Apr 15, 2017 2930
There are three questions that each of us will, as some point, find ourselves asking. We want to know where we came from, why things are the way they are, and where we are going. No human civilization has been able to evade these questions.
The first three chapters of Genesis address all three questions. The first two chapters tell us that God is the creator. Chapter three tells us what will be. The question of “why” – why things are the way they are – is sandwiched between the two other questions. Of the three, it is this one that seems to touch on every part of our existence. We only have to give this question proper time and thought, and then every other question will be answered.
No human culture has been able to ignore this question of “why”. Every human civilization has tried to find rest from the problem of suffering. The greatest philosophers, statesmen, prophets and teachers have looked for the answers. Plato imagined a perfect state, the Utopia. Jeremiah visualized a heaven without death. Confucius dedicated his life to teachings he hoped would transform his society. Abraham Lincoln thought America would usher humanity into a better future.
We feel this desire to escape suffering every day. We go to school, get married, have children and do so many other things hoping they will give us rest from our troubles. We go into retirement early, only to discover such a place does not exist. Then we go to rest in the grave, but this is not the rest we all wish for. Genesis does not present death as a solution.
The question of “why” strikes the heart of every one of us. We seek an explanation for the miserable conditions of this life. Over thousands of years, human misery appears to only have increased. And when we are both wearied and deeply concerned by this present life of death, disease, wars, hatred, jealous, and meanness, it is hard to ignore the book of Genesis that claims to have the answers.
– Bonifresh Muhollo