Friday, January 25, 2008


In Genesis chapter one, we read that God created a beautiful earth and called everything in it good. In fact he said it was very good. God was clearly pleased and satisfied with his creation. This beautiful pristine earth had nothing in it that was dangerous, ugly or painful.

There was no such thing as a thousand thunderstorms every minute somewhere on earth creating destruction and havoc with lightening and winds. A gentle mist rose from the earth and watered the garden. (Gen 2:6 KJV) “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”

(Gen 2:16-17 NIV) "And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; {17} 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."

Now notice carefully what Satan, the master deceiver tells Eve. He inserts a single extra word into God's statement knowing that he can deceive Eve with it. The word is "Touch." The devil, by mixing a small lie with the truth deceived Eve and Adam. God had told them to dress the garden, and that included the tree of good and evil. They had touched it many times.

The devil cleverly added to the words of God this single word: Touch! According to the devil God said “you may not eat of it or touch it.”Eve must have thought: “That right, in dressing and keeping the garden we have touched it many times and nothing happened.” So she ate the fruit and gave some of it to Adam. The rest, as they say, is history.

Satan told the truth when he said: "if they ate the forbidden fruit that they would become as God knowing good and evil". Satan made it appear that was something greatly to be desired. It wasn’t. They were driven out of the garden totally unprepared to deal with good and evil and they suffered until they died.

Babies don’t know good or evil. They can only discover the meaning of cause and effect, disobedience and suffering after they leave the innocence of their infant years. Babies, knowing nothing, are loved and comforted, taken care of and watched over by good parents. It’s a joyous time to watch them make tiny advancements as they grow.

However every mother is aware of the terrible two’s when their sweet innocent baby begins to misbehave, test all limits, and try to bend the whole household to their liking. Why do parents put up with this? Because they know that beyond the terrible two’s is a period of growth, maturity and hopefully for their child, the possibility of becoming a delightful responsible adult.

If we transfer this concept to the story of creation we can see a close parallel. God didn’t want to walk in the garden forever and ever with babies. Parents would be alarmed and horrified if their children never developed mentally. However, hidden in this mental development and free will is the possibility that their child may become a cruel, selfish, even murderous criminal who dies a needless violent death. There’s no greater sorrow than to watch a family try to rescue a child that refuses to be good.

That explains why God allows us to be both the victims of evil and its perpetrator. We learn the meaning of both sides of good and evil by living with all its problems. How could it be God’s will for such a thing to exist?

In the same way parents send their child off to school on a cold morning where they are faced with all kinds of unpleasant things. The child learns by both good and evil from the things that they encounter. No, the parent doesn’t enjoy the process, and often can only provide encouragement and comfort because the process must continue.

Under some circumstances the parents may act to move their child out of trying situations, but they only face them again somewhere else. If we can see loving parents behind these trials and stressful difficulties of their children; parents who refuse to intervene each time their child is hurt; then why can’t we see the same thing in God? Why do we charge God with being unloving when he doesn’t step in and prevent all suffering?

This is a very big subject and I've just scratched the surface. Have a comment or question? Send it to I'll send you a reply.


No comments: