Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story
How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.
Eden and the forbidden tree
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)
What did Adam have to do to tend the perfect garden? There was no rainfall so presumably the garden, like man, soaked up moisture. And there was no death, so would there be any clear out of the garden? What did “tending” entail?
And in the garden, why did he put in a tree that was for looking only, and not for eating? It must have been a beauty to look at! And there must have been fruit on it or else what would be available to eat from that tree?
My thoughts on the Garden
It must have been enchanting to walk in the Garden of Eden, with the Creator of the Universe. Adam would have experienced peace, perfect weather conditions, no concept of anxiety or conflict or tension. Wonderful! Tending a garden was perhaps simply enjoying it, ensuring the flora and fauna were content. I can imagine the fragrance and the beauty to the eye, but surely my imagination cannot do this true justice: “Breathtaking!”
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
The thought I have with regard to this tree, the key insight I have to offer, is that the tree is the focal point in the war between the Creator and the fallen Lucifer — ie Satan, with GOD’s command to Adam putting him smack into the centre of that other relationship.
Adam… and Job
Did GOD allow Satan access to Adam in a similar way to the access he would later give to Job?
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 1:6-12)
If the antagonism between GOD and Satan is about where the power lies in character, then Job demonstrates a character dedicated to faith in GOD no matter the circumstance. He knew evil v goodness, as he was part of fallen man. Did this help him to understand the vital part his faith had in his own life? Was the knowledge of good and evil fundamental in his overcoming?
What then of Adam? Adam “did eat” and fell from GOD’s grace. Was that simply because he was innocent of evil and didn’t recognise what he was up against? And if so, why would it be necessary for him to recognise it at all? Why did he “need to be tempted?”
Certainly, I learn the hard way, which is certainly what happened to Adam… Is that what Adam was up against? And if so, why did he need “to learn” at all?
Hold that thought and I’ll come back to it momentarily…
After the conversation between GOD and Satan, when Satan went from GOD’s presence, what occurred next? Did he begin to scheme? In the case of Adam, at what point did Satan begin his manoeuvres?
After the creation of Eve, at some point Satan was waiting, lurking to deceive her. And was Adam standing by, ready to be drawn in? How badly did Adam want to taste that fruit? Or did he simply want to ensure he walked in full relationship with Eve, even if it meant disobeying GOD. Didn’t realise this would mean he was also abandoning GOD?
Was GOD creating a set-up for the greatest showdown to expose Satan to his own failure. Was this the ultimate way to humble Satan? If so, there certainly was a huge cost: so much tragedy from that time to this, and still the combat continues. Is this all to put Satan in His place, because otherwise Satan would rule and destroy the world?
Is the entire history of mankind about revealing to Satan the ultimate victor?
Forbidden Fruit a choice
GOD told His children not to have knowledge of Good and Evil because of the pain it would cause. When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit that was forbidden they immediately lost innocence, felt shame, and became separated from their Creator. GOD did not want shame for us. He did not want pain. But perhaps it was necessary to give the choice. It is the human experience to grow through adversity. Perhaps GOD did not want that we would be innocent out of ignorance but rather innocent by choice, which is what become “like a child” and being born again is all about.
By offering a choice, man would inevitably choose knowledge, and pain, yet would also learn the difference between what is good and what is evil. We are all born with this knowledge (Romans 1). What do we do with it is the making (or breaking) of our lives.
This knowledge has enabled the battle and ultimate demonstration that good will overcome evil (as best personified in Jesus Christ) and that GOD’s love was and is and always will be more powerful than Satan in his pride.
A lesson for Satan
Perhaps quite simply, GOD sought to reveal to Satan his failure before he would be eternally damned. In his interest to put himself higher than GOD, Satan pursued Eve to draw division between the union of Adam and Eve, and the unity between Man and GOD was torn… and yet this would be the pathway to Satan’s ultimate defeat.
GOD knows everything, new everything. In creating mankind, He must have known He’d created the means through which Satan would be humbled and by offering the choice of the tree of knowledge, knowing man would choose knowledge, GOD made a way for perfect relationship with mankind, superior even to that which He had with Adam.
Our frame of reference
Today we tend to look from our own perspective — as though we are at the centre of the universe.
GOD loves us! But even though He loves us, I reckon there are higher aspects to the universe than GOD’s love for mankind. It isn’t only the earth and mankind which is on GOD’s heart, but the entire universe, with His angels and the demons who fell from His grace included.
Perhaps we need to be reminded that man is not the centre of the universe but GOD is. We are given a choice through our forefather, Adam: to choose GOD and the everlasting life which He promises through Yeshua/Jesus
or to choose or live by the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
All the glory is in and from GOD, not with mankind, not even with His creation. Ultimately, all glory goes to GOD and Satan must see this.
Next time I’ll explore what GOD meant by “you shall surely die” and draw attention to our human growth through adversity.