Read Genesis 2
Focus on verse 16-17
When president Obama was elected and began to enact his political agenda, he reminded Americans that elections have consequences. In 2016 when American people surprised the over confident Clinton campaign and the main stream media by giving Donald Trump and the GOP the mandate to lead the nation, some conservative political analysts used the same phrase.
It is not just elections that have consequences – all our choices have consequences. When I choose to play softball the consequence typically is that in the days following my body reminds me that I am no longer as young as I think I am. In today’s reading Adam and Eve are given freedom to make choices in the Garden of Eden, however, they are reminded that their choices have consequences.
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”(v. 16-17)
Adam had it all! He had a garden that provided him with food, entertainment, fulfillment – everything. The one thing he was missing was a helper suitable for Him. Apparently he needed company beyond that of the Lord and the animals. So God provides the perfect woman… Eve. Perfect in every way – and he is the perfect match for her. There is only one thing that they are warned about by the Lord in regard to the garden and the choices they make – they are not ever to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for it will bring the consequence of death.
I wonder, as I contemplate this, if Adam really knew what “death” was. How would one who knew only perfection really understand the implications of death if he had never seen anything die? A curious lot we humans are… all it generally takes to cause one of us to try something is to put up a sign that says, “Don’t…”. Think about it… the sign at the zoo says, “please don’t touch the animal” what is someone almost certain to attempt to do at some point? Touch the animal… in some cases this is for the well being of the animal, in others it is to protect the human. Typically it takes a incident where either a human, or an animal is seriously hurt of killed for the rest of us to take note of it and then our response is generally to blame the zoo keepers for inadequate fencing or signage or both. Some people call this learning by “experience”, but it really is simply the consequence of disobedience.
When we disobey the laws of the land there are typically consequences. When we disobey the law of God, there are similarly consequences that follow – particularly when God specifically tells us there are consequences. For some reason, it seems we are either slow learners in this regard, or perhaps just a touch rebellious.