Friday, January 3, 2020

Men of the Bible - Friday, January 3, 2020


His name means: "Of the Ground"

His work: Until his sin, Adam was naked and was the happy caretaker of the Garden of Eden. After succumbing to temptation, he tailored his own clothes and became a farmer.
His character: The first man, Adam, was initially God's perfect human creation. Adam was in harmony with nature and with his wife, who was formed from one of his ribs.
His sorrow: More tragic than any story in the Bible, Adam disobeyed God, was expelled from the Garden of Eden and spent the rest of his life in hard labor.
His triumph: Adam was the firstborn of all creation.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 2-3

A Look at the Man

Try to imagine what it must have been like to wake up for the first time as a grown man—to rub the sleep from your eyes and not know anything about anything. This is exactly what happened to Adam. Everything was unfamiliar and new. His mind must have spun with possible scenarios of who he was and who put him in the garden.

The first few days of Adam's life were an indescribable sequence of extrasensory experiences, like checking into one of those opulent European hotels, all expenses paid—only much better and much more extravagant. Everywhere he turned he saw lavish beauty. And because no other man was in sight, Adam rightly assumed that all of this belonged to him.

And if that wasn't enough, Adam's great longing—for the perfect human companionship—was completely satisfied with the creation of a woman, her face lovely and radiant, her companionship pleasing, her affection for him alone.

Every day the Life section of USA Today tells of the rich and famous, the accomplished and gifted, the successful and powerful—the beautiful people. But if ever there were such a person, Adam was surely the man who had everything. How could he possibly want for more?

But, incredibly, he did want more. He refused to be satisfied with what God had provided for his pleasure. His heart was piqued with a hint of discontent. He wanted to go his own way, to do what he wanted to do, to be his own man.

And so the only thing God had told him to avoid became the very thing he submitted to. Willing to sacrifice his abundance on the altar of this temptation, Adam, the man who had absolutely everything, lost absolutely everything. All of this ruin over a silly bite of fruit he was told to avoid. What a foolish wager. What a waste of paradise.

The man who has it all risks it all on something shameful and inconsequential. But doesn't this sound strangely familiar? Of course it does. Every once in a while the beautiful people in the Life section find their way to the News section—indicted for shoplifting, embezzlement, fraud, assault, and even murder. And so, by their own accord, they exchange their riches for the poverty of embarrassment and exile—a page right out of Genesis 3.

But before we jump to judgment against Adam and these fallen contemporary heroes, we have our own hearts to deal with, don't we? Our longing for more when we have enough. Our sin of discontent in the midst of plenty.

Reflect On: Genesis 2:8-25
Praise God: For creating you in his own image.
Offer Thanks: For the work God has given you, whether it’s easy or hard—or, more likely, a mixture of both.
Confess: Any discontent, disobedience, or mistrust that prevents you from enjoying the good things God intends for your life.
Ask God: To help you understand the link between obedience and blessing.

Today's reading is a brief excerpt from Men of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Men in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Robert Wolgemuth (Zondervan). © 2010 by Ann Spangler. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Enjoy the complete book by purchasing your own copy at the Bible Gateway Store. The book's title must be included when sharing the above content on social media.
Try to imagine what it must have been like to wake up for the first time as a grown man—to rub the sleep from your eyes and not know anything about anything.

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