January 13, 2021 — The Garden And The Forbidden Tree

Was this entrapment? Some ask, “Why didn’t God tell Adam and Eve not to eat the snake?”

Who doesn’t love a beautiful garden? They were God’s idea, you know. In Genesis 2 we read, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed” (v 8). We can only imagine how beautiful that garden was. No weeds or pesky insects. Fruit trees everywhere! When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, they used the word Paradise for the word “garden.” I’m sure it was! Of course it was God’s garden, and so all the fruit and flowers were His. But God is so generous. I’m sure you’ve noticed. He never charges us for the air we breathe, or the sunlight and rain. He’s the One who causes everything to grow, but just as with Adam in Eden, He says to us, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat” (v 16). However, in the midst of all that provision, there was just one prohibition! God continued, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat” (v 17). Why did the Lord do this? Was it entrapment? Didn’t He know that Adam and Eve would be tempted to eat from that one forbidden tree? Remember why God made the human race in the first place. He wanted a relationship with us based on loving trust. But every true relationship must be made by free choice. If a man wants a woman and she doesn’t want him, it’s criminal for him to force her to live with him. God didn’t want puppets. He wanted us to freely choose to love and obey Him—or not. That’s the risk love is willing to take. And what tree was forbidden? “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” The collapse of a nation can be directly tied to its rejection of God’s laws. Only God is smart enough to set standards for us, and the sooner we agree, the sooner our lives will be aligned as they should be.