In the garden, couldn’t God have told Adam and Eve beforehand what consequences would come for both them and every generation after them if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? But of course, He most certainly could have.
But He didn’t. Why? Why watch us, His beloved creation, or so we read, go through such turmoil at the expense of our own misjudgment and mistrust of Him?
Well, I would venture to ask, in light of the above, “Why He would want us to obey simply out of our own self-interest?”
Love, at its core, grants freedom. It beckons trust and relationship, but grants the freedom to choose.
Surely, myself included, we would love to go back to the garden and slap the fruit out of Eve’s hand, and give her a piece of our mind, “What ARE you doing, you dumb broad, didn’t you hear what God said??” Yet, only now do we understand the repercussions after the fact (hindsight being 20/20 and gaining wisdom from others’ experiences).
So, what then? Well, I can vouch this from experience and from the experience of those around me: mistakes and shortcomings bring us closer to God when we realize that we cannot trust our own judgment of what steps to take to navigate the road of our lives, nor can we trust our own judgment of ourselves. The revelation of understanding that God is not so much as concerned with us getting it all perfectly right, because, we cannot. His will is not the tightrope of the Law, the Law is a tool to make us recognize that we cannot navigate it without Him. His grace is an open field to frolic with Him in! He wants the relationship! He wants our trust. How can we love someone we cannot trust? Yet, how can we bear to not love, to some extent, those whom we know we can trust?
“God allows in His wisdom what He could have easily prevented in His power.” – Graham Cooke
I mulled over that quote for a while, posing it inquisitively before God. What came was a bit of understanding of Romans 8:28 (NKJV): “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Note this: the letter does not read, “all things are good and work together for good ..” Yet, all things work together for good. To those who love God. We know when we are called by Him. We know this deep within ourselves. The Holy Spirit bears witness to it.
Can we agree that not all things are good? Many things hurt and we don’t understand them at the time .. but there are always benefits to be found by those who will seek them out.
If we learn who God is, what His motives are, and what it is He longs to do for us, and give to us .. if we can get in step with that, we can learn to trust Him, to love Him, and to accept and receive the gifts, yes, the good gifts that He longs to give us!
The relationship comes first. Learning God’s nature and that He is truly to be trusted with our lives and every intricate detail of them .. this is what He wants. Isn’t this what we would want, too?
Through love, obedience comes. When we love, we do not want to do anything to hurt the heart of the person, or in this case, God.