Over my lifetime, I’ve made thousands of decisions. I’m grateful that my parents, and much wiser adults over the years taught me how to make decisions based upon God’s Word, and his ways. The benefits have saved me from many harmful mistakes.
The Original Plan: God’s Goodness
When all was new, without strife, Adam was given free reign in the lush, beautiful garden God had made for he and Eve. They had a myriad of trees to enjoy the shade during the heat, a myriad of fruits to please their palates, crystal clear water to quench their thirst, land to till with no weeds to hinder, animals to appreciate with no wildness or fear to keep them apart.
God gave them everything they’d need, and much to enjoy, with only one rule.
“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17 (NIV)
Why this tree?
I have asked, “Lord, if you never intended them to eat from it, why did you put it there? Wasn’t that just tempting them to eat from a tree you forbid? That on the outset seems somewhat sadistic, doesn’t it?”
God, by very nature is Lord and Ruler, because he is Creator. But…
He wants relationship with us, more than just having servants who obey his bidding because they must or because they are afraid not to obey.
Without a second option, there is no choice.
God created the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, to give man a choice to serve him (or not) above their own will.
Why this rule?
God is only good. All Adam and Eve had ever know was good. This tree gave them a choice. Since they had never experienced evil, they had no clue what evil meant for them. That’s why God gave the rule.
God’s rules, if obeyed, are always for the purpose of protecting us from the effects of evil and to bless us with his goodness. Always.
Since all they’d known was God’s goodness, the only other option was to have the choice to commit and experience evil. Remember, they didn’t have to make that choice – there were a myriad of beautiful trees, with delicious fruit to choose from. Even without this tree they had choices, but they were all good, and would only draw them to their Creator and God.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die. Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV)
Choosing evil (anything outside of God’s goodness) always leads to death. It is the very nature of sin to bring death. The rule didn’t bring death, the nature of sin brings death. The rule was instituted to protect and maintain the benefits of living within God’s goodness.
We all have been given choices – to walk with God and enjoy his goodness, under his rule, or to go our own way. One brings life and blessing; the other by its nature brings death.
Let’s look tomorrow at the choice Adam and Eve made.
As always, I love conversing with you.
With love and prayers,