Once Adam relayed God’s law to Eve, the second part, “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (verse 17), went to the wayside once she was tempted. “He said you could eat from any tree, right?” the serpent hissed. “You won’t die. That’s nonsense. You’ll be free.”
From an early age, we want to be free from rules, don’t we? I imagine you tried to push the edge of the envelope to see if the laws in your household still applied. I did. But ultimately, my rear end ached when I learned anew that, yep, the rules were still the rules!
So much about the Christian life seems contrary. In order to be free, we need rules. An old proverb says, “The dog who respects his fence roams free while the dog who wants to escape is chained.”
Why do we try to tear down the fence that God constructs to keep us safe? Why do we burrow underneath and try to wiggle free, only to realize the only thing we are free to do in that big wide world is fail?
Eve ate, Adam indulged, and they opened the gate. Out we dashed, and ran like crazy. Then we realized the cost for our so called “freedom.” Christ beckons us back through the gate called Mercy into the enclosed garden called Grace. If we are smart, like the prodigal, we will return.
Father, forgive me when I forget that true freedom lies within the boundaries of your mercy and grace. Help my wandering spirit to be content to live according to the household rules you have given for your children. Amen.
Go Deeper — Read Genesis 2 and ask yourself what freedoms do you and Adam share? What false freedoms do you seek instead?
Photo Credit: Julian Friedle