God Set Us Up! Why Give a Command He Knew They Would Reject?
Western Seminary Theology Professor and Dean, Dr. Marc Cortez, has been working on a book about the gospel called Good News for the Living Dead: A Fresh Take on the Gospel Story. Recently, he posted an excerpt from the book where he addresses a question that many of us have asked: Why did God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the midst of the Garden and command Adam and Eve not to eat from it when he knew they would? Marc responds that, rather than being some kind of divine mousetrap, the command was actually a gift from God and given with our best interests in mind.
He states three reasons for the command being a gift:
- The command was a reminder of God's glory.
- The command proclaimed God's grace.
- The command established a meaningful relationship.
So, far from being a trap, the commandment was a gift, an amazing gift. Through the command, God clearly proclaimed what creation is all about (his glory) and the basis on which he will always interact with his creation (his grace). At the same time, he identified his people in creation as the ones with whom he would enter into a very particular and meaningful relationship. God’s people, in God’s creation, to God’s glory. That’s what it’s always been about. Granted, we didn’t respond well to the commandment. But rejecting a gift doesn’t make it any less of a gift.
You can read the whole excerpt here.