Genesis 3:1-7 NKJV
Psalm 107:1-3 NKJV
Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV
Daniel 3:17-25 NKJV
BE Grateful Series
Redemption is the act of being saved from sin or evil.
While we may know the definition, we are now always aware of the evil around us.
Eve is a perfect example of a person who was unaware she was in danger when she was approached by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
We read in Genesis 3:1-7, “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
Adam and Eve had been told (warned) not to eat the fruit from ONE tree. They could eat any other fruit in the Garden, but the serpent convinced Eve that it was okay and even advantageous to her to eat the fruit from THAT tree, and so she ate it. Notice the serpent didn’t actually tell a blatant lie. Everything he said was basically true. He said they wouldn’t die…at least immediately. He said their eyes would be opened and they were opened to evil. In a way after they ate of the forbidden fruit they were like God. They saw evil and had to make choices between good and evil. The serpent didn’t tell them it wasn’t what God wanted for Adam and Eve because it would make life difficult and eventually they would die.
In eating the fruit from the very tree they had been warned to stay away from, Adam and Eve needed God’s redemption.
Now they knew good AND evil and it would be part of the heritage they passed on to the generations that followed.
Still God loved them.
Despite their disobedience God was good to man.
God IS our redeemer!
In Psalm 107:1-3 we learn, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, and gathered out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.”
The psalmist proclaims God’s mercy and reminds the reader that those who have been redeemed need to say so. We, the redeemed need to recognize the redeemer and TELL our story of redemption.
On the outside my personal story of redemption doesn’t read like a miracle ordeal. I was redeemed as a child. I don’t think that makes any difference. It doesn’t change the fact that I desperately wanted God to claim me as His own. I knew Jesus loved me, and I desperately wanted Jesus to know I loved Him in return. I wanted Jesus to be my guide and my redeemer.
I wanted to be included. I knew if I died tomorrow I wanted to BE with Jesus.
The Prophet in Isaiah 43:1-2 wrote, “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
When I was young and wanted Jesus I didn’t know there would be times when I would be at the end of my rope with life, hanging off a cliff.
I didn’t know there would be times when I felt like I was alone.
I had no idea I wouldn’t know what my next steps would be.
But here’s the thing…God did know.
God knew I would come to a point when I passed through the waters. God knew there would be times when I felt overwhelmed.
God knew I would walk through fire.
And so, God redeemed me in order to prepare me for the fire that was to come.
When I stepped into the fire, God was there with me. Just like God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3 when King Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone in the kingdom to bow down to his golden image that he had made in his honor. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to any other god but THE God, they were told they would be thrown into the fiery furnace that had been heated seven times hotter than normal.
We read their response in Daniel 3:17-25, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
And just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said, their God redeemed and protected them from the flames. From that moment on, King Nebuchadnezzer decreed that no one was allowed to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He knew their God is THE Redeemer!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Turn to the Redeemer
Proclaim THE Redeemer and Worship God.
In God, Deborah