Rules Without Reasons

Has God given us enough in Scripture to hold a position—even if uncomfortably—but not enough for us to really know exactly why he set it up that way?

Perhaps He is still asking His children to trust that He knows best. I’m convinced we are called to take God’s Word as it is. We aren’t called to decide whether or not we like this particular rule or that particular path of obedience. We are called to just obey. Some day it’ll make sense—but that isn’t for now. Now is time for trusting our Father and walking in obedience.

 

If I’d been in the Garden of Eden, it would have been a bit like this:

God: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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 surely die.”

Me: “Why? Why would I die from that? This seems like a really dumb rule that doesn’t make any sense at all. Explain to me your thought process here and I’ll gladly obey. But I don’t obey dumb rules that don’t make any sense.”

Satan: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Me: “Yes, he did. And then he didn’t explain to me why. He just said don’t do it. Which doesn’t make a bit of sense to me.”

Satan: “That’s because God is holding out on you. He didn’t want to tell you the whole story because he is trying to rip you off. You saw right through it, o’ wise one. You don’t have to follow dumb rules that don’t make any sense. If God really loved you then He would tell you everything.”

Me: *chomps down on forbidden fruit*

I’d have chomped on that fruit because, unless you explain the full reason for the rule and I agree with it, I’m not going to just obey. But that really was the point of the tree in the Garden.

There is a question that often lingers when we tell kids the story of Creation and the Fall. At some point we all ask it: Why in the world did God put that tree there in the first place? If it was so important not to eat from it, then why in the world even have it there. If he didn’t want them to eat of it—then why even create the thing? Why give them the opportunity?

But that’s really the whole point of the tree. They didn’t have to understand all the intricacies of the tree in order to decide whether or not they should obey. They didn’t need to deliberate about whether or not it was wise for them to obey. They simply should have obeyed because God knows best and He is a good Father. If he says don’t eat, that should have been the end of the story. But my late ancestors had the same heart that I still find in myself—they weren’t going to just obey.

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