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Monday, June 03, 2013

The Reason Why I Don't Really Want It All

Reading through the life of Christ, I returned to the biblical account of what happened that day in the Garden of Eden  and was caused to reflect on the events of that day as it relates to the necessity of Jesus (Jesus makes sense when His life is viewed as His-tory).

Let’s set the stage: God caused “to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food” (Gen 2:9a). Man was to receive his sustenance from the ground by means of nurturing and delicious trees found within the garden. Now let’s follow Adam and Eve’s attention as they are directed to notice two specific trees found among all the trees of the garden. We find “the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:9b).

Two questions:

1) What command does God give concerning the tree of life?
2) What command does God give concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Genesis 2:16 says “from any tree of the garden you may eat freely.” God commands man to live by eating.

Genesis 2:17 says, “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” God warns man about death by eating.

Why is this warning so important? The immediate context suggests that if man dies no one bearing God’s image will care for the garden. Man’s choice is to eat or not eat; that is, obey or disobey. Live by eating or die by eating--one of these choices brings sin.

What is most interesting about all this is the question regarding man’s choice and God’s response. Does man have free will? Yes. Is God required to respect man’s choice? No. After all, He is God with nothing above Him.

God gave man all he needed right there in the garden and all he had to do was eat of all God provided. God did not intend for man to have everything in the garden because everything was not good for man. All was declared “good” as God created, for His intention--even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--but it was not good for man’s life. Like sand, or poison ivy. Neither of these are good for man.

When we have before us the temptation that everything the world has to offer is ours, we should consider the consequences of taking it all. First, it’s not possible that we should have everything in the world. Second, if we could have everything, why do we avoid the poisons? Deep in our hearts we know we can’t have it all. When we are tempted to complain that God is holding us back, that He is being mean and would rather steal our pleasure, consider: am I prepared for the consequences? Are you?

Adam chose to disobey God and died by eating. As Adam’s descendants, we need God’s remedy for our sinful situation: the one who gave His life on a tree then rose again three days later. The one who crushed the serpent's head.

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