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“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it... and established it...” (Psalm 24:1-2)
Pretend for a moment that you are Adam. You have just opened your eyes on a brand-new world, filled with light and glory. You are aware of yourself, that you exist and you are conscious. You are also aware of God, that He made you and He is with you. What is the very next thing that happens? Genesis 2:8 tells us: “Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.”
Think about that. There was no interview, no consultation. God didn’t ask Adam if that was something he would like to do. God simply put him in the garden, surrounded by all kinds of trees that were beautiful and good for food. And then God gave him work to do; he was to take care of the garden.
Why could God arbitrarily assign Adam his place in life? It has to do with the concept of ownership. If you write something or design or invent something, it’s yours. You made it. You can decide what to do with it. The same with God. He made Adam; therefore He owned him. Because He owned Adam, God could tell him what to do.
There’s a difference, though. What we can make is inanimate. What God made was a living soul, with the ability to think, to feel, to decide. God’s creation could respond. God wanted Adam’s voluntary love and obedience; therefore He carefully instructed him. “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die.’” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Why did God put a restriction on Adam? Because He knew what was best for him! Psalm 18:30 tells us, “As for God, his way is perfect.” God wanted Adam to choose to obey Him and to be dependent on Him. Adam had only experienced good things because God had provided everything for him. God warned him that if he chose to disobey God by eating the forbidden fruit, he would also come to know what is evil. He would die.
Why do we bristle when we think of Adam having to follow instructions? Isn’t it because we like to choose our own way? We think like the writer who said, “I am the captain of my soul.” That way is doomed. God wants our response to be, “Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.” (Psalm 119:73)
This is an excerpt from the 360-page book The Story of the Bible—God’s Message to the World by Beverly Hubbard (Xulon Press, 2012).
If you have ever wondered what the Bible is all about, The Story of the Bible is a book you must read. Summarizing the action of Bible stories, it details how God's plan for the world unfolds through history. Along the way, it answers many of the most important questions people ask.
Available from: www.xulonpress.com; www.amazon.com; www.bn.com;
Long’s Christian Book & Outlet Store 1140 E. Altamonte Drive,
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
and from the special order desk at all Barnes & Noble Booksellers and
LifeWay Christian Stores.