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The hardest thing about forgiveness is not whether you forgive yourself or whether you forgive those who have sinned against you, but it must be, and is, forgiving God against whom you have sinned. Why? The ability, or rather, the inability to forgive God is one of the oldest traits in the Adamic nature, after ingratitude, disobedience and casting blame upon others.

Adam, before he disobeyed, was already showing ungratefulness when he said of Eve, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she was taken out of man.”[1] And after he disobeyed by eating of the forbidden fruit, he then cast the blame first on God and then on Eve, saying, “The woman You put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”[2] And so he was cast out of the garden and God pronounced His judgement on them, saying, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”[3]

Have you ever wondered – Did Adam ever forgive God for giving Eve to him, and then for casting him out of the garden? Did Adam ever forgive God for making him? It is a common and recurring theme in the lives of all men, to blame God for their circumstances, even for allowing them to be born. Many, who reject the Gospel of Christ, reject it because they have lived a life hearing about God, but never seeing Him move on their behalf to deliver them miraculously. You see, Adam can reason, “Why didn’t God appear just when I was about to eat the fruit, instead of after?” Just as many have cried out to God for help during their distress, and never received help in their distress. One of the hardest questions to answer is why didn’t God intervene? After all, if He is God Almighty, He can do anything.

A people who barely know God, like Adam, even though Adam walked with God in the cool of the day, Adam was only starting to come to know God, so as people who barely know God, we are permitted to ask, “Why, God?” But in truth, only the one who truly knows God has the right to blame God. For unless you know a person so well that you can see things from their perspective, you cannot truly blame them. And we do blame, but that does not mean that we can.

For Adam, the final straw in his relationship with God would have been the death of Abel at the hands of Cain, especially when God was the One who incited it by showing favour on Abel and not Cain, and then warning Cain that “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it,”[4] without lifting a finger to prevent it. After all, could God not prevent such a tragedy? And so, Adam turned his back on God when his son Seth was born. When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.[5]

In the early days, Adam must have talked to Cain and Abel of the Lord, for they both brought offerings to the Lord. But, when you make someone in your own image and likeness, that is when you have declared yourself to be ‘God’, and there is no other. Seeing what teaching his sons about God did to them, Adam raised Seth in his own image and likeness. That is, one who is ungrateful, disobedient and casting blame on God, just like Adam was, so that Seth was brought up acknowledging that man, that is, Adam is the superior, the ‘God’, and not God, who made man. It was Adam’s way of saying to God, “From now on, we have nothing to do with each other, for my son Seth is in my image and likeness, not Yours.” Adam was showing God he was not going to forgive God for his situation by turning the descendants of the image of God into the image of man.

And when Seth was brought up in Adam’s likeness and image, then man stopped seeing each other as the image of God, but merely the image of man, and so ingratitude, disobedience, and laying blame on one another as well as unforgiveness became the four pillars of all that is evil about man. So, whenever you see an ungrateful person, a disobedient person, one who blames everybody else for their decisions, as well as an unforgiving person, you see Seth, the image and likeness of man, the sign that Adam did not forgive God when he was 130 years old. We do not know if Adam ever forgave God, but we know that at 130 years of age, Adam showed God that he was not forgiving God by raising Seth in his image and likeness.

Whenever you and I are ungrateful, disobedient, laying blame on others and unforgiving, we are raising up the image of Adam in us, a man who barely knew God. And that is what happens in all men and women who hardly know God. In their ignorance, pride and unjust attitude, to come to the truth that they hardly know God so they can’t blame God for the misfortunes of their life, they show themselves to be in the image and likeness of Adam. That is the original creation manifesting itself.

Jesus Christ came to also show us what a Man who fully knows God will do to God, even if He was forsaken by God for obeying God. Adam was punished for disobeying God. Jesus was crucified for obeying God. After Adam lost Abel and Cain, Adam resolved to raise Seth in his image and likeness as a way of saying, “I want nothing to do with God.” Before Jesus lost His life and was crucified, He had already asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, “And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth,”[6] who is also the Spirit of Sonship, so that all who believe in Jesus would be raised up into not just the image or likeness of God, but the exact representation of His Glory, in the fullness of the stature of a son of God. Before Jesus went to the cross, He already determined in His heart that no matter what happened, He would raise those the Father had given Him into the Image of God, through the Holy Spirit. That was Jesus’ way of saying to God, “No matter what happens, I will not do to You what Adam did.”

