Tuesday, 2 December 2014

This is the way - walk in it. Advent - Day 2

I'm continuing my Jesse Tree series today.


SCRIPTURE:

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’
10 He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’ Genesis 3

NAME OF JESUS:  Wonderful Counsellor (Isaiah 9:6)
SYMBOL: Fruit



DEVOTIONAL:

Before the fall of man, before any sin, Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony with God.  They heard His voice and they were filled with joy.  In the garden God had placed two trees that were particularly special, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 

God always sets before us a choice: life or death.  But He also always warns us, “You may do this, but don’t do that” - because God is able to make that judgement. Adam and Eve could eat of the tree of life but not of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Why?  Because then they would know EVIL.  They didn’t even know good before that – they couldn’t judge the difference.  Everything was good, but they had no frame of reference.  What they had before was all that they knew…and all that they knew was beauty and God.

Why are we attracted to knowing good and evil?  We want to be our own moral compass, independence strives hard in the heart of man.  “I have no need of God, I know what good is, I know what evil is – I can judge wrong from right.  I can judge you, I can judge me and I can judge even God.”  But we can’t judge, because we who eat the fruit of that tree judge with our eyes - and with no life of God in our eyes we are actually blind.  Those who judge from God’s perspective discern and offer life: from the Tree of Life.

The even deeper question is, why knowing only God do we want to even know evil? Why do I read the article under the screaming lurid headlines in the news? Because my flesh wants to know evil.  Why is gossip so tantalizing?  Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Urgh.

Who is Jesus for us in all this?  He is our TREE OF LIFE.  He was there in the garden, represented in that tree of life and yet we wanted our own path.  Now, God’s children are stricken and lost; we can’t see the way, blinded by our own judging we don’t even see our need for Him as we try to make the right decisions and dig our pit deeper.

On a hill outside the city wall, broken, bleeding and rejected by us, He stands, arms outstretched.  Hear His whisper, “Turn away from the sin, the evil, the flesh, turn to Me for I Am eternal life: I’ll open your eyes to the way”.  This is the voice of the Wonderful Counsellor prophesied by Isaiah.  That same voice, Who only speaks what His Father is saying, that voice that called out to Adam in the Garden.  “Where are you?”  And we cry out, “I’m lost.  Father help me”.

Let the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God, be your ‘parakletos’ today: that Greek word for the Holy Spirit that means Advocate, counsellor - WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR -, helper and guide.  No longer trusting in your own compass to guide, - don’t assume you know right from wrong – listen, you will hear His tender voice behind you gently speak through the pain and suffering and confusion of life: ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:21)

Happy Advent. x 

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