TRUST GOD even when HE says “NO”
January 1 Bible Reading: Genesis Chapters 1-3
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." (Gen. 2:15-17)
In the beginning chapters of Genesis, the book of beginnings, we see how God started His creative work by creating the earth first and making it habitable for humanity (1:1-2:3) even before He created the human race (2:4-25). In fact, God planted a garden eastward in Eden and placed the crown jewel of His creation – man – in that garden to live (2:8). In order to sustain man’s life, God planted every possible tree that was good for food and pleasing in looks along with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (2:9).
After providing everything for man, God gave only one responsibility and one restriction to him. Man was made responsible to tend and keep the garden beautiful (2:15). We should note that God was appreciative of everything He had created so far (1:10; 20-21), and wanted to maintain everything that He had created. Since man was created in the image and likeness of God (1:26-27), man was to be a good caretaker and steward of the blessings he enjoyed. We also note that God had placed only one restriction on man, that is, God had said “NO” to only one thing: man was not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil…!!!
The punishment for disobedience was also clearly spelt out: man would surely die on the day he eats this forbidden fruit. As we know now, this death would be actually a separation from enjoying the close fellowship and intimacy with God. The point to reflect from God’s directive is that He never offered an explanation as to why He did not want man to eat this one fruit of this one tree located in the middle of the garden. Every time that man would glance at this tree, he was to remember the restriction placed upon him and trust God’s Word in complete obedience even when God had said “NO” to this one thing.
The tragedy in this story was that the woman got tempted by the old serpent Satan, and doubted God’s Word and the reality that He meant well for them with this one restriction (3:1-5). She saw that the tree was good for food (“the lust of the flesh”), pleasant to the eyes (“the lust of the eyes”), and desirable to make one wise (“the pride of life”). She loved the ‘world’ over God, breaking God’s cardinal rule: "Do not love the world or the things in the world...for all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world" (1 John 2:15-16).
Not only did the woman did eat the forbidden fruit, but she gave this fruit to her husband who also ate without giving a second thought at God’s prohibitive command. The woman who was designed to be a helper as man’s companion (2:20b) actually became a hindrance for him to obey God’s mandate and purpose for his life.
Let us understand that sometimes when God says “NO” to us, we should still continue to trust Him, and obey His Word without doubting or questioning. God knows what is best for us and that should be good enough for us throughout our life’s journey!