Genesis 2:17 – Meditations on Adam’s sin – Part 2

As I was carefully considering the second chapter of Genesis, I spent a long time thinking about Genesis 2:17 and its implications:

“. . . but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”

The LORD God issues a commandment to man, the creature, and man the creature disobeys the commandment. This led me to consider another question.

QUESTION #2: How many of the LORD God’s commandments did Adam disobey?

ANSWER #2: Adam disobeyed ALL of God’s commands.

COMMENTARY: What does this show us? What this shows us is that, even before the Fall, man was a rebel. Man the creature is a lawbreaker. Why do I say that? What is my evidence? Well, let us consider Adam and his actions.

In Genesis 2, the LORD God planted a garden and in the garden was “every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food (2:9).” The LORD God even placed the tree of life in the garden. The LORD God told the man that he could “eat freely” from any tree in the garden (2:16), but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he shall not eat (2:17). So, the LORD God gave to Adam complete freedom to eat of all the delightful trees of the garden except one. And to help Adam to be highly motivated in his obedience, the LORD God warned Adam in the most strident and sober words that there would be disastrous and fatal consequences if he disobeyed. One the one hand, there would be an abundance to eat and ongoing fellowship with the LORD God if Adam obeyed, and on the other hand there would be death if he disobeyed. Absolutely everything was stacked in Adam’s favor.

But it turns out that as soon as Adam had a commandment to disobey, he fell into disobedience. The LORD God gave Adam one commandment and Adam broke it. Adam explicitly and specifically disobeyed the only commandment that he had received. Adam was a rebel, and he only needed a command that he could disobey to display his rebellion.

Romans 5:20 says, “The Law came in that the transgression would increase.” What this means is that the more laws there are, the more opportunities there are to violate the Law. For the rebel, a commandment is another opportunity to transgress.

Romans 7:5 says, “When we were in the flesh, the sinful passions that were aroused by the Law were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.” Translation? When we were unsaved, the moral Law of God operated as a goad to incite us to sin. When our flesh heard a moral prohibition, transgression of the prohibition became the flesh’s ambition.

So what can change this wretched situation? How can I ever be set free from the body of this death (Romans 7:24)? How can we be set free from our slavery to the flesh and our slavery to sin? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:25)! If the Son will make you free, you shall be free, indeed (John 8:36). Jesus Christ has set us free from the Law of sin and of death (Romans 8:2).

SDG       rmb       7/10/2019

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