God provides mankind a choice
God provides mankind a choice
God placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God placed a choice before Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had to choose whether to obey God or to disobey Him. Whether to eat or not to eat of the forbidden fruit, as stated in Genesis 2:17. Why does God offer mankind a choice?
Why couldn’t God have simply positioned the tree of life in the garden without planting another tree that symbolized their potential rebellion against God? Because God sees value in the decisions each of us must make. Choice provides the opportunity for the genuine and authentic expression of love for God. Authentic love means that God cannot force us to love. We must choose to love Him. Love is only known and experienced when there is a choice. Adam and Eve were offered a choice – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or the tree of life.
He offered them a choice so that their love might be borne out of freedom rather than coercion. It is certainly in God’s power to coerce. We see an example of that in Philippians 2:9-11 – “one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord”. Love must be developed out of a relationship of freedom, gratitude, and genuine affection.
The question asked earlier is: Can you trust God? This question has two meanings. Is God dependable in times of adversity? Do you have such a relationship with God and such a confidence in him that you believe He is with you in your adversity even though you do not see any evidence of His presence and His power? These are not easy questions to answer. Since none of us enjoys pain.
Paul pleaded with God three times to take away the thorn in his flesh. He found the answer; God’s grace is sufficient – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. We find it difficult to understand how Paul could take pleasure in suffering – 2 Corinthians 12:10.
We see another biblical example when Joseph pleaded “get me out of this prison” – Genesis 40:14.
Our Lord and Savior pleaded three times “take this cup from me” – Matthew 26:36-44.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can benefit from our adversity. Hebrews 12:11 “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Consider what God tells us in Ecclesiastes 7:13 “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?”
Do you believe that a God who loves you knows what is best for you and is in control of your situations? Can you trust Him even if you do not understand? I understand the distress, the despair, and the darkness that fills our souls when we wonder if God truly cares about our situation. It often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him. The moral will of God given to us in the Bible is rational and reasonable. The circumstances in which we must trust God often seems incomprehensible. The law of God is recognized to be good for us even when we don’t want to obey.
Obeying God is within well-defined boundaries. Trusting God is within an arena that has no boundaries. We do not know the extent, the duration, or the frequency of the pain or the adverse circumstances in which we must trust God. We are coping with the unknown. Which is more important to trust God or to obey Him? When we disobey: we defy His authority, we despise His holiness. When we distrust we doubt His sovereignty, and His goodness. In both cases we cast aspersions upon His Majesty and His character. God views our distrust of Him as serious as He views our disobedience. When the children of Israel were hungry in the desert they spoke against God. Can God spread a table in the desert? Can He supply meat for His people? In Psalms 78:19-22 we see the statement that the children of Israel spoke against God. This showed their lack of trust in Him and when God heard what they had said He was very angry.
In order to trust God we must view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not of sight – Romans 10:17. Just as the faith of salvation comes by hearing the Word of God, so the faith to trust God in adversity comes through the Word of God. It is only in Scripture that we find an adequate view of God’s relationship and involvement in our painful circumstances. It is only from the Scripture, applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit, that we receive the grace to trust God in adversity.
From Scripture we learn three essential truths about God: God always wills what is best for each of us. God always knows what is best for each of us. God has the power to bring about what is best for each of us. These truths we must believe if we are to trust God. In adversity the sovereignty of God is assessed on almost every page of Scripture.
Faith in God is a choice we make likewise trust in God is a choice we make. Why? Is it just as important to trust God as it is to obey God?