Scripture Read: Judges 9:22-25 Now Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, so that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers. The men of Shechem set men in ambush against him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who might pass by them along the road; and it was told to Abimelech.
Gen 3:24a - So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword
Wow! God sounds angry...and if that is all we had, we might come to that conclusion. Sadder still, from famous psychologist to artist, this is the story and the picture that is painted. How unfair to a loving God. God desired a relationship with man...on man’s terms. If no tree of testing had been placed in the garden, man would have no choice but to love God. God desired man to make that choice himself...and we know the outcome. If God was as many portray Him, why did He not just kill them physically? They died (were separated) spiritually right away. God could have finished it right there. Here is where all the surrounding Scripture show the Truth about the heart of our God.
Genesis 3:22–24 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
If man had eaten of that tree, he would live for ever in a sinful state and separate from God. In His mercy He “drove” them out of the garden...to allow them to die physically, yet be offered redemption by God Himself! Not such an ugly picture when you allow the Scripture to speak for itself.
Ezekiel 18:23 “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?
Ezekiel 18:32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
Meditation Questions: Would you say you Read the Bible or Study it? What’s the difference? When you see something about God in the scripture that you don’t understand, what do you do? Is there any question your afraid to ask God? Why? Why not? Do you think it is wrong to ask God questions? Explain. Is there a difference between questioning and doubting? What is it? If the Truth will set us free, what should we be afraid of?