Footnotes

*3:24: cherubim are powerful angelic creatures, messengers of God with wings. See Ezekiel 10.

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God did NOT set out to test Adam and Eve

Many people thought that God deliberately place the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden to test Adam and Eve’s obedience. In reality, if you search the bible, you will discover that there is no scripture in the bible that states that God set out a test to test Adam and Eve.

Genesis 2:9 is where the tree of life and the tree of knowledge were first mentioned. Then in Genesis 2:16, God gave a commandment to Adam that he shall not eat of the Tree of Knowledge. It was a commandment. It was not a test.

It is just like in our house, we have knives, hot oven and stoves with fire in the kitchen. They are required for cooking. We cannot do without those appliances. So we give instructions to our children not to play with fire and knives. It was not a test but an instruction to protect them.

It was a subtle lie

Over the past thousand of years, the devil had subtlely planted a lie in the minds of millions of people that it was God who set out to test Adam. It aroused in many, an anger towards God. People thought that God deliberately set out a test knowing that Adam and Eve will fail. This is how the devil wants you to feel towards God — to believe that God is all out to set you up for failure.

Think over it carefully. We read in Genesis chapter 1 and 2 about how the LORD God intricately created the universe, the Earth and the garden of Eden for Adam and Eve. God, who never gets tired, stopped work to spend time with Adam and Eve on the 7th day. How would He then want Adam and Eve to fail a test and miss His blessings?

The truth is God loves you

God loves you. He created you and He is proud of you. No one else thinks so well of you as God does. In God’s eyes, you are beautiful, you are wonderfully made by Him and He wants you to be successful. God is gracious and God loves you deeply regardless of what mistakes you have made.  His plans for you are always to give you a hope and a future.

God will not withhold any good things because He loves us

If you are a good parent, you will know that you will not withhold any good thing from your child. You will give what you believe is the best for them. You would always want to lavish good gifts to your child. This is how God loves us (Matthew 7:11).

Eve fell into the trap of the serpent because Eve did not give a deeper thought to think that a God who had custom-made the entire earth so perfectly for her would not have withheld a fruit from her if that fruit is good for her.

God is not against you

God is not against you in any way. If He is, He would not need to waste time testing you. With just a word, you would have been destroyed.

When you do not believe, you hurt God

Imagine if you love someone and you are always planning the best gifts for that person and there is never a time you will ever withhold any good from that person. However, that person do not believe you are that good and would even think that  you have kept the best for yourself, would you not feel very hurt?

This is the reason why the devil will always want you to doubt God’s goodness towards you— it is the way to hurt God.

Despite Adam & Eve's sin, God established a redemptive plan for mankind

If you are a parent, you will know that the most painful thing for us is to see our children walking into a wrong path in life and having their lives ruined. Our children perceive that we are angry when in reality we are feeling the pain and fear of seeing them suffering in life. If we can, we would rather choose to suffer in their place.

Our heavenly Father is a God of justice. He had to pronounce the curse. However, it was excruciating pain for Him to see Adam and Eve made that mistake. Hence, even as God spoke the curse, He also established the redemption plan. At that instance, God had made the painful decision that His Son will one day come to this world to die for mankind and to redeem all who believes in Him.

Did you notice…

The redemption plan was decided at the moment the curse was passed

While God passed the judgement, at that very moment,  His love and compassion for mankind had also driven Him to decide that His one and only beloved Son, Jesus, will  come and save the world. In the NKJV version, Genesis 3:15 stated “her Seed”, which is referring to Jesus, the Son of God will come and be born as a human being to sacrifice for mankind and to destroy the devil:

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15, NKJV)

The tree of life was in the garden

In Genesis 2:9, it was stated that the tree of life was already in the midst of the garden and in Genesis 2:16, the LORD God said that Adam may eat from any tree in the garden (inclusive of the tree of life) except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The fact that God provided the tree of life right from the start is proof that God did not withhold any good thing from Adam and Eve.

God made garments of animal skins for Adam and Eve

In Genesis 3:21, it was stated that the LORD God made garments of animal skins for Adam and Eve and clothed them. This again tells us that despite their sins, God loved Adam and Eve and He clothed them.

