God created man and woman to live as a family. Together with one another. And together in His presence. It was a good setup. Unfortunately, in the fall we are introduced to sin and death and the brokenness of relationship with God, the family, one another, and the creation.
We see this breakdown in the story of Cain and Abel. Almost immediately after the fall the first family experiences brokenness that few of us have experienced. Jealousy. Envy. Deceit. Murder.
That was only the beginning of what was to follow. Families are not only broken by the sinful actions of man and peoples but by disease, natural disasters, death.
Take Uganda for example.
Decades of war. Thousands of children abducted by the LRA. The HIV/AIDS pandemic. Severe hunger and poverty. 2.3 million orphans left fatherless (more than any other nation in the world today).
We know in our souls this is not right. The need for gospel-justice is more apparent than ever before. The fatherless need a father. When it comes to the orphan crisis caused by the fall, God’s response is to “place the lonely in families” (Ps 68:6-7). Will that be our response?
The need for adoption is both a result of the fall and a way to bring healing to the broken lives of orphans here in the US and around the world. As we provide families for the fatherless through adoption we reflect God’s glory and we restore what was broken. In this, we find some of life’s sweetest rewards and treasures.
Read Part 1: Adoption in God’s Story: Creation
Everything God does, He does for the absolute display of His glory. Our part is to see that glory, savor it, and share it with the world! With that foundation, I want to look briefly at how adoption fits within God’s global purposes and what that means for us.
Adoption and Creation
Adoption points us to the fact that God created man and woman to live in family. We see this highlighted first in the fact that God created Adam and Eve to live as family. There was no other option. Further, in Psalm 68:5-6 we see God’s heart for the family: “Father of the fatherless is God in His holy habitation…he places the solitary in families.” God does not want anyone to be without a family. And, as we ourselves care for the fatherless through adoption we reflect His glory, His fatherly care, His family-building passion. We in effect, put on display in this world the very nature of God Himself and the world sees in the flesh the father-heart of God.
Undergirding all this, Ephesians 1:4-5 says, before the “foundation of the world” God the Father “predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Amazingly, even before God created the earth and mankind, He marked us out for the great privilege of being His children through adoption! Adoption was not a divine afterthought. It was in His mind and purposes before the start of human history.
All this points to the fact that, in creating the world, God intended to build families that would ultimately reflect the family of the Trinity (I won’t go into that here but if you want to look at something that will blow your mind that is a good place to start!). Pre-creation, adoption was God’s plan to build His own spiritual family and His plan for providing healing for broken earthly families. He does not intend for anyone physically or spiritually to be without family; and His pursuit of that is central to His pursuit of the display of His glory and our delight Himself.
Today, delight in His adopting-family-building-fatherly glory! Go and put that glory on display as you make our glorious Father known to the world. And let’s do we can to reflect His glory through our own adoption and care of the fatherless!
John Murray on the doctrine of adoption:
“This is surely the apex of grace and privilege. We would not dare to conceive of such grace far less to claim it apart from God’s own revelation and assurance. It staggers the imagination because of its amazing condescension and love.” John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, p. 134