Friday, April 23, 2010

Genesis 3: The curse

When God curses in Genesis 3, is he pronouncing something that is a natural result of sin and disobedience because it could be no other way according to the way God has ordained the universe to operate? Or does God pronounce judgment and impose a sentence that would not necessarily have been in place had he not deemed it so right then? Does this question even make sense? Or is it significant? I am leaning toward it being a tension – the nature of justice is really known only perfectly through God, who is perfectly just. So only God would be able to pronounce a just sentence that also happened to be set up to be a natural and just consequence of sin in his created world. I think I am thinking too much in terms of a human perspective (which is the only one I have!) In a court of law, when a judge or jury give a sentence or a judgment, we ask the question of our own consciences – is this a just sentence? Well, in some sense it is justice, according to the system of justice our government has implemented. But God’s perfect justice is our standard, it is possible for us to say – no this such-and-such sentence is not just as God would see it (if our consciences lead us rightly). But if God is doing the sentencing, there is no higher standard of justice to apply to. God is his own standard. This is blowing my mind.

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