Our backyard has always had its fair share of wildlife. It helps that there is ample shelter and food provided by a huge oak tree and other various bushes and trees. So we see lots of squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, all kinds of birds and an occasional groundhog. They are all attracted to what looks safe and plenty of food – aside from tons of acorns, the neighbors love to put out food for them. And I could put outside the most sumptuous of meals twice a day for them but they still wouldn’t be attracted to me ! Why? The curse !! No, I took a shower today, not that curse – the curse caused by man’s sin !
After the flood of Noah and the animals disembark from their floating home with Noah as their caretaker the Bible says, “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” (Gen.9:3). Yet God, despite man’s sin, used even this to protect His creation. There is something indeed to be feared in man, sin ! Sin, by its very nature distances people and even critters from us and each other, yet thankfully God has made a way to attract, unite and overcome the fear, alienation, and apartness – He is the Great Reconciler !!
Think about it for a sec, when someone says something hurtful to you, you don’t usually want to go up and hug that person. You may want to come at them, but not with a hug ! One day this curse will be lifted, “The wolf and the lamb shalll feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bull: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord.” (Is.65:25). But note, the serpent will still crawl and “eat dust” to remind us of the incredible cost and distance set by sin.
Yet, as a child of God, YOU have been reconciled to Him. And whenever you sin or anyone sins against you God desires we do our best to strive for the same reconciliation, to correct the apartness. That’s why we have Matthew 18 to instruct us in this. Are you offended by someone’s sin? Go to them as God went to you, in love and with the desire to make things right. Have you created some distance by harsh words or callous action or inaction? Take a good look at the sin and be godly enough to confess it and make things right. We’re headed to a better world where reconciliation will be the rule not the exception, but until then we will offend and be offended due to the curse still being a part of our makeup. We need some spiritual deodorant – so make it your rule as you walk with Christ to be a reconciler so that others will be attracted to Christ in YOU !!