Grace from the Beginning
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:26-31
Perhaps you have heard it said, “The God of the Old Testament was angry and wrathful, but God in the New Testament is much more gracious.” This, friend, is heresy and a lie about the character of God. We worship a God who never changes (Hebrews 13:8). He is no less gracious in the Old Testament than He is in the New.
When God created man, He didn’t send him out to see how he does and then decide whether to hand out judgment or blessing. God began with blessing Adam and Ev, and giving them the garden of Eden. He put them in authority over every living thing, to steward it to His glory. These gifts weren’t given because they first proved themselves loyal, righteous, and obedient—they were an act of grace.
Even when Adam and Eve committed the first sin— when they took of the only fruit they were forbidden to eat—God continued in grace. He gently sought them out with questions rather than accusations, though He knew exactly what they had done. He covered their nakedness with the skins of animals—much more resilient and practical than leaves. He protected them from the Tree of Life—so they cannot live forever in this sin-filled state. But most importantly, He told them of His plan for redemption, which He knew from the beginning—the plan to send his Son to atone for their sins.
From the beginning, and even now in the midst of your sin, God is gracious—ready to show mercy and grant forgiveness to those He loves.
Thank you for Your abundant grace, Father. Thank You for showing me grace when I deserved it least. Thank You for loving me when I was most unlovable. Thank You for Your unchanging mercy. Thank You for not giving me the justice I deserved, but giving me Christ’s righteousness. You are mighty to save.
Do you have misconceptions about God’s grace to you or to someone you know? Begin reading in Genesis, and see time after time how the mercy of God is unfolding to undeserving, sinful humans like us.