Polly Gwinn, Lesson 264, July 20, 2008

For all of you who have asked why God was always so frustrated with the people in the Bible, I have a question for you. Have you ever volunteered to work at the church during Vacation Bible School; worked as a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten teacher; worked as day-care personal or aid? If you have then surely you can understand the trials of God. I have only worked a couple of Vacation Bible School events but usually got the assignment of “teaching” the 4-6 year olds. They come hungry and you hurriedly hand feed them before they
faint from starvation; wiping their little faces; cleaning their grimy hands and finding yourself apologizing for not having their favorite cookie on hand. You already have the crafts’ table set up before class and now you guide the little ones to their places around the table so they can make something fabulous for the parents’ visitation day. You carefully and patiently show your “model” and explain how to make the simple form of a cross with pop-cycle sticks and a little glue. Turning your back is a dangerous thing here because when you look back at little Sue she has decided to glue her hands to the table. Little Fred has stuck the pop-cycle sticks up his nose and is pretending to be a Walrus. Two other boys are fighting a duel with the sticks while others are simply roaming around the room with little or no interest in what is going on. One is crying for momma, one has wet their pants and one has completely disappeared from the room. Of course you leave the “99” and go and look for the little lost sheep, finding him in the kitchen munching on the Communion Bread. Steering him back on course and into the “play room” you find that most of the others have finished their little crosses. They are beautifully displayed…… on the walls, the floor and on the backs of some that have become victims of the “little rascals”. Complete chaos, resulting in total frustration!

In the beginning God created a flawless, spectacular world with all the animals, creatures in the waters and birds of the air. He created the breath-taking, majestic heavens above the earth which hold the stars and the planets. Then God made man to rule over the creatures of the earth and He was pleased with all of His creations and with a smile (I imagine) He said that it was good. I believe this is the last time God smiled throughout the Old Testament! Immediately after creating man and woman the devil came in causing deceit through lies; Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden; murder between brothers; the daughters of man married the fallen angels which was an abomination to the Lord. It is the devil’s job to cause havoc and wickedness and he did his best work in the book of Genesis. God was grieved that He had made man and brought a flood to completely destroy all He had made; except for Noah, his family and “two of everything”. He led Noah, age 600, to build an Ark to hold what He intended to save and sent them sailing on the waters until the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year. Noah, blameless and righteous in the eyes of the Lord, stepped out into a clean earth, planted a vineyard, drank of its wine and fell into his tent; drunk! The earth was once again soiled!

God calls out Abram from his own country; Abram brings along his nephew Lot; Lot settles near Sodom; the Lord gives Abram the land of Canaan and promises him offspring like the dust of the earth. Everything seems to be going well again but the devil is not at rest. Sarai does not believe God and takes matters of Abram’s heir into her own hands. God makes amends for man once again, changing Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah reassuring Abraham that in one year he and Sarah would have a son causing Sarah to laugh! Wrong thing to laugh at God since Sarah indeed had a child after she was past 90 years of age! Then Abraham had to rescue Lot and family from Sodom since God intended to destroy it with burning sulfur because of wickedness; Lot’s wife disobeyed and looked back causing her to turn to a pillar of salt. Lot’s daughters were evil and immoral; God tested Abraham with telling him to sacrifice Isaac; Isaac lived; Sarah died; Isaac married; Abraham died and the story of two more fighting sons, Jacob and Esau, began. Jacob wrestles with God; Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers; God killed the wicked sons of Judah; Potiphar’s wife seduced Joseph; there was a famine in the land and Joseph died after assuring the people that God would come to rescue them from the land of Egypt and they were to carry his bones out of the land. All of this and much more is written in the first book of the bible; Genesis. Like a room full of 4-6 year olds, these people just cannot follow instructions, continuously disobey, wander around without purpose and antagonize God. Now do you have a bit more understanding and sympathy for God?

I am satisfied with Jesus, but the question comes to me, as I think of Calvary; is my Master satisfied with me? This is a question we should ask ourselves daily. We should learn to recognize what displeases God. Like the apostle Paul we should continue to strive for perfection. Do not become weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9). Persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised (Hebrews 10:36). The Lord reigns, Let the earth be glad (Psalms 97:1). Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obeys it (Luke 11:28) “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthian 15:58). Follow God’s instructions and you will be blessed by the Father and enter into your inheritance; the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world (Matthew 25:34).

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