On the cross at Calvary, Jesus, the only Man who knew all there is to know of God, for He was with God from the beginning, and He is God, experienced something far worse than Adam being cast out of the Garden of Eden for disobedience. He experienced being forsaken by God for obeying God in becoming sin to be a sin offering that we might be the righteousness of God. And so He cried out as any man would cry out, a cry that did not originate from Him, but one written by another man almost 800 years earlier by King David, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”[7] And even though forsaken by God for obeying God, Jesus finished His work and showed that He had always forgiven His Father, saying, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit,”[8] in a voice loud enough for all who mattered to hear.

That is why the eternal life that we receive through faith in Jesus is so that we may come to know God,[9] for in coming to know God; we too can become like Jesus and forgive God, even when He forsakes us for obeying Him. Men blame God for their troubles or refuse to acknowledge His existence, without knowing Him. The Son of God forgave God for forsaking Him, and even with His last breath, still acknowledged Him for who He is above all else—“Father”.

So, whenever you and I, or anyone, come to a place that we do not forgive God, we are merely displaying our ignorance of God, and anyone who refuses to see that man is in the image of God, has taken up the Adamic path of unforgiveness of God and has raised himself up in the image and likeness of Adam, declaring himself to be ‘God’.

The forgiveness of God for a man is not possible without getting to know God. That is why Job, God’s champion of his day, said to his three friends who were counselling him of his problems: “Even today my complaint is bitter; His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning. If only I knew where to find Him; if only I could go to His dwelling! I would state my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what He would answer me, and consider what He would say.” Before Job condemned himself as sinful and therefore responsible for the disasters, and submitted himself to God as Eliphaz the Temanite advised, and before he would reject God as his wife advised him, “Curse God and die,”[10] Job wanted to find God to speak to Him face to face.

Job’s righteousness is this: he admitted to the truth that he did not know God as he should, so despite the disasters, he wanted God to speak to him first. The truth about us is that we refuse to accept the truth about ourselves, sinners fallen short of the Glory of God, and the truth that we hardly know God, but gladly blame Him and show our unforgiveness of Him, by totally ignoring Him by declaring ourselves to be ‘God’, when we raise up our children in our image and our likeness, just like Adam did to Seth.

And unforgiveness of God is the spark that lights the fire of rebellion in the bellies of the wicked, those who so crave for the forsaking of God that if a man would appear with the power of God declaring himself to be ‘God’, they would turn to him. So, forgiveness, not just of each other, but of God, is the key that keeps us locked out of the fate of the rebellious. For the rebel will one day so hate God and be unforgiving of God in his disappointment with God, that he will use the power of God given to him to raise himself up in his own image and likeness, and declare himself to be ‘God’.

Even now, the seed for that rebellion is being planted with men who preach a wisdom that denies our need to rely on God. You see it in those who preach and teach men to appreciate themselves to release the fullness of the potential within themselves, without ever having to acknowledge the truth that they are sinners in need of God’s salvation. So now, in the hearts of men and women, the fuel for the rebellion, the ground is being prepared for the rebel who will reveal himself soon and declare himself ‘God’ with signs and wonders, even calling down fire from Heaven in the sight of men.[11] And people everywhere in the civilised world are paying for their wisdom, to sit and listen and learn how to unleash the god in them, in their own image and likeness, giving vent to Adam’s bitterness against God.

Jesus Christ came to show us how the One who knows His God can forgive His God, for when a person is truly good, as God is Good, the more you know of Him, the more you will love Him, and the more you love Him, the more you will forgive Him. Jesus experienced being forsaken by God on the cross for obeying God to show us nothing can separate us from the God we love, if we come to know Him. And all who believe in Jesus can come to know God with the help of the Holy Spirit, until we know Him as Jesus knows Him. That is the fullness of the stature of Christ.

So, in the days ahead, even today, understand the truth: We hardly know God so we can hardly blame God. As the days of distress unfolds, those who have not come to know God through Jesus Christ will blame and curse God, hoping to die because of the plagues that are prepared. These will include even those who call themselves Christians now, but have not used the time to come to know God and His power. We can only pray and hope that they can be at least like Job and seek God in His dwelling place where He lives to argue with God and not turn away and rebel.

But for you who listen to Jesus and delight in obeying this greatest of God’s commandments to those He gave to Jesus to keep, use this time to come to know God and no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the situations, forgive God even when you have been forsaken for obeying Him.

Remember the Lord who was forsaken on the cross; and like Him, be ready to cry out in the loudest of voices, “Father, into Your hands, I commit My spirit.” Amen


 

[1] Genesis 2:23

[2] Genesis 3:12

[3] Genesis 3:17-19

[4] Genesis 4:7

[5] Genesis 5:3

[6] John 14:16-17

[7] Psalm 22:1

[8] Luke 23:46

[9] John 17:3

[10] Job 2:9

[11] Revelation 13:13

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