Gen. 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
Genesis 3: 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
For years I used to wonder why God waited so long after this promise of a redeemer for Adam and Eve before Christ came to the earth. Seriously it’s obvious there’s a great need, so why not bring Jesus right away?
My goal isn’t to answer this question in-depth since Biblical scholars have already done an awesome job doing so…instead I would like to share one reason for this period of waiting.
We who have the Word of God know Jesus Christ was the only one who could truly redeem us. Adam and Eve didn’t, so they probably expected a man or woman like them to be chosen as God’s redeemer.
So we are introduced to a primary Old Testament Theme: God will provide a redeemer, but you aren’t him.
Throughout the Old Testament, men of God rose up who could possibly fit the qualifications of being God’s redeemer (living a sinless life) and probably generated some excitement. But each one ended up failing miserably.
God proved His point (we aren’t the redeemer) but created a relationship with mankind so that we would always be reminded of our brockeness (need of Him). This wasn’t done in arrogance, but so that we would rely upon God instead of ourselves.
The Old Testament relationship with God was based on obedience in our own strength through the Ten Commandments. While the Lord did give help and forgiveness, much of the OT was about mankind trying to live up to God’s perfect standard, and understanding that we couldn’t.
With the New Testament Christ paid for our sins through His death and resurrection. This not only freed us from the slavery to sin, but also initiated a new relationship with God.
No longer was it about me working harder to obey God (a OT relationship) but it’s about faithfully following God’s leading .
A Relationship of Faithfulness, Not Works from John Wilburn on Vimeo.
this may seem like the same thing at first so allow me to explain
An Old Testament Relationship
- Gives me control
- Is based on my strength
- Leads to frustration because I have a breaking point
A New Testament Relationship
- Gives God control
- Is based upon his leading and strength
- My responsibility is to trust Him
- Leads to peace because God has no breaking point
This doesn’t mean the New Testament relationship is easier than the Old Testament since placing our faith in someone else is incredibly frightening (and humbling).
Because of this we find ourselves leaning towards the OT relationship based upon works because it gives us control. And by doing so we conveniently overlook the fact that this relationship is broken .
This is why God in His grace brings frustrating situations into our lives (like my not returning to Australia yet) as not so gentle reminders that a relationship based upon works is broken.
Frustration does bring sorrow and pain into our lives…but God uses that suffering to reveal our brockeness, and created a relationship that brings Him Glory.