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question

May 24, 2007
I think I have a pretty good grasp on some of the hard topics regarding God. I understand why we have a free will, even though so many of us choose wrongly. I see the necessity of certain paradoxes, such as “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” I’m okay with God’s decision to allow suffering to strengthen love. I’m even comfortable with the fact that there are just mysteries to God that we probably will not understand in this life.

As I was listening to a body-builder explain the fall of mankind last night, though, a question arose in my heart that’s been plauging me for some 12 hours: Why put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place?

Before you start explaining theology to your computer screen allow me to reassure you that I understand the following:
1. Hell was never intended for people.
2. God does not send people to hell; people send themselves to hell.
3. We have free will.
4. God is just and good.

My question, though, is, from the very begining of the whole thing, why put the tree there at all if He didn’t want them to eat from it? With the ability to see the end from the beginning, God must have known that Satan would convince them, that sin would enter the world, and that thousands would never escape it. He must have known from the very beginning that some would reject Him, and later reject Christ, and suffer an eternity of torment for it.

Assuming the tree was somehow necessary, why create man at all? Again, knowing that some would suffer so much for so long. Why create someone hoping for the best, but ultimately knowing his eternity would be unspeakably horrible? Wouldn’t it be a greater expression of love to deny Himself of His desire for man because He knows that some will condemn themselves? Because I’m sure if you could ask anyone in hell, they’d rather to never have been alive.

Read through the four assertions above again. I know these things. All I’m asking is, “Why?” On day four of creation, looking down the horizon of time into eternity, why didn’t He see those suffering for all time and scrap the whole plan?

I’m not backsliding, here. Not doubting. Not foresaking my salvation – because whether or not I understand or agree with it all, I know it’s true. And I’m sure there’s an answer that someday I will understand. I’d like it to be today, though.
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. I Ravish His Heart permalink
    May 26, 2007 2:17 am

    Man… i have no idea

  2. davidlramsey permalink
    May 26, 2007 4:37 pm

    So I read this then thought about it which is dangerous to do, then I had cool stuff to say but now I’m back much later and all I’ve got is that it seems to be back to free will to me. you know it wasn’t the knowledge of evil it was the knowledge of good and evil. The ‘evil’ woman made her good man eat it and we’ve been suffering ever since. Ahh women. I would say A and E suffered from ‘American syndrome’ or not realizing how great they had it, but you see they never knew until they sunk their teeth in. There is many a man who flips thru his endless t.v. channels unencumbered by the pain he sees all over the world yet cries out over his silly sorrows of a car payment or lacking ‘movie’ funds. It comes down to options and your ‘world or eternal view’. A, E, and TV man have and or had a limited view. They got the good and the bad together but least they had an option. Otherwise they’d just be automatons not only made in His image but slaves as well. The options are free but the consequence of ones will can be rather costly. Your real question should be ‘why do women have to suffer so to bear children when dudes don’t have to do much?” If I were a lady I’d want some answers to that. After recently reading ‘the beginning’ I was wondering that. At the time tilling the soil and providing food was a all day, as in sun up to sun down affair but now. No big whoop. Go earn some cash, buy some meat and french fries, boom, dinner. But no still child pangs for the lady. Although modern medicine does increase your chances of living thru the experience I’d still say it’s a tad bit unfair at this point, but what do I care, I can always buy some Macdonalds. easy

  3. Anonymous permalink
    July 23, 2007 9:42 am

    You know, I came across this question before, as I am sure most Christians have.

    As far as I see it, God is looking for voluntary lovers. He is looking for someone who is willing to show their love to Him. Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) since we cannot sin unless there is a law to break (Rom 5:13), we could never show God that we didn’t love Him by breaking His commandments until He gave us one.

    Which He promptly did. Go out populate the earth, subdue it (Gen 1:28), don’t eat from the tree (Gen 2:16,17).

    So, now that we have been given an opportunity to show God how much we love Him, He will show us how much He loves us.

    What a better way to do that, than to go through the whole love story of the bible? He gives up His only begotten Son over to His creation to put Him through one of the most horrific deaths we could imagine. All for the sake of love. All so that we could be with Him again.

    It might see a bit strange to someone who doesn’t know God’s love, but that is the power of it. God’s living Word came here. Manifested in the flesh (John 1:14), to give us the expression of who God is (John 1:18). Not only the expression of who God is, but the revelation (and gifts) of Grace and Truth (John 1:17).

    So while we may think that originally it is bad, because some people will go to hell because of the tree, it really isn’t the case. Think about this, how did Satan fall? Did he fall because of a tree or jewelry or the position that he held, or did he fall because of his pride. His wisdom was corrupted, and with or without a tree, or an exalted position, I believe he would have eventually fallen anyway. I think it would have been the same for those who don’t come to know the Lord.

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