Posted by: justrememberthebasics | April 8, 2009

On Right & Wrong – Who Decides?

Introduction

Whether the story of Adam & Eve is symbolic or literally true, there is a pivotal message within the story that is critical for us to understand.  The purpose of this article is to bring that message into clearer focus.

God created the first man and woman, Adam & Eve, because He chose to share His eternal love with us and had the power to do so.  He created us in His image.

The first humans were given an idyllic environment in which to live.  The bible refers to it as the Garden of Eden.  The Garden was to be enjoyed and developed by mankind.  It was filled with fantastic physical beauty, thriving with plant and animal life of every type.  It was peaceful, tranquil, and full of the awesome creative powers of God.  God walked with Adam & Eve and placed one restriction on them:  “You shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

The Human Creation

The man and woman were God’s supreme physical creation, again, having been made in His image.  Yes, so masterfully made.  The human creation far surpasses all others.  The human mind and body are so inexplicable – yet so often taken for granted.

Consider the tremendous intricacies contained within our flesh and bones.  Our circulatory, respiratory, reproductive and digestive systems are perfectly designed.  The blood that flows through us along with the fantastic chemical balance we need for life has been formulated with great thought.

Our primary organs – heart, liver, lungs and kidneys – as well as our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and sense of touch are so intricately made that it defies all common sense to presume that the source of our existence was not well planned by a creator of great capability.  The human body tops the charts of all the physical creations on earth.

Couple the human body with the even more awesome human mind.  Our brainpower and ability to communicate and store and retrieve hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of pieces of information are fantastic.  As we add our tremendous ability to feel emotions – love and hate, joy and sadness, confidence and fear, sympathy, empathy, loneliness and so on – we conclude that nothing in this world remotely compares to the creation of mankind.

Humans Made in God’s Image

We can relate to thinking, planning and creating because it is at the core of what we humans are and do.  From awe-inspiring rocket ships to multi-functional cell phones, bridges that span miles of water to skyscrapers, ancient pyramids to centuries old cathedrals, mechanical heart valves to biomechanical limbs, the human mind thinks, plans and creates.

In the very same way, God, our designer and creator, thinks, plans and creates.  Since we are made in His image, we shouldn’t find this at all surprising.  When man creates, part of the creation process is establishing and communicating the rules, regulations and operating procedures that govern what He has created.  Owner’s manuals, operator’s manuals, instructions, directions and the like are several examples.  We intimately know that which we have made and are therefore well equipped to determine how our creations best operate and what each needs.

God’s Directive & Humanity’s Decision

God is the original and ultimate creator.  Having created us, He surely knows what is best for us. One of His very first directives to us was the following:  “You shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  In plain language, that means we human beings are not to decide for ourselves that which is right and wrong, but rather that God, our creator, has reserved the right to determine what is right and wrong.  He has set the standards by which we are to live.

Yes, the Adam & Eve era is long passed.  But, the fact that they refused to obey God and did in fact eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, specifically against His instructions, set the stage for what we still experience today.  Much of humanity still boldly insists on their right to decide for themselves that which is right and wrong.  And the consequences of this fundamental disobedience headline our newspapers and newscasts every day.

Ignore the fruit, the tree, what’s literal and what’s symbolic.  Focus on the message that God shared with mankind:  “My (God’s) thoughts and abilities are far beyond your capacity to understand.  I love you and know what’s best for you.  I made you.  Follow what I say.  Enjoy the life and surroundings I have given you.  Do not be prideful and attempt to determine for yourself what is right and wrong, sinful and permitted.  If you do, you shall surely die.”

Consequences of Disobedience

Friends, consider the annals of human history – war, disease, famine, abuse, disasters.  Pain, suffering, injustice and disappointment abound.  Life is difficult for all, even those who have been blessed immeasurably.  “You shall surely die” has not been overstated.  There is no question that mankind is ill-equipped to determine what is right and wrong.  We have sunk so low that some profess that there is no right and wrong at all.  With mankind at the helm of the moral compass, we will continue down the road of destruction and decay.

Why would God allow mankind to go so far down the road of destruction?  Why weren’t we created in a way where we were immune from evil and the suffering that follows?  Why didn’t God step in long ago and save us from our own pathetic decisions?  These are among the pivotal questions of life.  How does a loving God who is all-powerful and all-knowing produce a world with such pain and suffering?  Isn’t there a fundamental contradiction?  A being – God – that is indescribable in beauty, power, strength, capability and wisdom, is behind the design and creation of a world in which children are abused and neglected; “types” of people are tortured and destroyed through genocide; the poverty-stricken are left to wallow in squalor as they long for every basic physical need.  These are not exaggerations.

Having Choice – a Requirement of God’s Likeness

The answer to these questions is that God made us in His image, including the inherent need to have freewill to choose.  Mankind has chosen to decide for itself what is right and wrong. And until it becomes abundantly clear to us that this choice leads to death and destruction, mankind will not collectively follow God’s directive on what’s right and wrong as defined through His commandments.

For now, we live in a world where the best intentioned and most disciplined people, even those with the greatest faith and acknowledgers of God’s rightful position to define right and wrong, cannot consistently abide by God’s ways.  We all fall short.  We all fail.  We all make some very poor choices.  And those who insist on living by their own definition of right and wrong are on the fast track to disappointment and despair.

God Has an Awesome Plan

This is not a message of gloom and doom.  Rather, it’s a message of the ultimate hope.  To hope for anything, however, there must be a recognized need.  One hopes for water because they recognize their thirst.  Another hopes for greater income because they recognize their poverty. Some of us hope for the triumphant return of Jesus Christ because we recognize the destiny of this world is destruction without Him. Others will some day share that hope but do not yet.

God has a plan of salvation and will intervene on mankind’s behalf.  In the meantime, like Adam & Eve, we have the choice to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong or choose to follow our Creator’s direction on what is right and wrong.  We have the opportunity to call on the name of Jesus Christ, the world’s creator and savior, to guide our decisions

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not be destroyed but will have eternal life.”  It’s for this purpose that we were created: to share eternal life with our creator.  Yes, the very decision that Adam & Eve faced – decide for ourselves or trust in the God who made us – we still face today.  Let’s uplift each other and make the right choice together!


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