From the very beginning, God wanted relationship. First He created a place. Then God created man and established a relationship with him. Next, He gave His child authority over the place. Then, He created a companion for the man. Never in the Genesis account is church mentioned, implicitly or otherwise. What you see is God establishing three institutions, government, relationship, and marriage.
There are three kinds of relationship. The first kind is blood relationships. This is what is commonly known as a familial relationship. The second kind is a relationship built on common interest. This type of relationship is evidenced in friendships and business deals. The third type of relationship is the covenant relationship. Covenant relationships are typically found in treaties between countries.
From the foundation of time, God has worked through relationship. When God commenced His highest creation – man – God spoke to Himself.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)
God had relationship and agreement with Himself in creation. Then He set man up to have fellowship with Him. When He spoke of “image,” He determined that man should look like Him. Then God spoke of “likeness,” God wanted man to behave like him.
From the time of the fall, God has looked for men whom He could enter into agreement with. The first man the Bible records as entering into intimate fellowship with God was Enoch.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 5:24)
Enoch’s relationship with God was so strong that God saw fit for him to not taste death!
The next man recorded as having a relationship with God was Noah. God saw wickedness in the earth and decided to destroy the earth. God found a man in Noah who did not succumb to the evil in the world. God entered into agreement with Noah to save a remnant of the earth’s population.
Perhaps the most well known example of God entering into a relationship with a man is Abraham. Abraham came from a place called Ur in the Caldees (modern-day Iraq), which was a place known for polytheism (many gods). God first had to get Abram (what Abraham was called at the time) out of his comfort-zone, that is, away from his family and their ungodly society.
God is a Father. Furthermore, He is a loving Father; He wants us to be in His presence. The crowning glory of any father is to have children who love and respect him. The good father does not desire his children to fear him. Does any good parent set aside a special day for their children to fellowship with them? Does any good parent demand their children dress a certain way before allowing the children to be in her presence? Does any parent require his children to speak to him in “Olde English?” The answer to each of these questions is, emphatically, no!
I am reminded of my days in consulting. When I’d return from a trip, my wife and kids would always pick me up from the airport. When I got in the car, there was a cacophony of questions and comments. I had to learn to listen carefully to each one and respond in kind; “cookie-cutter” responses would not do for my sons. Then, when we’d get out of the car, my youngest two sons wanted nothing more than to get in my lap. They didn’t want gifts, they wanted my presence. This is the way God wants us to approach him! Now, before anyone gets this twisted, I must emphasize we must reverence God. Again, using my sons as an example, they all know my name is Derrick Day but they call me “Dad” out of love and respect.
©2010 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)