That’s right, God not only supports choice, He requires it. Gen 2:16 “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 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 will surely die.” From the moment God created man and placed him in the garden He required choice. And Genesis says, when God created the beasts and the birds He brought them to Adam: “19…every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them (to make a choice); and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.” He not only gave us free will but something to apply that free will to.
(For your convenience an Audio of this post follows the end. Just hit play)
God could have required our servitude. He could have made our only choice to follow Him. But He didn’t. 1 Peter 1:20 says: Christ “was known before the creation of the world.” Why is this important? It is the very basis of Christianity that Christ was sent to pay the price for our sins. 1 Peter says that Christ was known or chosen before creation. This means He was chosen to die for our sins before a single sin had been committed. Then Ephesians 1:4:5 adds to this stating: “4 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. 5 He predestined us for adoption as His sons and daughters through Jesus Christ…” Ephesians clarifies that not only was Christ chosen before God created anything, but that we were predestined for adoption as His children before He created Adam. If God knew Adam was going to make the choice to eat from the tree before He created him, then why not just create Adam without the freedom to make that choice?
If you only read the creation story, the answer would be obvious. Ephesians says we were predestined… before creation. So, before God created anything He had us in mind. With us in mind he first created paradise in which to place us. With us in mind God said: “it is not good for the man to be alone” so he created the beasts and the birds. When He was done God saw “no suitable helper for Adam,” so he created Eve whom Adam called woman. How is this the answer? This is Love! Before God even created man, He loved him so much he created paradise. Then, because of His love for him, He created all creatures so that he would not be alone. Finally, out of His love for him He created a helper, a companion. This is so simple even we can understand it. When you love someone that much you don’t want that love returned out of obligation. As parents we don’t want our children to love us because we tell them to. We want them to want to love us. As children we don’t want our parents to love us because parenthood requires them to. We want them to want to love us. As spouses or companions we don’t want the old “shotgun wedding” to demand their love. We want them to want to love us. If you love someone, you want that love returned by choice.
That was obvious, but we don’t just have the creation story, we have the rest of the book. While there are a lot of great examples of God’s Love and free will, the book directs us to one in particular. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” John 3:16. As stated in 1 Peter this was “known” before creation. Before Adam made his choice, before God made His choice to create Adam, God knew He would send Christ to die for us and give us the choice to reject Adam’s decision. God still created us knowing that Adam would make the choice to bring darkness into paradise. Knowing that Adam would make the choice to reject all that God had created for him, He still created him. He still created him with the Gift to be able to make that choice. Knowing that the day would come when He would send His “one and only son” to pay for our choices, He still created us, the descendants of Adam. God knew the cost of creating man with the gift to make our own choices, and He did it anyway. Now that’s Love!
But what good is the ability to make your own choices if there is nothing to choose between? Is it really the free will to choose if there is only one choice? So, before God created Adam, He created “the tree.” When Adam was brought forth from the dust he was given the privilege, the Gift, to choose God… or not. Knowing that Adam would choose poorly, God planned on Christ. God planned on Christ so that we would not be forced to live under Adam’s choice. He gave us a way out. He gave us something else, someone else, to choose… He gave us Christ. Also obvious, Gifts can only be offered, we must make the choice to accept the Gift in order to receive it. So, as it has been since creation, we must make the choice, to accept the Gift God has given us or choose to live and die under Adam’s choice. And as any sincere, loving, gift giver, God’s only desire is that we accept the Gift!
Finally, Just A Thought. Some would ask, is it “fair” to put us in that position, to make us choose? I ask, would it be fair to take away our choice or to have never given us the privilege of making a choice in the first place?
Just a quick note for those I “Chose” to tease with the title. From the very first choice man was free to choose right or wrong, good or evil. But, from that first choice, God as the source of all “Truth” defined the choice: accepting all I have given you leads to Life… touching this tree leads to Death. God, through His Word, has defined Good and Evil; we are not free to redefine God’s Truth, only to make the choice whether to follow it… or not.
Audio below is a reading of this post:
© Scott A Caughel 10/25/2017