I sat and watch a little girl at a shopping centre playing. She was being a bit naughty playing with her brother’s toy until she was caught by her father. I could see by her reaction that she was being ready to get yelled at. She knew her father’s first reaction and she was preparing for it.
Our view of God as our father is always going to be tainted by the failings of our earthly father. However sometimes it is also tainted by poor theology. Many of us are taught that God is like that little girl’s father – that his first reaction to sin is to get angry. However that isn’t the picture in the Bible.
In Genesis 3 we have the story of the first sin. Many people focus on the results of that sin. However in doing so, they miss God’s first reaction to sin. What is God’s first reaction to sin?
God’s first reaction is to go and visit Adam and Eve. He goes to see what has happened. It is not that he doesn’t know what has happened, but he wants to try and continue the relationship with Adam and Eve.
And how do Adam and Eve respond to God’s advances? They run away and hide! Still God calls out to them to draw them closer to himself.
It makes me wonder how much I expect God to be angry with me when I sin. Would it change the way I responded to doing wrong if I knew that God wanted to reach out with love every time I failed? This doesn’t mean there are no consequences to sin however I suspect I, like Adam, make things worse by running away from God, denying sin or trying to deal with the consequences my own way, rather than trusting in God’s mercy.