Torah: Where is the Good?

Torah: Where is the Good?

In the Torah we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:1-31. Now when we look around us we may wonder where all the good went because a lot seems bad. We do know that God didn’t make anything that was bad because everything God made was good. So what happened?

The Torah answers our question. God warned humans that the results of sin would be death, something no one had experienced before. However, humans didn’t listen to God but trusted the serpent and because of sin we experience what is not good in this world. “So the Lord God said to the serpent, ’Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’

To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’” Genesis 3:14-19

Despite theses curses we are not left hopeless. God promised to crush the head of the serpent and cause enmity or a hostility between the humanity and the serpent where there was previously friendship and agreement in sin. But what is sin? Many people think of sin as just doing the opposite of whatever God says, and while that is true we need to understand the nature of God to get a better idea of what sin actually is. The Bible says “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.” Psalm 145:8. So sin is anything that is not in harmony with the nature of God so sin is anything that is not compatible with the nature of God.

God wants to make things good again. God says, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. “‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:17-18. It is by accepting God’s words and ceasing fellowship with sin that the serpent’s head is crushed. We will no longer desire sin when we love God and trust what He says about it. So when we are tempted to be depressed because of all the bad news in this world allow God to recreate the good in you so you can make a positive difference in the lives surrounding you.

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