“Do not eat from that tree or you will die.”
When you think about it, the one, simple command God gave the first two humans sounds a bit strange. I mean, there were plenty of other fruit-bearing trees across the Garden for Adam and Eve to enjoy. What was it about this particular tree that garnered such a harsh warning from God?
Furthermore, weren’t there more pressing ground rules to cover? For example:
Do not pet the lions.
Do not eat yellow snow.
Do not put pineapple on pizza.
Instead of those rules, God issued a command that has puzzled millions of humans for thousands of years. Their confusion over “the tree rule” could spring from the hefty penalty God attached to disobeying it: death. “Isn’t that a touch much?” some wonder.
Of course, others are intrigued because God’s only rule wasn’t exactly self-evident. If God had said, “Do not leave the Garden,” we would have immediately understood the rule…regardless of whether or not we obeyed the rule. After all, that’s a rule that makes sense. That’s a rule we can wrap our heads around. But, “Do not eat from this tree”? It’s not immediately obvious why God gave our ancestors this rule.
Upon reflection, however, a beautiful – and challenging – truth appears: Adam and Eve were supposed to trust what God said…even if they didn’t fully understand what God said. The fact that God “said so” should have been sufficient.
When we realize that whatever God says is for our good, it becomes far easier to trust Him. If we adopt that attitude and practice, the question shifts from, “Why did God say that?” to “How is God going to reveal His love for me in this command?”