So, all of the preceding posts have been background to the story. Let’s begin the story. Once upon a time….
Actually Jesus told the whole story very clearly and simply in a parable. I will shorten the story but you can read it in His words starting in Matthew 13:24 in the Bible. He said the kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted his crop in a field, and then went to bed after his hard work. While he slept an enemy came and planted a crop of weeds along with the good crop he had just planted. As the crop grew his hired hands asked about the weeds. He realized and explained that an enemy had done that, he had not.
They asked if they should go pull up the weeds and he said “no, you might uproot the good seed at the same time. Let them grow together until the harvest, and then we will separate them, the good seed into the granary, and the weeds in a pile to be burned.”
He went on to explain the parable in verse 36, and simply said, the good crop was planted by the Son of Man, (a description of Himself) and the weeds were planted by the devil. The harvest refers to the end of the world, when all who sin and cause sin will be separated from those He referred to as the “righteous”, and that there would be a distinct and different reward for each group.
That’s the BIG story in a few words, but let’s get more detailed.
As God, who is eternal, or has always been, created angels, worlds, planets, our world, people in the worlds, trees, plants, birds, fish, animals etc, He created them perfectly in structure and in harmony with each other! The galaxies, the heavens, the angels, stars, the movement of stars and planets, the need for oxygen together with the presence of oxygen; the need for heat coupled together with the presence of the sun at exactly the right distance from the earth, all demonstrate a creator with wisdom, power, knowledge of science and physics and full of complete wisdom as to what was needed balanced with what was provided.
It was perfect. It was set in motion. And He rested, just like the farmer in the story. But, as time went on, things stopped being perfect. Harmony stopped being harmonious! Balance got out of balance. Things got out of control and off the rails, and today we live in a world that is unpredictable, frightening, unstable both in atmosphere and environment, but also economically and physically as well.
Many people blame God when the out of control and out of balance things hit close to home. Sickness and death come to our home, or natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunami’s hit and God gets the blame. They are referred to as “an act of God” for insurance purposes. But He made it clear in the story that “an enemy did this.”
Who is this enemy? Where did He come from if the universe and heaven and earth were all in perfect harmony? In His parable, Jesus clearly stated it was the devil. He called Him by name. He was very specific. In other words, it was not the farmer, the one who sowed the good crop. It was not the God who created all these things who planted the weeds.
The Bible description of creation in Genesis chapter 1 says over and over after each item was created that God saw that it was good. But today it’s not good. Today it’s broken, sad, hurtful and falling apart. But let’s put the blame where the blame needs to be put! Squarely on the shoulders of the devil.
But, if God created the earth and the universe perfectly, where did the devil come from? Is he also eternal, and was also lurking around out there somewhere just simply on a different track than God, and ready to plant his weeds as soon as he got a chance?
It truly is a mystery, that God has chosen to share with us as He reveals the Big story to us.