Imagine you are reading Genesis 11 for the first time. Man is trying to get to God. Man is making a concerted effort to reach God. If this was the first time you had read this, you would think man is on the right track. Then God comes down and looks at man’s efforts and is far from pleased. Not only that, but He goes so far as to thwart their efforts! Imagine you have never read the Bible before and you come across this passage. You might think that God wants nothing to do with man.
Then you get to Matthew 10:20 and Jesus says that God cares about the smallest of birds, and you are far more important to God than that. So does God like man or not? It seems that there are either two very different sides to God, or maybe this is a different God altogether.
On the contrary. God loves His creation, and desires a relationship with man. But there’s something that stands in the way. Man is sinful. Man is inherently rebellious. We find man’s rebellion illustrated in Ezra 10. Israel had been told not to marry pagan women, but that’s exactly what they proceeded to do. It wasn’t just the common people either. The doorkeepers (porters) of the temple, the musicians, the Levites, and even the priests were involved. Sin permeates every part of society: every ethnicity, every age, every social status, every occupation, every income bracket. Sin is everywhere because we are sinners.
But in Acts 10:34 and following, we find out that God does not hold any person in higher regard than another. We are all equal in His sight. That means equally valuable, but as sinners, equally guilty. The only way to receive favor from God is through Jesus Christ.
Maybe you look at this and say, “That’s just a simple Gospel presentation.” And you would be completely right. But that’s the context and content of the Scriptures! If we don’t see how each passage points us back to this one truth, we don’t understand the main point of God’s Word.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and with them, He created man. Man rebelled against God, but God provided a way to reinstate that relationship with Him, by Jesus dying on the cross to pay for our offenses. God doesn’t just like man, He loves man!
Going back to Genesis 10, God does have one stipulation though. You can’t get to God on your own terms. In John 14:6, Jesus, twice, makes it abundantly clear: “I am the way…” and in case you still thought there was another way to get to God, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” God desires a relationship with mankind. He desires a relationship with YOU! As you read through the Bible this year, let me challenge you: see how each passage of the Bible fits into the overall concept of God’s redemption of rebellious man. With time, you will see the Gospel in a much fuller light.