To Dust You Shall Return - Genesis 3:19

“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19                                                                                      

The forty days leading up to Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday, are traditionally called Lent. It is a season that many Christians use as an opportunity for sober reflection on what Jesus went through in the weeks leading up to His passion. This year we will release weekly devotions to lead Redemption Hill through the Lent season as a community. The hope is that the passage and content will stir your soul. I encourage you to engage through journaling and even to talk to others in your life, using the questions at the end as a starting point.

The theme throughout will be “Beauty from the Broken.” And so we begin at the source of our greatest brokenness. In Genesis 3 we see what is often called The Fall – when the slippery questions of the serpent led the first man and woman to question God’s love and word and to sin against him.

“His children hadn’t just broken the one rule; they had broken God’s heart. They had broken their wonderful relationship with him. And now he knew everything else would break. God’s creation would start to unravel, and come undone, and go wrong. From now on everything would die – even though it was supposed to last forever.
You see, sin had come into God’s perfect world. And it would never leave. God’s children would be always running away from him and hiding in the dark. Their hearts would break now, and never work properly again.” – Jesus Storybook Bible

Our verse today shows us the end result of the brokenness – the man formed from dust, into whom God lovingly breathed the breath of life itself, would have to die and return to dust. Each of us has lived under the shadow of death, and under the uncertainty of the original slippery lie, “Does God really love me? Does he really know what’s best?”

As we look toward Easter we will see the beauty that God brought from brokenness by entering into it himself in the person of Jesus Christ, who overtook our ultimate enemy, death itself.

Further Reflection:

  1. Have you ever observed Lent before? If so, what was your experience?
  2. What makes it hard to trust God’s Word and to trust in his love for you?
  3. What has broken your heart recently? 

- Bill Riedel

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