Everything God created, the flowers, the fruits, the lions, the squirrels, and everything else, was found to be beautiful and good. There was no reason to be afraid of anything in the garden. After all, it was a garden, a place where all life was put together with a purpose and order. When it was completed, it was beautiful. There was no picking and choosing for the first humans.
But then God comes into the scene and gives these parents of us all, a rule. Interestingly, this first rule becomes the key feature of the human condition. The rule gives them the freedom to make a choice. Humans were given permission to like, dislike, to judge and misjudge, to decide for themselves what it is that they want to do with their lives.
The modern world thinks the ability to choose is a sign of freedom. The number of choices we have makes us feel that we are a free people. Western democracy is considered the epitome of freedom because we can choose to be what we want to be. I have heard parents tell their children, “You can be what you put your mind to. The sky is the limit! You can choose whatever you want.”
There is great joy is choosing whatever we want. However, there is the burden of responsibility in our freedom to choose. To be able to choose what we want is not a bad thing but not to accept the consequences of our choices shows immaturity. Some people may call the consequences curses while others might call it part of the choices we make.
When we reflect on the choices our first ancestors made to eat of the tree that was forbidden, the only rule that they were not to break, we find that they chose to do what they thought was right. They suffer the consequence of their choice by being thrown out of the garden and more. Even though the story does not end there, there was an immediate response, consequence and end result of their choice.
In 1 John 2:16 the author speaks of “the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches” that confront us every day. It simply points to the fact that no matter what we do, in the end, every choice we make, no matter how attractive, has consequences that will have to be dealt with.
The fruit of the tree awaits us in different forms and shapes, as it did for the first parents. Just like Adam and Eve in the story of creation we face difficult decisions, big or small, every day. For a child, the gravity of the matter is that of the child and for an adult, the matters are more serious. But the decision we have to make, regardless of age or gender, comes every moment.
The Bible gives us a glimpse into the struggles we will go through. The story of long ago is also now. The enmity between Godly things and earthly things. Our choices will take us to situations that we might regret without serious thought and reflection. But at no point does God leave us alone even though we make our decisions based on what we are exposed to and what in our ignorance we believe it to be true.
Parents set examples for their children. Here, in the story of Adam and Eve, we see how poor choices can lead us to totally unexpected consequences.
Even though one might feel cursed by the consequences of a choice made, as referenced in verse 17 of Genesis 3, we will soon find we are not left alone to figure out a solution on our own. We are assured again and again that with the angels on our side we will win the battle in the end. In the book of Revelation 12: 7, it is revealed that we will not fight this battle by ourselves, but with the Angels designated for the task and with us.
In the end of Genesis, we find the incredible freedom we are given and how everything we do comes with a consequence. If we are true to God, even the worst choice we make is not the end of it all. There is more to live for beyond the worst endings we have conjured up in our limited knowledge. The end result of our choices can still be the beginnings of God moments.
God’s Solution #3
Whatever ends badly, God can turn it around and make it better. His solution to the wrong choices we make is to make them part of God’s plan of Salvation. In saying “All things work together for good to them that love God,” (Romans 8: 28), Paul helps us understand this principle. God’s solution to man’s wrong choices is simply to be creative with a new situation. We will be given another opportunity to right the wrong and do better, with God’s help.