Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Choice and the Fall

I argued in the last post that freedom of choice cannot be the real marker of freedom. True freedom lies in the ability to act without regret; true freedom lies in the ability to act with the certainty that what one is doing is right and good. In order for this freedom to exist, a man would only have one real "choice" in each and every scenario, wisdom would eliminate all other possibilities.

So then, if freedom is not really found in the choosing, why was Adam given a choice in the garden? Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place? Why did he allow the serpent in the garden? Surely this means that God wanted to give us the freedom of choice, doesn't it?

This would seem to be the easy answer, but really, the fall is not about choice, though a choice was certainly made. The fall is about a faulty quest for wisdom. That is, Adam and Eve pursued wisdom apart from God's counsel. If you look at Genesis three, you will find that the serpent of "more crafty" than any beast of the field (3:1). That word for crafty means "wise". And behold why the woman ate: she saw that "the tree was to be desired to make one wise" (3:6). Adam and Eve sought wisdom, but they sought it through disobedience to God. By seeking wisdom in this way, they became fools. In reality, Adam and Eve were not given a choice; they were given a command: Do not eat.

Adam and Eve were created good, and they were created innocent. They had never experienced sin and the effects of sin. They only knew that there was one thing that they should not do: eat of the tree. They were told that the consequence of their actions meant "death", but they really had no idea what that meant. Now, we do. Knowing what you know now, would you eat that piece of fruit? (You might, actually. You are not yet perfected.)

But let's fast forward a bit. Let's go all the way to the end of all things as we know it. You, believer, are glorified and in the celestial kingdom of peace. What, do you suppose, will keep you from falling again? It doesn't take a piece of fruit. The devil fell without eating the fruit. So, what will keep you from falling? What will keep you from sin?

Eating the forbidden fruit should never have been an option for Adam. From here, we can see the sheer madness of it. It is more insane than a man dosing himself with radiation in the hopes that he will get the powers of Spider-Man. When, in the judgment, we see the absolute folly of rebellion against God, when we see the total horror of sin and the foolishness of it; we will be cured of sin. Two things will be compared that we cannot imagine now as we will some day see: the glory of God and the ugliness of sin. We will be wiser than Adam.

Why did God put the tree of knowledge in the garden? He did it for His own glory. He did it so that in five million years, if God says, "No", we will know that it is infinitely wise and good to obey, even if we cannot see the reason or the consequences.

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