In part one we looked at adding to God’s word. In part two we looked at why Adam was guilty rather than Eve. In this issue, we look at one of the most perplexing questions in the Bible. The Bible tells us many times that God loves us, and 2nd Peter 3:9 tells us God wishes all to be saved. This being true, the question of which I speak arises. If God really loves us and wishes all to be saved, why did He plant the tree in the garden? If He had not placed the tree in the garden, the original sin would never have occurred and there would be no lost souls.
This appears to make sense, but it also raises another question. However, if man’s virtue had never been assaulted the question would always remain about his obedience. Would the obedience be from a desire to please God, or a mechanical obedience that never knew there was another way? Throughout God’s word, the Bible, we find man always has a free choice to obey or disobey God. Adam exercised his free choice when he listened to his wife and ate of the fruit. At that moment, Adam ceased to be immortal, and the process of aging entered into his body. I believe both he and Eve were aware of when it happened. Then God drove them from the garden.
Many have speculated as to what the fruit was, with the apple gaining the most popular vote. It kind of fruit really doesn’t matter, for the fruit did not bring about death and separation from God, it was their disobedience. The command not to eat from the tree was the first representation of the difference between good and evil, obedience and disobedience. God had given them one simple rule by which they were to govern their lives and they chose to disobey rather than obey. Although they did not become aware of self until after they ate, they indulged self by eating of the fruit. Through this test, God demonstrated the rewards of obedience and the cost of disobedience. Obedience still gives life, and disobedience still results in separation from God. This reveals what must be traded away to indulge self.
God planted the tree in the beginning to give mankind a choice. None of us would want a spouse that married us because it was what was required, we want a spouse who has made a choice to marry us. In like manner, had God not planted the tree, and commanded they not eat from it, the human race would never have known about the evil that lurks within and would never have known they had a choice.
The answer to today’s question, God planted the tree to give mankind a choice. Adam made the wrong choice.
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