To make garments of animal skins, it means that some animal has to die. This gives us a hint that there was already an animal sacrified to become the sin offering for Adam and Eve so that their sins can be forgiven.

Are you wondering…

Does God test people?

Let’s explore 3 occasions where it was written in the Bible that God tested the people:

1. God tested Abraham

The first person to be tested was Abraham (Genesis 22:1). But God watched over Abraham and did not permit him to harm Isaac.

2. God tested the children of Israel

In Exodus 16:4, it was written:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. (Exodus 16:4)

If you read Exodus 16, you will discover that the LORD’s testing was not to set the people for failure and disaster but to guide them into knowing that He is the LORD who will provide for them and that they will have no lack. The children of Israel in fact failed the test initially (Exodus 16:20,27) but the LORD did not  cause any punishment to come upon them but only explained to them why the Sabbaath was given (Exodus 16:28-29).

3. God tested the children of Israel

In Exodus 15:25-26, after the LORD turned the bitter water of Marah to become fit to drink, it was written that the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.:

He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you. Exodus 15:26, NLT.

The children of Israel did sinned but the LORD did not inflict all of them with diseases. Otherwise there would be no Israelites in this present day. This tellswarne had to execute judgement. Nevertheless, it is never His will to see mankind suffering all kinds of diseases.  

The instruction given to test the children of Israel in Exodus 15:26 was not to set them up for tragedy but to guide them on the right path so that they do not have to suffer. 

So you see, God never put mankind to test and allow them to walk in the path of tragedy. When He gave instructions to test, it was to guide us to walk in the right path.  It is for our good and never to set us up for failure.

Is it wrong to be attracted to the things that we like?

Genesis 3:6 stated that Eve saw that the fruit was good for food (lust of the flesh), and delightful to the eyes (lust of the eyes) and will make one wise (pride of life), so she ate the forbidden fruit. Many people compare this verse to 1 John 2:16(ESV) where apostle John stated that the desires of the eyes, the desires of the flesh and the pride of life are not from the Father but from the world and hence conclude that we are sinning when we have pride in our life and are tempted by what we see and what our flesh craves. Most people will fail in trying to overcome these 3 areas. For instance, on the subject of pride, it is a thin line between having a positive pride in striving for excellence in our work versus a negative pride that cause us to be offended when someone criticise us.

Instead of trying to fight the desires of our eyes, flesh and pride, we should understand that when apostle Paul wrote 1 John 2:16, it also meant that these are the 3 weapons/ strategies that the devil will use on us. It used that on Eve and succeeded. Instead of trying to fight our human nature, and condemn it as sinful nature, we should instead recognise that Christ has already overcome the world. He has given us the Holy Spirit. So we must use our weapon to fight the spiritual war, not condemn ourselves.

Hence, we should recognise that if we abide in Christ and live by the Spirit, we are no longer subject to the law of Moses (Galatians 5:18). The solution is to abide in the love of our heavenly Father (1 John 2:15) and to remain in Christ (John 5:17) and live by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:19). When we stand firm in the victory position that Christ has won for us, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life will have no power over us.

When I do wrong, will I be cursed?

When Jesus Christ died for our sins, all our sins (past, present and future) are forgiven. We are made holy and without a single fault, forever ( colossians 1:22). Christ has broken every curse and made us holy.

Nevertheless, when we do wrong, there are consequences that we have to face. This is the chastisement. However, as long as we continue to walk with Christ, live by the Holy Spirit, we can overcome whatever difficulties. God will turn our setbacks into success. God will turn even the chastisement into something very good for us.

How to become a believer?

You can be a believer simply by saying this prayer:

Dear God, thank you for so wonderfully make me and thank you for sending your Son, LORD Jesus to die for me so that I can have the blessed life that you intended for me — a life of leadership and fruitfulness. Now I believe and accept Jesus as my LORD and Saviour. Fill me with the Holy Spirit of God. I believe that from this time forth, I am a new creation, I am born again and I have the eternal life that Jesus came to give me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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