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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 38 The Tree (pt1)

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…

Satan’s scheme

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.

The Glory

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.

Every blessing,

Sarah

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 26: The Power Struggle

Genesis 1 closes with the following verses,

“And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

GOD gave… everything… to Adam. And then, at the end of this sixth day, GOD rested from His creation, having given all to the man whom he made in His own image, to rule over and to tend it.

Hallelujah!

But how does this knowledge prepare us in our own journey with Him? We need to recognise the power struggle.

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. 

Why did GOD make Man?

IF as I suggested as a possibility last week (https://laruspress.com/gods-story-part-25-mankind-is-created-why/ ), that GOD made man in response to Lucifer’s fall, what is the ultimate significance of this?

We are here on this earth because GOD created us. After Lucifer was cast out of fellowship with GOD and fell to the earth (Hebrews 1:14), Satan, the devil who had been the angel Lucifer, observed Creation. Would he not have heard the commission of GOD to Adam? Can we imagine that he waited for his moment and then tricked Eve and tempted Adam to sin? This power play against GOD led to Adam’s mortality and his removal from Eden. 

The struggle between GOD and Satan, the struggle for power continues to this day. Of course GOD has infinite power and has already won…. we who have read the Book know the ending. The timing for the fruition of all is in His hands.

The Power Plays

I have a theory based upon Biblical history and contemplation — an unproved conscious thought:

While GOD is waiting for man’s salvation back to Himself, the Angels are worshipping GOD (Revelation 5:11-14) and Satan, GOD’s jealous competitor, is doing all he can (using the demons who fell with him) to thwart GOD, attempting to prove he is His equal. He uses man against GOD in his war for power. 

GOD created mankind, His motive to create beauty and relationship.

Lucifer was proud and so was cast out of heaven and fell to earth…. Jealous and full of envy at the relationship between GOD and man, he sought to foil that relationship. He used the serpent to entice Eve, perhaps because the serpent had anticipated he would be the one having dominion, not foreseeing the creation of man, a creature superior to himself, and not relishing being dominated by man. 

And so two sides are drawn with man in the middle.

But GOD

But GOD is not only the author of Creation and the author of this story, but He knows the beginning from the end, and is in fact the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)

The power play must run its course and in the meantime, opportunity for salvation continues and comes to fruition over and over again. Satan destroys but GOD brings life. And so it will continue until the end of this Age and beyond.

One day the power struggle will end

“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

And then the new heaven and new earth will come (Revelation 21:1) where the power struggle is over.

In the meantime, we need not be pawns at the disposal of Satan but be knights in GOD’s army. He seeks and saves the lost. We are His hands and feet.

So, while the power struggle rages, we on the LORD’s side, seek to save the lost. This is our calling and this is His victory.

Next time we will look to Genesis Chapter Two…