Do you ever read the story of Adam and Eve and come away with a negative perspective? Maybe you don’t really voice it, but have you ever wondered: What was the big deal with that fruit? Why did God say “No” to something as insignificant (seemingly) as getting a mid-day snack off that certain tree?
[box]Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 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 will surely die.” (Genesis 2:15–17)[/box]
What do you notice about God here? What was He doing?
God was giving the man and woman OPPORTUNITY.
God was training them and giving them the opportunity to display love. This commandment wasn’t restrictive in a negative sense, this was a love boundary. By putting this boundary in place, it allowed Adam and Eve to visibly demonstrate their love for God through obedience.
This was God’s Word to man. Just as we receive God’s Word (Scripture), and are to simply trust and obey, Adam and Eve were given the choice to demonstrate love for God through obedience to Him. They had the opportunity to walk in close relationship with God in the freedom and joy that comes from obeying His Word.
This limitation was man’s first opportunity to trust God and his first opportunity to visibly demonstrate love for God.
By denying the man and woman one small freedom, God placed them in the position of trusting Him to know what is best for their lives, trusting His character, trusting that He is good and what He does is best. He was teaching them about loving Him and loving others.
But Eve chose to turn inward in her love . . .
[box]So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise,she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen 3:6–7)[/box]
Eve doubted God’s love, doubted His goodness and wisdom—she wanted “MORE” than what He’d given her. She turned from loving God to a selfish devotion; a kind of sick self-love, when she chose to take things into her own hands; to go her own way. She decided she could find happiness another way, that perhaps God’s plan wasn’t best.
When she turned inward, Eve’s love for God transferred to a love of self. Self-focused love is a hunger that is never satisfied . . . selfish “love” is a gnawing pain—the more you feed it, the more empty you grow. Eve’s choice led to bondage; she became a prisoner to sin.
Eve blatantly disobeyed God, she failed the love test and she influenced her husband to follow her into corruption, but what do you notice about God? How does he respond?
God pursues them . . . He goes after them . . . He is relentless in His love for His own.
[box]But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)[/box]
God wasn’t looking for information, but was going for Adam’s heart.
He may be asking you the same thing . . . Where are you?
Are you in bondage? Are you hiding? Where are you?
Aren’t you so glad He does that? Aren’t you thankful He doesn’t leave us in that place of isolation and bondage . . . but He comes after us. You may not recognize how He is doing that, it may be through a friend or a family member who calls to check on you and offers the truth of God’s Word, it may be through a message you hear on Christian radio, or . . .
It may be here today . . . in this blog post. Do you hear Him calling you?