BUT [Gen.2:16, 17]

Unmolested freshness graced every bud and blade in Edens pristine splendor. Thorns and thistles, grime and sweat were things yet unknown. All was bliss for all was very good

Every tree good for food and a delight to the eyes [Gen.2:9] lavished this haven of mercy. The tree of life in its midst along with that of the knowledge of good and evil were found there. All was well. Nothing harmed and nothing alarmed.

Nothing alarmed, that is, except the strange decree, …you shall not eat of it…you shall surely die [Gen.2:17].

What isolated this tree from all else? Hideous to the eye it was not. No corpses of unwitting beasts littered its fair trunk. Rank odors did not repulse any who approached. Poison dripped not from its lush leaves.

To all appearances it differed in no respect from its surroundings. It too delighted the vision and was fine for food. All was very good.

Why, then, forbidden? Gaze as you may, nothing presented itself to reason’s eye to refuse its fruit. Nothing appreciable in itself would caution or repel the beholder.

By sight, nothing persuaded man to comply with God’s voice. Through reflection, no reasons surfaced to convince the mind why the command ought to be heeded.

Why? remained unanswered, undiscerned. By searching, no clue was unearthed to explain the enigma of this strange decree. Finally, having exhausted the fruitless inquiry, only one cause to obey remained.

God had spoken. He must be obeyed simply because the very fact of His being God demands that we do.

The Lord may yet obscure your path with shadows. Disturbing unanswered questions may plague your restless mind.You may cry out repeatedly in vain for explanations that never are forthcoming.

But this you know, He must be obeyed, though you can’t tell why. It is a distressing state. We prefer rather to be in the know, to choose what is agreeable to our own understanding. But this is walking by sight and not by faith. And such sight proves to be no test of love and devotion at all. 

Faith obeys God in the midst of perplexities. It honors God though all evidences point to the contrary. Raw faith says, God has spoken, His Word must be performed.

In the midst of our swirling confusion, God Himself silently watches without intervening as He did in the beginning. Like Adam, we are left alone with His Word amidst circumstances nearly screaming the impossibility and folly of obedience. All the while across spiritual distances, heaven’s hosts watch, awaiting the outcome as they did then.

Faith’s original foundation laid bare is this: God has spoken and He must be obeyed because He is God.

If even one shaft of light has penetrated your heart from considering this first prohibition in Eden, you are on the threshold of grasping the mystery of suffering.