Read: Genesis 2:15-17
So far in Genesis, everything had been nothing but good. So good! God had been flex’n left and right, creating a whole universe with His ruah. On top of that, He had just created this new creature called man, who He placed in direct proximity to Him so that man could relate with Him.
In Genesis 2:15-17 we are introduced into a few potential problems. God gave His first commands. First off, God commanded Adam to work the garden. God commanded Adam to work the ground that he was formed out of. In doing this, He reminded him that he was connected to the dust, that it is a part of him, and that he had a responsibility to take care of it.
I grew up on a horse farm, and we almost always had a garden. For the most part, I had to tend to it. I remember as a kid hating working in the garden so much. Honestly, I would almost rather have done anything else. But after moving back to the city for a few years, I realize the beauty that there is working in the dirt.
The second command God gives is a perplexing one. He tells Adam that He can eat from ANY tree in the garden, except for this one tree called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There is a lot of debate about this tree and exactly what it is, but again the author was probably not concerned with trying to explain the exact substance of this forbidden tree. Instead, this tree introduced the first possibility of free choice, which is essential to any loving relationship.
The debate on the relationship between God’s sovereignty and our free will has gone on for centuries, and I honestly don’t have anything to add to the debate besides saying that Scripture seems to express that both exist perfectly without disrupting the other. We aren’t really given an in-depth explanation about how they coexist. But, I believe that’s where faith comes in.
God doesn’t explain to Adam why he cannot eat of that tree, except that he will die. We don’t even know why it’s in the garden in the first place. Instead man is given his first opportunity to exercise faith that God really does know what’s best for His creation. God is ultimately able to perfectly discern good from evil, even when it doesn’t make sense to us.
Everyday, we are given the same choice that Adam was given. Do we trust God enough to know good from evil or do we choose to become our own gods, making the distinction for ourselves? I don’t know about you, but I would way rather trust the God who created a whole universe just by speaking. Scripture tells us that faith is a gift given from God, and we know that God loves to give good gifts to His children. Ask God to grow your faith today.