A Response to the Choices Theme in Genesis

I was really surprised as I read Genesis and noticed all the choices that were made throughout the entire book. I certainly did not expect all the different choices that all the people made. People made many good choices and many bad choices. God gave people the ability to make choices about what they wanted to do in a vast array of situations. God set it into all of nature in his creation that if people make good decisions then things will generally go well for them and then when people make a decision for bad moral choices then the general result was bad. Sometimes with a rather immediate result to them directly and sometimes a long and drawn out result that affected people far and wide. Adam and Eve are of course the first and primary example of making an extremely bad choice that was to affect the entire universe and all people for the duration of human history here.

I reflected on all the list of people that I made up as I read; Noah, Abraham, Lot, Esau, Jacob, and Joseph to name a few. I saw that some made all good choices throughout their lives and were shining examples of how I should make decisions. But then there were others that made both good and bad choices and suffered the consequences of those bad choices. I find that I can more readily relate with these folks, Abraham, Lot, Esau, Jacob. I have made some bad choices along the way. I had a few years in which I got in trouble with alcohol and hurt the feelings of many good friends. A choice I wish I could go back and change. I have passed up opportunities to share the gospel that I wish I could go back and redo. Things that I have done and said that affected people and my life in a negative manner. One day I was in a hospital waiting room waiting to go in for a scan of my gall bladder that was going bad and causing some major pain. While there a few young people came in and sat down. There was a children’s bible on the coffee table and the teenage boy said to one of the girls in a teasing manner, “Hey, that’s your kind of book.” She blushed a bit as I watched and said nothing. On the one hand I know God has forgiven me for passing up these opportunities, but I have not forgotten. Over time I have decided that to the best of my ability I never want to pass up an opportunity to share and encourage people to consider Jesus and what He has done.

I relate that part of my life testimony because I know that I have to be real and honest about who I am. As I read through Genesis I saw God using people in the most fantastic ways, even though they made many bad choices. Many of the things I could not even imagine doing, yet others I have in some part or way done. Then I ask myself, “What kind of choices am I making presently?” I am doing the best I can to follow all the good examples. I think highly of Noah and Joseph choosing to obey God patiently in the worst of circumstances over the long haul. I think of the vast number of people who were positively affected because of their good choices.  If I make some good choices in my life, how many people will be affected in a positive way? Myself? Do I only affect a few people that I have encountered? When I stop and think about how many people have known me and I have in some small or large way affected their lives I cannot fully fathom the impact.

There were other themes and important events that I could have focused on, but this one of choices had been mulling over in my mind for some time now. I think choices that I make on moral issues, relationships, and most importantly dying to myself daily and living for Jesus Christ is of utmost importance for me. I do not ever want to miss another opportunity to be a blessing to other people. Noah and Joseph both went through difficult and long term hassles to bless and preserve their families. Not only did it preserve their families, but it also had a profound affect on all of humanity. Would we be here if Noah did not remain faithful to God? Would the nation of Israel still be here if Joseph would not have been faithful? How will my choices and decisions affect those around me and history? Will I encourage the next great evangelist that may go out to point thousands or millions to Jesus? I passionately want to make myself that available to my Lord and Savior, Jesus.