Why did God put the Tree in the Garden if He knew we would fail?
When hearing the story of the Creation of Humankind (Genesis 1, 2, 3), many people wonder why, if God knows everything, did He put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden knowing full well that we would mess it all up?
Many say it was God’s first test of man’s obedience, which is true, but it was also man’s very first lesson in His great plan for us. Right from the start, God gave us A CHOICE, to obey Him or not. And understanding the difference between Good and Evil was the first lesson to help us on our journey to being one with God.
When we follow the ways of God, we are choosing Good and when we follow the paths away from God and towards ourselves, we are on the way toward evil.
When God created us in His image, He created us to be just like Him. We can think, we can reason, we can contemplate, we can empathize, we can have compassion and we can love.
And He gave us FREE WILL. With the knowledge of Good and Evil, we can CHOOSE which way we want to live our life.
He did NOT create us to be mindless robots or sweet puppies who would follow Him where ever He went, but He gave us the right to decide for ourselves whether to follow Him or not. He desires for us to TRULY love Him, NOT because He programmed us to. We were created to be independent entities with minds of our own. And with our minds, God has many lessons He needs to teach us.
But lessons are rarely learned fully until they are experienced.
When a mother has a child, she must teach her child the ways of the world. “Don’t touch the fire!” she must warn the child, or he/she will get burned. But as we all know a child will touch a flame anyway and will realize that mom is speaking the truth. It is the only way the child will learn the real consequences of our decisions and also listening to Mom.
In the same way, we won’t really learn anything until we experience the good and the bad.
We won’t understand peace until we experience chaos. We won’t appreciate good health until we have sickness. We won’t know unconditional love until we have been judged, rejected, heart broken and alone. We won't love the light until we have lived in darkness.
We will also never learn what it really means to have God in our life until we live our life without Him. When God created humankind, Adam and Eve had fellowship with Him in Paradise, but by eating from the Tree they chose to disobey God and broke off the relationship.
Because of that decision, He had to show them (and us) the consequences of sin. Paradise was taken away and now they had to live life without Him. But why did Paradise have to be taken away?
Because life with God IS Paradise.
If you are walking away from God, you are walking away from Paradise. Heaven is heaven because that is where He is. All good things are from God, love, joy, peace, friendship, goodness...and if He is not there, then all things good are absent. By disobeying God, we have turned away from Him and all of the good that is His.
Adam and Eve had to adjust to a life without the presence of God and see what it really meant. Now we know that when God is left out, we suffer…the world suffers. With the choice of being able to choose between good and evil, many will follow their own path of selfishness. Selfishness leads to evil. Those who live for themselves may choose to do whatever it takes to get what they want, no matter who it hurts.
Today we understand the ramifications when people live for themselves and abandon God: theft, cheating, greed, abuse, anger, prejudice…the world is self-destructing because everyone has chosen their own way and have left God behind.
We each have to decide whether to walk towards Paradise or turn away from it. But because we separated ourselves from God, He loved us so much that He had to make a way, so then came the LAWS and COMMANDMENTS to get us to do the right thing. With that, God provided the means for the people to be cleansed from their sin if they repented, but with the enforcement of the laws came punishment for disobedience.
Many performed the laws outwardly to appease the church, their peers, families and the society, but inside they still did not truly love God. Even the ministers and priests who performed the laws perfectly did not all have the love of God in their hearts but only the love of self.
God knows the difference.
Jesus came to teach us that following God requires more than just obeying the laws, commandments and rules. Anyone can smile, be nice to their neighbor and feign being a good person, yet never care about anyone else but themselves.
Following God requires LOVE. Love from the Heart. Love for God and love for each other. It is a choice. Jesus taught us to follow God with love in our hearts and from that love will come true action. But actions without love amount to nothing. Love is the requirement.
This is how we purify our hearts from anger, hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness and evil. With Love.
With the knowledge of good and evil, each person chooses which path to take every day. We have the choice to live for ourselves or live for God. We can return His love or reject Him. We can follow Him or go our own way. God never forces us to do anything.
Unfortunately many CHOOSE self over God, evil over good.
Jesus clarified that following laws and commandments will not save us, but it is what is in our hearts that matter (the INSIDE of the cup). His ways of love is what true worship is about. But while we were still under the condemnation from the curse of Original Sin, Jesus came to sacrifice Himself to save and forgive us so we could be reconciled back to God.
Jesus said on the cross “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” So because Jesus was killed though He was sinless, He paid the price for our sin, setting us free and cleaning the slate. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are saved by His loving GRACE.
All Jesus asks is for us to love God back and love each other. By performing these two commandments we are choosing Good over all Evil.
In His time on earth Jesus taught us to greet and welcome strangers, love our neighbor, heal the sick, forgive each other, love our enemies, feed the poor, help the widows and orphans…to love, share and be good to each other the same way He is good to us. In this way, we are together in His love.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was part of God’s Plan from the very beginning to make us partners with Him in His Kingdom. With this knowledge we understand now the dual forces that govern the world and can work with God together for His Good to bring His love and salvation to those who don't know Him and conquer over the pervading evil that covers the earth.
When God created us He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...” He created us to be like Him. When in Paradise, we will be included in the "us" because we will be ONE with God.
Jesus counts us as His friends, His sons and His children (John 15:15 , Ephesians 1:4-5). He desires that we love and follow Him because WE WANT TO and to love because we REALLY love. Those who follow Jesus understand the difference between good and evil and choose GOD WILLINGLY because all good is of God.
When we do as Jesus taught us, to love God and love our neighbor, then we are doing His Will. We are partners with Him in passing His love to others. We love because He first loved us. But it doesn’t stop there, we will also partner with Him after our time on earth as His heirs, angels and servants. (1 Corinthians 6:3).
I believe that when all is said and done and we are standing before God, we will understand the truth about Good and Evil through our time spent in this world and because of all that we have witnessed and experienced, we will declare that there is nothing good when God is not present and we will choose His way of LOVE. And because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and His grace, we will eat of the Tree of Life and be ONE with Him for all Eternity.
Thank you Lord, we love you!
“Bless be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
© 2019 Edrick
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