At the heart of the Christian faith is the knowledge that in creating everything the way He did, this God acted out of the desire to have a family He could love and who willingly chose to love Him. This desire is seen in the faces of the parents of a new-born baby as they beam with joy. Most parents do this even though somewhere at the back of their minds they know that over the coming years this new life has the potential to cause them endless grief and heartache, as well as bringing them joy. Why should things be this way? Why should those with so much to give cause hurt instead? To put it simply, our human relationships end up damaged because our ancestors set a pattern from which we cannot escape by our own efforts.
The Bible tells how The LORD enjoyed a real friendship with the first man and woman when He had created them. Every day He met with them and talked to them and He hoped that this relationship would be as valuable to them as it was to Him. For that to be the case, they had to be free to choose other priorities, free to value something or someone else more than they valued Him as their Father. He gave them this freedom by telling them He was willing for them to eat fruit from any of the trees in the garden where He had placed them, except for one particular tree - the one He called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. He warned the man that eating that fruit would bring about his death.
Have you ever told a child not to touch something? You know that they will want to touch it at the earliest possible opportunity. Children don’t always succumb to such temptation, but it was not so with this couple. First the wife listened to half-truths from a rival for their affection, then she tried some of the fruit from that tree. She thought it was great and offered some to her husband, but this presented him with a massive dilemma. He had been told by his Creator that if he ate from that tree, he would die. Death is not just physical, it also has a spiritual side to it and he knew that that would mean separation from the God who loved him. This man now had to choose between potentially losing his wonderful wife or losing contact with the One who had given her to him. He had to decide which of them he loved the most. Unlike her, he was not deceived. He knew the consequences of the choice he made when he too ate the fruit she handed to him from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Next: The “S” word
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