“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”/ Genesis 2:15-17
Got to spend some time with my buddy Troy in the Word yesterday preparing for a Bible study. It was probably like 15 minutes in and we were both just sitting there jaw dropped just completely mind blown at the truths we were seeing about God in His Word. I guess the main reason we were so taken back is thinking about the times we don’t spend in God’s Word. Even sending these messages daily, a lot of days I’m just picking verses that fit my life not opening up God’s Word and seeing what life-giving truth He has for me. After actually opening up His Word and digging into it, I highly recommend that route! After a couple of hours we both left strengthened, sharper, and just daggum excited about life and the LIFE God has given us! I make that challenge to you to dig into God’s Word because I know how easy it is not to and what life is like without that truth so I encourage you to dig in and I ask you to continue encouraging me to do the same. That’s what we’re here for, to encourage and push each other forward in life and closer to the Lord.
We were digging into the Gospel to share over the next couple of weeks at our Bible study that foundation story of Good News that God has given us to build our lives on. Like I said, we can both admit that spending time in the Word isn’t something we do well so we both kind of looked at each other, thinking, “the Gospel, where do we even begin?” For such an important truth in our lives, the story of Jesus Christ that gave us life and life eternally, wouldn’t you think if it’s something you’re going to build your life off of or claim yourself as a follower of Jesus, then you should probably know every piece and every root to the Gospel that you so strongly believe right? Yeah, well me and Troy learned quickly yesterday that we’ve spent so much time claiming and thinking our life was founded on the Gospel but soon found out that there is so much more to it this beautiful story than we could ever imagine. It’s pretty much like claiming to be an astronaut for NASA because I mean it sounds super cool when you tell people. They think you are the highly skilled space man who knows how to get to space and that obviously puts you in a another stratosphere when others here that. But, when you get strapped in to the driver’s seat of that space craft, do you even know how to drive it? Do you even know the first move to make in cranking that rocket up? Have you ever even been to space? It sounded cool and others may have thought more of you but this big time truth you claim to tell everyone and put as the foundation to your whole life and all your beliefs on, it’s easy to claim you’re an astronaut, it’s easy to claim you follow Jesus Christ, but in all honesty can you even drive the space ship of the Gospel that God has given you as a vehicle not just to carry you up to eternal life one day, but eternal and abundant life here and now? Pretty convicting truth.
We didn’t know where to start with the Gospel because we were astronauts with no clue how to drive the rocket, so we figured, “hey, let’s start at the beginning, in Genesis.” We noticed something really cool about God in these verses. In the context of these verses God had just created the earth, all the animals, every part of everything and created the first man, Adam. God being perfect and Holy, created man in perfection, He created us to be with Him and walk in perfect fellowship with Him. Think about that, God being the good God He is wanted nothing but good for His creation of man. Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden, another beautiful part of God’s perfect creation and when I say He walked in perfect fellowship with God, He literally physically walked and hung out with God in the Garden.
So in these verses we see God’s goodness, love, and grace on full display to the first man and what’s cool is that God still feels this way towards me and you today. He put Adam over taking care of the Garden and working in it. He gave him purpose in life and a chance to serve the God who created Him through serving the Garden as a caretaker. Then we see God tells Adam, ” You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;.” Now we see that God has given us purpose, He then gives us provision by giving access to eat of any tree in the Garden. And think about that for a second, God’s creation is perfect and the Garden was perfect, just imagine how good that fruit was that God provided Adam access to!!! It was probably a whole lot better than what we find at grocery stores these days. So in God’s immense love for man, He provides Adam and us with purpose in life, giving us direction to move in and the chance to serve. Then in God’s love we see Him give provision giving us everything we need to continue striving and serving out our purpose on this earth, and some super delicious fruit!!! It’s so cool looking at that God told Adam point blank the way to complete and abundant LIFE with God, He provided Adam with everything He needed to live this perfect life and walk in perfect fellowship with the awesome, perfect and powerful Creator. LIFE to the fullest.
God has provided us with the same Word of LIFE from Him, He’s given us everything we need to see how to walk out life in the fullest and highest of ways. He’s given us the keys to the space ship, He has shown us everything we need to know through His Word on how to drive that rocket into space and whip through the stars. He has given us EVERYTHING to lift us up BUT, then in verse 17 God mentions there’s one tree not to be eaten of. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. We see how God wants nothing but the best for us, He wants nothing more than for us to have life and life to the fullest and in His love He gives us the keys and instruction to LIFE.
I saw this at first, and you can easily think, well if God wanted the best for us and Him being the creator, why would He put this forbidden tree in the Garden that causes death? God didn’t create this tree as bad, but God being all-knowing and sovereign as He is, He knew that the serpent, Satan, who had resisted God many times before was there waiting to tempt Adam and Eve to resist God too by eating of the tree. This is such an awesome picture of God’s grace to us, He doesn’t hide His commands from us. He tells us point blank through His Word the way to life and encourages us to walk in it. And in His grace, God knowing about the upcoming meeting with Satan’s temptation, He gives Adam a warning not to eat of this tree. He tells Adam straight up that eating this tree will lead to death. How awesome is that? We serve a God who loves us so much that He doesn’t just tell us about the good life with Him but He warns us of the temptation and attacks ahead from the evil one. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).” Satan brings sin and death into the world, he’ll do anything he can to entice us and tempt us to resist God and follow him instead. Satan is the “evil” part about the tree, he is the darkness that it talks about here in 1 John. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).”
God created us with perfect fellowship with Him, He created us as perfect and good, to live with God who is completely and fully light. Eating of this tree would give Adam and Eve the knowledge of evil when all they knew was good because all they knew was God. God is light, perfect and holy, sin and darkness make it impossible to come before God in perfect fellowship because that darkness of sin separates us from God. It causes a division between us and God. We see God’s love and grace towards us so deeply in this passage and how powerful His Word is. His Word literally breathes life into me and you, points us in the direction of our perfect and loving Creator. His Word also warns us against the schemes from the evil one, Satan. God warns us because He doesn’t want us to experience sin, separation from Him and all the havoc that darkness brings into our lives. God wants nothing but good for me and you, He wants nothing but perfect fellowship with Him, a life to the fullest. I pray this elevates and brings you to a higher and mightier view of God and His loving and faithful relationship to us. I also hope this challenges you like it has me to dig into God’s Word to experience more of Him and the life He brings to us, but also prepare you for the temptations and attacks from the evil one.
What’s crazy is this is only the beginning of the story of the Gospel. The root of who we are and who God is, and also showing our need for Him. I highly recommend digging into God’s Word and not just say you’re a Christian. Actually find out what God has done, who He is and why this good news of the Gospel truly is soooo GOOD! It’s easy to claim to be an astronaut but can you even drive the rocket? Can you even get to space? Challenge your beliefs and challenge your faith. See what God has for you, after seeing this, you know it’s nothing but GOOD!!!