July 5 I Sunday
“...what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?…You made them rulers over the works of Your hands…all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.” —Psalm 8:4-8
Some of us may wonder, What is wrong with this world? When we watch the news, we hear of burglary, murder and terrorism. What is wrong? People. Yet, in David’s psalm from the opening of this devotion, he rhetorically asks God what are human beings that He is mindful of them. David answers that God made human beings ruler over the works of His hands.
God’s purpose is for mankind to exercise dominion and rule over the earth in submission and dependency on God. But the Fall happened at the Garden of Eden, when God’s first creation of human beings—Adam and Eve—acted in disobedience and independence.
God’s established order, which includes giving human beings dominion over the earth, was not withdrawn the day that Adam and Eve sinned. In fact, as a consequence, the whole human race began to live governed by self-interests and evil; this is why the world is in the mess that it is in.
God gave the command to Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die”
(Genesis 2:16-17). On the day that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they died. Not a physical death but a spiritual death, where their lives were separated from the life of God. They remained physically alive, but the spirit of God—the life of God—was withdrawn from human experience. 1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us, “For as in Adam all die…” The whole human race is born spiritually dead and separated from God as a result of Adam’s actions.
Spiritual death is a present tense experience into which we are born. This is why Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death…” It is not a future statement but a present statement. Incidentally, nobody will ever die for their sins for the simple reason that it is too late. We will not find a verse in the Bible telling us that a person will die for their sins. Why?
Because we are already dead, as a consequence of sin, but the end of Romans 6:23 tells us, “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The invitation of the gospel is to come alive.
The world is in a mess because of our spiritual death and separation from God. But there is hope, when we personally choose to receive the gift of God, which is eternal life—a spiritual life with God. Have you made this decision to come alive?
Prayer: Almighty God, what are human beings that You are mindful of them? Thank You for creating me and sending Your Son into this world. Even though I am born spiritually dead, I am spiritually alive because of Your gift of life through Jesus Christ.