Why did Adam and Eve receive the death sentence for just eating a piece of fruit? Is God ruthless?
And some things that are classed as sin, are not harmful to others, so why are they so bad? Is God a tyrant?
These questions ran through my mind as I lay on my bed, a young teenager burning with the sting of exclusion from my circle of peers.
My parents enforced strict discipline and strong boundaries in the home. With their strong boundaries, I found myself on the fringes of the fringe groups, and it hurt. “Lord, show me why sin is so bad,” I cried.
That was the prayer of a foolish young teenager, uttered one painful night, forgotten by dawn. But God saw the place from which it came.
He looked beyond the foolish words of a child, and saw a deeper, hell-breathed seed of a lie, lodging in her heart.
So the journey began. A journey long and hard. A journey of much heartache, bad decisions, rejection, striving to please and always falling short. I did not see my journey as an answer to my cry that night—my prayer was long forgotten.
But God was watching the hell-breathed seed take root and start to grow. He watched the thorns appear, and the fruit forming.
As this seed grew, so did the the darkness. My journey filled with turmoil, torment, trepidation. My strong self-sufficiency, a source of confidence, stability, and resilience, began to erode like a clay clod in a gushing flood.
Then, as the last drops of my strength dripped slowly onto the ground, satan delivered his final blow.
“Well, you’ve finally crossed the line,” he said. “You’ve overstepped the mark and God has turned His back on you. He has cursed you, and rejected you.”
I had already identified with the curses, listed in Deuteronomy, so satan’s words merely confirmed the lurking suspicion.
As the weight of my ‘reality’ settled, I felt the darkest hopelessness I’d ever experienced.
While weeping in despair, God emerged from the shadows, took my hand and led me out. And as He did, the answers to those early questions began to unfold.
Is God a ruthless tyrant?
Did Adam and Eve receive the death sentence for just eating a piece of fruit? Is God ruthless?
Well, when He interrupted satan’s agenda that night, I knew He wasn’t ruthless.
Did God threaten Adam and Eve, with death, if they ate the forbidden fruit?
Or was it a warning, making them aware of the consequences of eating that specific fruit—the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Was it the warning of a parent, teaching their child not to put their finger into the electric socket?
It would seem that Adam and Eve kept far from that tree, for as long as they loved, and trusted, God1.
But, as they listened to satan, they experienced the first-ever attack from the ‘spirit of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)’.
While under the influence of FOMO they took a closer look at the fruit. Then, looking at the fruit, they chose to trust satan’s story above God’s warning2.
The knowledge of evil
Adam and Eve ate the fruit, expecting to become wise. Instead, they would have their first experience of the ‘knowledge of evil’—shame.
Evil is the vacuum that remains in the absence of God. It is everything that saps and destroys Life.
Adam and Eve did not die physically, at that moment, but death would become a familiar life experience for them, and all their descendants to the end of time.
Sin is that which flows from evil, as opposed to good, and it always leads to a form of death3—someone is hurt, a relationship is damaged, or broken, peace and joy dissipate, you find yourself trapped, there’s regret, loss, devastation, shame, “if onlys”, …
This is the reality of sin. God is not a tyrant, forbidding any, and every, form of fun.
Sin may look innocent in the beginning, it may even look like fun. Often sin disguises itself as Life, but examine where it ultimately leads. What happens after you engage in it?
“But some sins are just innocent fun, what’s so bad about that?”, some may ask.
Sin is a poison, sweet to the tongue, bitter to the stomach. It always leads to death.
“Every thought and action in your life speaks of allegiance to God or to satan. Both are empowered by your agreement. Renewing your mind means learning to recognize what comes from hell, and what comes from heaven, and agreeing with heaven.”Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind—Expanded Edition: Access to a Life of Miracles