God for their sinful lives by saying, "God made me like that". The sexual nature was given by God - that is true. But if I use my sexual gifts against his will, then the problem lies with me. Sex was made good, but I am bad.

Man was created good and free, free to love God, his fellowmen and creation. God wanted man to love him freely. He gave him everything he needed to be happy - and much more. But man's happiness consists in fulfilling God's purpose with his life. Adam's happiness consisted in being obedient to God. A free person must be freely obedient. God gave Adam the opportunity to show his free obedience. Therefore God told him about one thing that was not allowed.

Read Genesis 2:16-17.

What was allowed to Adam?

What was forbidden?

What would happen if he disobeyed?

Man was created free, even to be freely disobedient. But disobedience was to reject God's love. To reject someone's unconditional and undeserved love is a strange thing. Think of a child who rejects the love of a father or mother. But still it happens every day. We tend to do wrong, because of something that happened to Adam and Eve.

Read Genesis 3:1-8.

How did the serpent sow doubt in Eve's mind?

Did Eve know what God commanded?

How did Eve handle the temptation that came to her? (Verse 6.)

Why, do you think, did she give some of the fruit to Adam?

How did this sin affect their relationship -

- to one another?

- to God?

Even today Satan tempts us in much the same way. Deep down in our hearts we know what is right. But the voice of Satan, perhaps through a good friend, makes us doubt God's love for us. He tells us how much we will gain by being disobedient. And the more we talk and think about it, the more attractive the temptation becomes, until at last we fall into sin, and try to drag others along with us, as Eve did.

You cannot stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from nesting in your hair. And whenever you allow the "bird" of temptation to nest in your thoughts, it tends to breed sin (James 1:13-15).

Indeed, Genesis 3 explains to us the terrible reality of our disobedience and unfaithfulness to God. Man willingly became a free sinner - free "to do his own thing". Man turned away from a loving God, from loving God's creation, from loving his wife, to loving himself. Man was created with love and to love, but he rejected the love of God and chose to love only himself. He chose to be his own god. Selfishness is the root of all sin, and leads to disobedience.

And to reject God's love is to be, in the language of the Bible, a sinner.

Prayer: O God, sometimes I feel that temptation is too strong for me.  Cleanse my thoughts and give me the victory over sin through Christ's power.  Amen.

Questions to Discuss in the Group

1. Who is responsible when we sin? Adam? Our ancestors? Our parents?  Our teachers? Our friends? Ourselves?

2. Is it possible to avoid all sin? Explain.

3. Can there be real freedom without obedience to God? Give reasons.