- Alan Salwei
Genesis 2:15-18 - The Enduring Command
God's expectations have been clear since day one: Obey Him and live.
Read / Listen
Read Genesis 2:4-9, 15-18
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 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 from it you will certainly die.”
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 40
Q. Why did Christ have to go
all the way to death?
A. Because God’s justice
and truth demand it:
only the death of God’s Son
could pay for our sin.
When Adam was placed into the Garden of Eden to work the land, God commanded him to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of all the fruit of the trees in the garden, only the fruit of this one tree was forbidden.
This was a choice God did not have to give Adam. God could have hidden the tree of the knowledge of good and evil away from Adam, or created Adam without an ability to choose. Yet God did neither of these. Instead, God gave this command and Adam was given a choice between obedience and rebellion.
The cost of rebellion was steep, for Adam and all whom he represented, disobedience meant that he would surely die. This consequence would not be an immediate physical death for Adam, but that death would become a certainty.
In Genesis 3 we find the account of the fall, where Adam and Eve as the first humans “fell” from grace through the first act of human disobedience. Despite God’s clear command that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was off-limits and the warning of the consequences of rebellion, they chose to partake of it.
With this act of disobedience death began its reign in mankind. The only remedy for the fallen state of mankind is the supervening grace of God. This is why Jesus was born into this world and suffered death, to intervene in the fate of a fallen humanity.
With this first act of rebellion came the certainty of death. God’s justice and truth require payment for our debt of sin. And nothing else could pay for our sins except the death of the Son of God.
Because of Jesus, the fall is more than the origin story of the misery of mankind and how we came to be in a state of rebellion against God. The fall is part of God’s larger plan of redemption. God certainly didn't want Adam to fail, yet He knew that Adam and Eve would disobey in the garden. This is why a means of grace was already part of God's plan of redemption.
Jesus is God’s intervention for a fallen humanity. Only the Son of God could pay our debt of sin. Thank God that Jesus intervenes in humanity’s state of misery, rescuing us from the consequences of our rebellion of sin.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our covenant God, the creator of all that is who has called us to a life of righteousness.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that through Christ you've earned everlasting life, and pray for wisdom to fulfill your purpose of ensuring God's creation reflects His holiness.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Matthew 8