These days we often talk about “pivoting” when the unexpected occurs. But is God subject to such a necessity? When He found Adam and Eve in the garden after their sin, did He have to pivot and rearrange His plans to account for it? In today’s episode, Pastor Lutzer discusses the implications of our limited control over circumstances in light of God’s limitless sovereignty.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Well, if you were with us last time, you know that we’ve begun a series entitled, “Making the Best of a Bad Decision.” And no matter how many bad decisions you have made, I can tell you this, you have not made the worst decision that was ever made.
The Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that Adam and Eve were created by God, and I’m assuming here that you know the story, and they were in a perfect environment. You know, were they hungry? They could eat. Beautiful trees, we of course, try to imagine what it was like to be in this paradise but it’s not just that they had a beautiful environment, they also had a beautiful relationship — the relationship between the two of them. Imagine this, there were no insecurities. Eve didn’t have to worry whether or not her husband was spending too much time with a woman next door and she didn’t have to compete with all the supermodels that we see today on our news stands. That was not an issue. As a matter of fact, Eve didn’t have to go to bed at night wondering whether or not she had married the right man! And there she is with a great opportunity and yet in the midst of this, they sinned.
Now, there’s a lesson I want us to learn and we’re going to be returning to this story a number of times in the sessions to come, but there’s a tremendous lesson here for us. When Eve decided to eat of the fruit of the tree, she had no idea what the consequences would be. I’m sure that, humanly speaking, if she had seen the entrance of sin into the world — and of course, Adam was with her in the garden (we don’t want to let him be off the hook) but the point is this: that if she had seen all that, she probably would have decided eating the fruit of the tree that was forbidden was a bad idea. I want to just share a couple of thoughts with you today and as I mentioned, we’re going to be returning to this because it is fraught with interest and really describes us as well. You may decide that you can do whatever you like but the minute you and I decide to sin, when we decide to sin, the consequences are out of our hands. Adam and Eve unleashed a barrage of evil that we are still dealing with even today. But in the midst of this, God is going to come and there’s going to be a lesson of redemption and a lesson of hope.
But I want to leave you today with a theological conundrum. When God entered the garden and began to clean up the mess that we will discuss in future sessions, was this “Plan B” or was it actually “Plan A?” You know, the Bible says in the book of Ephesians, and I won’t take the time to read it, but it’s there in the third chapter, it speaks about the fact that God determined that the wisdom of God, the manifold wisdom of God would be seen in the church and this was determined from all eternity. Let’s take a moment to ponder that. And the lesson for us today is simply this: that no matter what you have done, obviously, it is not a surprise to God. Obviously, God can be there for you just as He was with Adam and Eve, and in the process what we need to do is to learn the mistakes that they made but always to remember that God is with us, nothing takes Him by surprise and today He is with you no matter where you find yourself because of a bad decision or a bad series of decisions.
Stay with us next time because we’re going to be coming back to this remarkable story. We’re going to be learning why it is that they ended up making the decision that they did but in the process, we’re going to learn all about God’s redemption and hope in the midst of ruin. Thanks so much for joining us. Let your friends know about this series and as for today, you just go with God.