Psalm 72 declares that God alone does wondrous things. How easily this truth is discarded! Ultimately, the reason that you can bring light to your home by flipping a switch on the wall instead of lighting a candle is the gospel. The reason someone lets you into the next traffic lane instead of running you off the road is the gospel. The reason you can buy food instead of having to kill others for it is the gospel. Sound strange or naïve? If so, then you have underestimated the power of the gospel.
When Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lie, not only did spiritual death occur, but at that moment human hope ceased to exist. Until God proclaimed to Satan, in front of Eve, that one of her offspring would crush the head of the serpent, hope had vanished for all of humanity. All that was left for humans was filled with shame and dread. Adam and Eve, now lost and pathetic, hid themselves from all that was good. Imagine these two magnificent creatures cowering before God and trying to wrap themselves in leaves. What a sad scene!
They had no reason for joy or hope. All that was left was terror and dread. Without hope their existence would have been one of agony and terror. Goodness had vanished from their world. But, God acted graciously and quickly. Our first parents had to endure only a brief period of hopelessness. The psalmist is right. Good things come only from God. Even those who do not know God know about hope because God’s people have modeled it for them throughout human history. That first promise of the gospel of grace and redemption is the only reason we have not exterminated one another from the face of the planet.
Adam and Eve’s first response was to blame someone, anyone but themselves, for the Fall and their sorry existence. Without God’s promise in Genesis 3, at this early moment of human history, we would have devolved into a backbiting, backstabbing, brutal lot, afraid of our own shadows. Doing something that would benefit another would have been unthinkable. Without this promise of the gospel (in seed form) human nobility and goodness would have ended that day in the garden.
But the hope of rescue and redemption reshaped Adam and Eve and all of humanity. Fires started by lightning became campfires that eventually became candles. Thousands of years emerged before candles then yielded to electric lights. Not everyone followed the path of Cain to kill or be killed. The idea of grace and selflessness has flickered encouragement, if ever so dimly, in human history. Why, because God promised a Savior, the hope of the gospel. This is the only reason people attempt to create and design new things, attempt to find new, better ways to live and to extend kindness to others.
The gospel: truly our only hope!