No-Go Zone (Advent 2, 2020)

According to Wikipedia, a No-Go area is “a region where the ruling authorities have lost control and are unable to enforce the rule of law.”  Ah, but God never lost control.

God was never unable to enforce His commands or deliver His pre-announced consequences.  As we continue our look at Divine Intervention in our 2020 Advent devotional series, God began saving us from ourselves all the way back in Eden, declaring it a No-Go Zone.

Fig leaves.  Yeah, that’s what Adam and Eve could sew together to make coverings. 
God knew that would be totally insufficient for outside of Eden. 
“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
Stop the presses! 

Did God just create animal skins like fake fur?  Or did He have some other way of providing animal skins?  Like having an animal’s blood be shed in order to cover Adam and Eve in garments of skin? How did God do this?

Images of grace like this can be easily overlooked if we fail to read the Bible for all its glorious detail and think about what we’re reading.

“And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22)

Living forever in a state of unforgiven sin would not be heaven.  It would be hell.  God wanted better for us.  He planned better for us, but it would be many centuries until Jesus would be born in a stable in Bethlehem to bring that plan to fulfillment. 

“So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.   After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:21-24)

Something had to be done promptly as an act of grace until that time we celebrate at Christmas.  The delay between sin and Savior is the bridge of time in which grace performs its work of witness, repentance, Gospel, and gathering the elect, the full number the Bible speaks about (Romans 11:25, Revelation 6:11).

Questions for further thought:

  • When God closes doors or says something is off-limits, what can we say about God’s purpose in it?  His actions will always reflect His ___(fill in the blank)______.
  • How did God prepare Adam and Eve for life outside of Eden?
  • In what ways does God prepare you for the time between meeting your Maker in His first Advent as Savior, and the final advent, the Second Coming of Christ for judgment?
  • Ought Advent only celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?  Or is this season something far more?

Let’s pray,

Father God, We praise You and thank You for Your vast wisdom, for being all-seeing, all-knowing and ever-present.  We praise You and thank You that You don’t always give us what we want… in the time that we want things. But in timing that is Yours and for purposes only You know, we’re being formed for an eternity with You. 

We praise You and thank You for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  For His willingness to leave heaven and to be “God with us” we give thanks! He is faithful to show the way in our darkest of days, to be our Light, and be our Way.  We thank You for His birth.  We thank You for the faithfulness of all the saints who come before us.  We thank You, Lord, that Your plan of salvation didn’t just include a baby in a manger but a Savior on a Cross, a unique Son of God, fully God, yet fully man, the only One who could pay for the sins of all mankind. 

We thank You that those of us in Christ have redemption and salvation and forgiveness of sin, being spared from wrath that we rightfully deserved. We praise You and thank You for this bridge of time called grace. May we use it wisely to share the Gospel–the Good News of Your Son Jesus! May those in a watching world see and understand faithful Christian witness and may we live up to that high honor, Lord, of being called by You. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen.

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Advent 2020 began Sunday, November 29th and continues to Thursday, December 24th as we celebrate the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and look forward to His Second Coming.  “Divine Intervention” is this year’s devotional study. By signing up on the sidebar of my Home Page you can receive these daily devotionals. Or they will be reposted on SeminaryGal’s Facebook page as well.

Together we will see how God has been actively involved all along as Divine Intervention for a hurting world and nations in tumult– Intervention for you and for me when our status as sinners required nothing short of a miracle.

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Acknowledging inquiries about an entire season’s devotionals for your study group’s planning purposes, Seminary Gal’s prior seasons’ Advent devotionals can be accessed via the archives to the right and are as follows: 

  • Last year’s Advent Devotional Series God’s Christmas list explored what might be on God’s Christmas list, learning what He wants from us. It began December 1, 2019.
  • Storyteller began December 2, 2018 and entered into the Christmas story through its telling.
  • The 2017 series Still Christmas, began December 3, 2017 and was the Advent complement to the Lenten series, Be Still and Know that I AM God.
  • The 2016 season devotionals were called Timeless: The Message of Christmas for All Ages” and explored how the message of Christmas is timeless truth, for all ages of people, and for all ages at all times.  Timeless hope, encouragement, grace, peace, and love as we looked into the Word, saw the face of our Lord Jesus, and experienced restoration in His presence.  His goodness and His Gospel are truly Timeless. The 2016 devotionals began November 27, 2016.
  • The 2015 season devotionals were titled Incarnation and involved digging deep–and yes, I mean deep– in this important mystery of Christian theology.  They began November 29, 2015.
  • Carol Me, Christmas! remains one of my most popular offerings and tells the Christmas story through our most beloved Christmas hymns and carols.  You can access all of the numbered devotionals from 2014 via the archives.  They began November 30, 2014.
  • The 2013 series was Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up in Person and examined the Prologue to the Gospel of John.  It began December 1, 2013.
  • The 2012 series focused on Expecting the Unexpected…the unexpected, unlikely, and uniquely divine qualities of God’s perfect plan outlined in Luke’s account of the Christmas story.  It began December 1, 2012.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 30, 2020

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