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When Angels Will Do The Weeding

"And to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:17-19 RSV)

The Lake of Fire If you have ever had a vegetable or flower garden, you can almost certainly relate with the above Scriptures, at least the part about weeds. They seem to be an endless chore anytime something good is being grown.

Before Adam and Eve (see The Creation Of Adam And Eve) disobeyed God, they "had it made." Life was very easy for them. But, they decided that they "knew better" than their Creator (see The Seven Days Of Creation). That Old Serpent certainly tempted them, but Satan cannot force anyone to disobey God. Disobedience is a choice, as Satan himself very well knows (see Did God Create The Devil?). Adam and Eve could have successfully resisted the devil, just as Jesus Christ did later (see Could Jesus Have Sinned?).

Adam and Eve chose to rebel by "interpreting," for themselves, with a "meaning" that suited themselves, God's plain and simple instructions, just as humanity has generally done ever since - perhaps the reason that we humans so often disagree on the "meaning" of what is plainly written in the Bible.

So, to teach an important lesson to the children that He deeply loves (see Why Does God Allow Suffering?), God has temporarily withdrawn much of His favor and protection in this present world - not because He has abandoned humans, but because humans have largely abandoned Him.

Humanity traded absolute safety, perfect health, and endless happiness that we could have had under God, to "do it our way" - crime, war, sickness, greed, selfishness and all of the grief that results from it. And yes, even weeds.

The Day The Angels Will Do The Weeding

Adam and Eve's disobedient act also caused other kinds of "weeds" to spread through humanity down through time - defiant, unrepentant sinners. Of these, Jesus Christ had an ominous warning:

"Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom [see The Kingdom of God] all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 13:40-43 RSV) (see The Last Day)

Fact Finder: During the "temptation of Christ," did Satan, in an attempt to misuse the Scriptures for his own purposes, actually quote verses from the Psalms to Jesus Christ?
Matthew 4:6, Psalm 91:11-12

This Week's Bible Quiz

What's the missing word? (Revised Standard Version)

1. "So God created man in His own _______, in the _______ of God He created him; male and female He created them."

2. "Now the _______ of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked beside the river; she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to fetch it"

3. "When the people saw that _______ delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Up, make us gods, who shall go before us"

4. "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of _______, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

5. "So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet _______, standing in the holy place, let the reader understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains"

6. "And a young man named _______ was sitting in the window. He sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer; and being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead."

7. "I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called _______ on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."

8. "And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of _______"

9. "And I saw the holy city, new _______, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men"

10. "I am the _______ and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

For the answers to this June 5 2001 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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