Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Life is like a golf ball

The Fall brought thorns and thisles to the world

Joel Kontinen

In his book Good Golf (Macdonald, 1985) Peter Chamberlain compares human life to a golf ball. Both get hard blows and eventually end up in a hole in the ground. We no longer live in paradise but among thorns and thistles, just like the sad account of the Fall in Genesis chapter 3 tells us.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, describes a perfect world where everything was very good. Mutations had not degenerated mankind and hard knocks were unheard of. But then everything changed.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command. This began the way of the golf ball. The apostle Paul describes this in Romans 8: 21-22, saying that the entire creation is subject to “bondage to decay” and “has been groaning” because of sin.

God had a solution to this bondage. He sent His Son to redeem mankind. John writes in his Gospel, ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus and the New Testament writers regarded early humans as real people. For them, Genesis was not merely an illustration but history that helps us to understand the world around us. We cannot understand the good news of the New Testament if we ignore the bad news of the Old Testament. Paul shows clearly that it was a real man (Adam) and not an apeman who fell into sin. “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” (Romans 5:12).

The good news of the New Testament guarantees that our golf ball days are only temporary. A day will come when thorns and thistles will no longer hurt us. As Revelation 21:1-5 says,

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away'.”

You can be part of this new creation when you believe in Jesus Christ, the Creator of the entire universe and our Saviour.

You can read an illustration of the consequences of the Fall here.