articlesqa September 15, 2020 Why would God put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the middle of the Garden of Eden, and then tell Adam to not eat of its fruit?
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Answer by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of


The ques­tion here is ask­ing you to step into the shoes of God and spec­u­late about why He Might have cre­at­ed the tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil and then giv­en Adam the com­mand not to eat it. This seems im­pos­si­ble. It is dif­fi­cult enough to walk in Abra­ham’s shoes but now you must imag­ine your­self to be God?! As with all ques­tions re­quir­ing your imag­i­na­tion, it is im­por­tant to 1 be hum­ble. Do not be quick to judge. Do not trust your own imag­i­na­tive ca­pac­i­ties. Do not think you know the per­son so well. 2 Pa­tient­ly study the life of the per­son in ques­tion James 1:19 to dis­cern true dif­fer­ences and sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween you and them. The pic­ture you form in your imag­i­na­tion will nev­er be per­fect but as you humbly study the per­son, it be­comes per­fect­ed. 3 Fi­nal­ly, based on these true sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences make a rea­son­able and hum­ble state­ment.

In the course of giv­ing your an­swer, you will be great­ly helped by 4 try­ing to paint a pic­ture sim­i­lar to the sto­ry in ques­tion. For ex­am­ple, this ques­tion is ask­ing about Gen­e­sis 2:6-9,15-17. Can you think of a sto­ry in your life sim­i­lar to what is oc­cur­ring in Gen­e­sis 2? Since there are mul­ti­ple things hap­pen­ing in Gen­e­sis 2, you must be hum­ble and care­ful­ly and re­peat­ed­ly read Gen­e­sis 2. Break it down step by step. What hap­pened? Who did what? How did it hap­pen in time and space? Be­yond the chap­ter, study the char­ac­ter of God and His crea­tures. Use oth­er parts of the Bible to see why God Could have done what He Did. It is true that His Ways are above your ways and His Thoughts above your thoughts Isa­iah 55:8-9 but since you are a be­liev­er, you have the mind of Christ 1 Cor 2:16 and His Holy Spir­it Dwells in you Ro­mans 8:26-27. God Will Help you. As you con­tin­ue to break down Gen­e­sis 2 in terms of time, space and iden­ti­ty, your mind will think of anal­o­gous sit­u­a­tions and sto­ries. Once see this anal­o­gy, you need only com­pare and con­trast in or­der to ar­rive at some deep truths.

So, based on the above, what is your an­swer to this ques­tion? Take your time.

My An­swer

Imag­ine that you walked into my house by my in­vi­ta­tion. I am a very cool guy if I do say so my­self and I’m prob­a­bly the only one who says it. I have in my house a very cu­ri­ous thing called a flub­wofter1. I also have a couch. I have a ta­ble. I have food. So now you are in my house with me and my things. What do you do now? Eat my food? Sit on my couch? Turn the knobs on the flub­wofter?

The truth is that you don’t know. It’s my stuff but you don’t know how I will re­act when you in­ter­act with me or my things. You don’t even know if I’m one of those peo­ple who has rea­son to say, “The couch is not for sit­ting.” So I, want­i­ng to en­sure that we will nev­er be com­fort­able in our re­la­tion­ship, give you no rules. I tell you noth­ing. I just stand there and stare at you and leave you to in­ter­pret whether you are en­ter­ing into a re­la­tion­ship with me or ir­ri­tat­ing me by many tiny mis­takes. You see, I have in­vit­ed you in but I have not giv­en you any di­rec­tion on how use my stuff or how to be in re­la­tion­ship with me. With­out telling you how to be with me, my house, even with all the cool stuff and the real­ly real­ly cool guy, be­comes a place of great dis­com­fort. That flub­wofter though!

God made Eden. God made The Tree of the knowl­edge of good and evil. God made the tree of life. God made Adam and Eve. He brings them into the gar­den and then stays silent? No. He is not like me. In­stead, He tells them how to be in re­la­tion­ship with Him and His cre­ation.

Gen­e­sis 2:16 And the LORD God com­mand­ed the man, say­ing, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the gar­den; 17 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 die.’

The com­mand­ment is an av­enue into re­la­tion­ship. The pur­pose of obey­ing the com­mand­ment is to be in re­la­tion­ship. The point of the com­mand­ment was to en­sure that man would be able to right­ly live in re­la­tion­ship with God. This is the point of every sin­gle com­mand­ment God gives. He is not try­ing to trick you. And even when He Tests you Gen­e­sis 22:1, He is try­ing in­vite you into His HeartJames 1:12 and help you feel at home in the King­dom of God.

Now. If you are the cen­ter of at­ten­tion of the uni­verse, then sure you may won­der why God Made a tree and put the tree with you (whom He also Made) into a gar­den that be­longs to Him. You may won­der why He “dan­gles” a fruit in front of you only to tell you not to eat it. Maybe He Did it to test you and so on and so on. You know. Cause you’re the cen­ter of the uni­verse.

But you have seen God and so you know that you can­not pos­si­bly be the cen­ter of any­thing. You are not even the cen­ter of your self. You know that God Has Thoughts be­yond your thoughts. That He formed the uni­verse for His Glo­ry and not your con­ve­nience. Since you have seen God and know that He Is Almighty then you trem­ble with the un­der­stand­ing that you have been in­vit­ed into His Heart. You praise Him be­cause He Has Com­mand­ed you so that through His Com­mand you may en­ter into and re­main in re­la­tion­ship with Him.

When­ev­er you an­swer a ques­tion, it is al­ways help­ful to look at every sin­gle word in the ques­tion. This ques­tion, bro­ken up, looks like: How / do / we / know / the / Bible / was / not / just / made / up. In the process of an­a­lyz­ing the words, you can be­gin to see what the ques­tion is ac­tu­al­ly ask­ing. Fur­ther­more, the words will re­com­bine into phras­es and ideas that will give ad­di­tion­al in­sight and al­low cre­ativ­i­ty in an­swer­ing the ques­tion. So the les­son for to­day is sim­ple: 1 when you see a ques­tion, break it down into words. Re­mem­ber this step. It is cru­cial in an­swer­ing all ques­tions. For t...
How do we know the Bible wasn’t just made up?September 15, 2020
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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3