What if things had happened differently?
Published 1:00 pm Sunday, March 13, 2022
The Bible is a remarkable book about people in their particular niche of time, living life as obedient followers of God or disobedient followers of self. As I follow the lives of the individual people I often consider some “what ifs” in relation to their experiences.
Adam and Eve were given a squeaky clean habitat that must have been the loveliest garden imaginable. It’s hard for me to imagine the two even considering disobeying God’s commands since He gave them access to everything in their paradise except one tree – just one tree with a “No Touch” sign on it. But that was the tree that Eve couldn’t get off her mind, and Satan helped keep the forbidden fruit fixed in her thoughts. Not a single tree’s fruit interested her like THAT tree did.
Their decisions wrecked their lives and their futures, but “what if” they had obeyed God – had steered clear of that tree and been content with the knowledge and provisions God had given them? Satan would have slithered off in defeat, Adam would have played with the tame animals, Eve wouldn’t have had labor pains, and every obedient generation after theirs would have lived forever in perfect harmony with God.
What if Noah had lived like his neighbors and done what everyone else was doing? What if he had grown tired of being the only righteous follower of God? What if he had told God, “Impossible!” when he was given the blueprints for the ark?
What if Abraham had refused to offer Isaac when God gave him that directive? What if he had told God that was more than he could obey? What might have become of Abraham and the generations that followed?
What if Joseph had yielded to Potiphar’s wife’s request or what if he had refused to forgive his brothers for throwing him in a pit to die? What if he had ordered them all killed?
What if Moses’ mother had refused to let Pharaoh’s edict kill her infant son? What if Moses had preferred the lifestyle of the palace over the simple heritage of his Hebrew family?
What if Gideon had called the idea of a small army attacking a vast one ridiculous? What if Esther had refused to attempt her uncle’s plan and simply enjoyed her safety in the king’s harem? What if Daniel had given up his faith when taken as a captive to a strange land and culture? What if he had reconsidered his dedication to praying three times a day to his God?
What if David had decided to stay with his sheep instead of accepting the role of king? What if he had grown tired of waiting on his “coronation” as king and killed Saul?
The Bible has a wealth of circumstances that could have major ramifications had they gone in another direction. When I think about the circumstances surrounding the Ukraine invasion I can formulate multiple “what ifs.” The one that leads the list is – what if our nation had done everything within their power to help free Ukraine from its tyrant invader and depended on God to do what He did in some of the major battles in the Old Testament? What if focusing on God and His strength instead of on the enemy would have changed history and saved a country and its people? What if the world understood that not even nuclear power exceeds God’s?
While watching the atrocities of this war, I’ve tried to put myself in the Ukrainians’ shoes. What if an evil tyrant were threatening our home, livelihood and lives of our children and grandchildren? Would I be pleading for help from anyone that could help? The answer is obvious, but to our “protected” lifestyle, it’s a “what if” few think could happen. But what if?
Letters to Camille Anding may be sent to The Daily Leader at P. O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602.