The Endgame (part 1)
Updated: May 31
God's heart for you
What comes to mind when we talk about God and His plan for humanity?
The focus is generally on our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us. God’s redemptive plan for man through the saving work of Christ by way of His death on the cross and resurrection, freed us from the penalty of our sins which is eternity in hell.
After we’ve put our faith and trust in Jesus and guaranteed our salvation, what’s next?
Most likely, we’ve attended church and Bible studies and listened to teachings on how to live a Christian life. Perhaps, we’ve adopted a lifestyle of Bible reading, prayer, and fasting. We may have also shared our faith with family and friends in response to the commission Jesus gave to His disciples before going back to heaven (Matthew 28:18-20). We’ve possibly done service, acts of charity, or ministry as a way of showing our love to God and to others.
Is that all there is about our life after escaping hell and securing a place in heaven?
God created the world in five days and on the sixth day, He created man. During the third, fourth, and fifth day of creation, God saw that what He had made was “good.” On the sixth day after He created man, God once again looked at what He had created, but this time said that everything He had made was “very good.”
The first five days were all about designing a dwelling place for all the living things that will be inhabiting the earth. The creatures that He made fit into the perfect ecosystem He had prepared.
By the sixth day, everything was ready for His last and best creation – man , the one made after His own image and likeness. God put man or Adam in a garden toward the east of Eden. The land was rich in gold, aromatic resin, and onyx, while a river flowed out of it to water the garden.
He planted this garden and made every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food to grow there. Adam was to cultivate and care for the garden which included the tree of life in the middle of it and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God gave him a specific order about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He could eat from any of the trees in the garden except for that tree because if he does, he could certainly die.
During this time, God brought every living creature on the earth to Adam so he could name them. He saw that among the animals there was no companion suitable for helping Adam. God then caused him to fall into a deep sleep and took one of his ribs. It was from this rib that God created a companion suitable for Adam whom God called woman. Adam later called her ḥāvâ (the mother of all living) or Eve.
God gave them a special mandate to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.” Rulership over every living creature in the sea, air, and on land was now handed to both the man and woman (Genesis 1:27-28).
Everything was perfect. They lived in a garden where their every need was provided. They spoke freely with God while He fellowshipped with them face to face.
It was a bond in a utopian world until they committed the sin of rebellion against God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This sin drove a wedge between God and man’s relationship and life was never the same again.
Marred with sin, man and woman could no longer remain in the presence of a holy God. Furthermore, to prevent them from eating from the tree of life and thus living a cursed life forever, God sent them out of the garden of Eden.
Striving on earth
As we read through the Old Testament, we’ll see that God continued to work with man to carry out His plan to restore the broken relationship.
At an early point in history though, man became so wicked that God decided to destroy His creation through a great flood that submerged the earth. He gave instructions to Noah to create an ark to house two of every creature He created. All of them on the ark survived the flood and from them the whole earth was repopulated.
After they emerged from the ark, God made a covenant with Noah, all his descendants and all the living creatures that came out of the ark to not destroy the earth again with a flood. God also gave Noah and his sons the same mandate He gave to Adam: “be fruitful, multiply, increase abundantly in the earth and multiply on it.”
This was an important mandate for God because He gave it to Noah and his sons not once, but twice. The second time God said it, He told them not only to be fruitful and multiply but also to “swarm on the earth (Genesis 9:7).”
As Noah’s descendants increased however, they decided to stay together and build a city with a tower reaching up to heaven. They wanted to make a name for themselves and not be scattered all over the earth.
God saw this growing rebellion and put a stop to it by causing them to speak different languages. Up until that point, all the people had only been speaking one language. God confused (Bavel) the language of the whole earth and caused them to scatter all over the earth.