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The Existence of Absolutes

January 2, 2024

In Genesis 2:18-25, we see God’s proclamation that it is “not good for the man to be alone” (verse 18) and God’s expectation for man to name the animals. Interestingly, God does not intervene in this activity – He allows Adam the freedom to name the animals whatever he likes. Naming the animals is a systematic exercise – it relates to taxonomies which are scientific. Taxonomies can be intricate, revealing that Adam understood logical thinking and complexities. Adam would have observed that each animal had its mate, but that he had none. In verse 21, God caused Adam “to fall into s deep asleep,” during which time, God “made a woman from Adam’s rib.” How long did this take? How long was Adam asleep? And how did he wake up from this sleep? Of course, we are not told, but the point is that when God “caused” Adam to fall asleep, the man was powerless to resist and remained asleep as long as God wanted him to sleep; he couldn’t and didn’t wake up until God woke him. Adam had nothing to say about this absolute condition, which illustrates (1) that absolutes exist; (2) that things happen to us outside of our wishes or our control, and (3) that absolutes are under God’s direct control. God brings the woman to Adam, and the man recognizes her as “bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh” (verse 23). She is a vital part of Adam, and she is his equal – she makes Adam complete.

In Genesis 3 – 4:1-16, we read about man’s horrible fall into sin and the results. Satan questions the Word of God and twists it to serve his own program and purposes which are deceptive to Adam and Eve – leading them to seek knowledge from the wrong source. As a result, they choose to disobey God and eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We observe that they were not forbidden from eating of the Tree of Life, which was also in the garden. One may say that they actually chose knowledge over life itself. Satan’s deception was total, and the effects of the fall were equally all-encompassing. Man’s fall into sin affected everything – the creation, the nature of man, the personhood, the body, the soul, the mind – the fall represents man’s absolute desolation. On the heels of sin and disobedience, it ushered in death, and it divided man utterly from God, from the world, from his fellow man, and from himself. Fortunately, because of God’s unfailing love for His creation as well as His longsuffering mercy, grace, and lovingkindness, God provides a sacrificial covering that allows man still to come into God’s presence until He provides our Substitute in His Son, Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve are removed from the garden and now must face the harsh realities of the consequences of their sinfully bad decision. Immediately, we see an early result - murder. God wants us to know that life is precious, sacred, and inviolable. Although one human being may physically kill another – in reality, the other’s life is not completely killed - only physically removed. God alone holds the power of life and death. Life is in the blood, for which reason God said to Cain, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground” (4:10).

In Psalm 2, the Psalmist addresses the issue of national rage – sin elevated to and even beyond the national level. A conspiracy among world “rulers to gather together against the LORD” exists (verse 2), but it is absolutely pointless. “The One enthroned in heaven laughs and scoffs at them” (verse 4). The Psalmist proclaims, “the decree of the LORD,” which includes “making the nations His Son’s inheritance” (verses 7-9), and ruling them “with an iron scepter.” Here, He warns us that “His wrath can flare up in a moment” (verse 12). A word to the wise is sufficient.

In Mathew 2, we observe the visit of the Magi to the Christ-child. This “disturbed King Herod” (verse 3), because it represented a threat to this neurotic king. The prophets had foretold the place of the child’s birth, and as a tool in the hands of Satan, Herod tried to manipulate the Magi; Herod wanted to kill the baby. We note the joy of the Magi and their treasures – provisions for the unanticipated but prophetic journey to Egypt – that “the Scriptures might be fulfilled” (cf., Hosea 11:1). “Outwitted by the Magi” (verse 16), and falsely thinking he could eliminate the baby Jesus by killing “all the boys in Bethlehem,” Herod mercilessly ordered their execution. This is a classic example of the fulfillment of Psalm 2 – Herod’s rage against God and God’s subsequent wrath. After Herod’s death, the Lord appeared to Joseph and instructed him ‘to take the child and his mother back to Israel” (verses 20-21). Matthew includes a reference to Christ being called a “Nazarene and from Nazareth” (cf., Isaiah 11:1; Psalm 22:6-7).

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