“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” C.S.Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Have you ever read Ezekiel 1? Someone once commented that they wanted to get ahold of whatever “weed” he was smoking! After all, what Ezekiel saw seemed like some wild hallucinogenic visions, at least in that first chapter. Except that a hallucination is a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind. But his vision did exist in the Heavenlies! What if he was not hallucinating but seeing things “mere mortals” cannot see.
You see, we are not meant for this world, at least not the way it is now. We wonder what the world would be like if Adam and Eve had never rebelled in the Garden; if The Creator had continued “evening chats” with His created human. Would we have made tools or microwave ovens? What forms of transportation would their descendants, our ancestors, have come up with to get around the world? Or would they have just taken their time walking? After all, the men and women of the original race lived hundreds of years, even after the Fall; by eating from the Tree of Life, they would have lived forever . . . as we will when we eat of that Tree in the New Earth when Eden is restored. (Revelation 22:1-2)
So what did Ezekiel see in his vision in chapter 1? Who could make plain what John saw when he recognized Jesus at the beginning of his Revelation; or what did he witness when he was called up to the Throne Room in Heaven (Revelation 4)? Both of these men, and Isaiah as well (Isaiah 6), saw things that were indescribable in human words. Like trying to reveal a rainbow to a man born blind, or communicate the taste of Dragon’s Eye to someone whose only exposure to fruit has been apples and oranges. How do you explain something for which there is no point of reference, for which the reader has no experience?
So the prophets did the best they could to disclose the other-worldly views that they were allowed to experience firsthand, and coming back to us who are like blind men and women, put into words the indescribable so that we would understand.
The point is that we are made for another world, another whole type of existence, to which Adam and Eve were just living the preface. The real story was yet to unfold . . . but they never got past the Table of Contents! They chose to trust their own ideas rather than God’s idea of what was best for them. They preferred to believe He was keeping something from them, and so they ate from the one tree, the only fruit in the Garden, that they were not supposed to eat.
Is this not the very heart of sin? The Original Sin? Every man and woman thinks at some point in their lives that “we know better than God” what will make us happy. But in the end, we will find the bleak truth that He really did know best. This is clearly represented by one form of sin in Proverbs 5:2-6:
“The lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to Sheol;
she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.”
We can make all the excuses in the world: well, my parents were bad; I grew up poor; the schools were lousy where I grew up; my teacher abused me; you do not know how miserable I was . . . and the list could go on. But it is not the circumstances of our lives that determine our reaction to them. Our reaction comes from within.
It is not even a matter of what stuff are we made. It would be easy to blame the Creator, and say, “He made me this way.” That did not work for Adam nor Eve in the Garden and it will not work for us. The CHOICE is ours to make!
“What do you people mean by quoting this proverb, ‘The parents eat sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As surely as I live declares the Sovereign Yahweh, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child – both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die. (Ezekiel 18:2-4)
But death is not always what it appears to be! (See December 6, 2015) It is not the end of existence, but a change in relationship. Nor is sin very original. It is almost always simply a warping of something good that God created. Lust is simply a selfish twisting of God-created desire that should find its expression in love between a man and woman. Greed is only a distortion of the Lord’s created desire for good things. Sloth is the natural inclination to take rest, and then amplified to an obnoxious inconsiderate degree.
And like a distortion it has its consequences in our relationships. “God does not hate sin because He is holy any more than a mother hates cancer because she is healthy. She hates cancer because of what it does to her children, and He hates sin because of what it does to HIS children.” – Steve Elliott
This blog is kind of ‘all over the place,’ but it comes at a very rough time in my life. Having viewed some effects of my redemption, I see an Enemy hand at work, trying to destroy the good that God intends. So my mind is wandering all over the place in the old blogs, and my mind is wondering how God can still bring beauty from ashes. But I know He can when we decide to follow Him, even if it means following Him to a cross.
Do not forget, YOU are immortal. Every decision you make reverberates into eternity like a rock in a pond moving circles outwardly. What kind of Immortal will you be?
“[E]very time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other. Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won’t last forever. We must take it or leave it.” C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity