I am doing a personal in-depth study of the prmises of God. What, exactly, has God promised us? A song by Sanctus Real, recently released, is called "Hold On To the Promises." The bridge of the song recites Romans 8: "neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God."
This is definitely a reassuring promise. Nothing I do or experience will make God love me less.
But I wanted to know what other promises God makes, so I started in Genesis. I determined that there are at least 5 categories of promises in Scripture:
* to individuals
* to Israel
* to Christians
* to everyone
* promise of consequences
It is this last category I want to discuss. Remember as a kid, your big brother said, "If you don't smell my sweaty socks, I'm going to knock you out."
"Is that a threat?"
"No, it's a promise."
God is kinder than my big brother (just slightly!), but I got that impression when I first read Genesis 2:17 -- do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die.
I questioned this. I almost wanted it to not fit into the categories I had assigned, make it not really a promise. Why is the first promise God gives that harsh?
Genesis 3:15 -- after Adam and Eve sin, God promises a Savior, the first time in Scripture that Jesus is foreshadowed.
Why is God harsh first?
Because if I first don't know I am a sinner, I won't accept the wonderful gift of a Savior.