Summary: Do you consider God's command good? Why?
“And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 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’” (Genesis 2:16-17, NIV).
Could you remember an instruction given to you that you really value and grateful for it?
In my case, one of the instructions that I am grateful was given by my father. He told me then not to pursue my desire to become a priest.
How about our really Good Heavenly Father?
As the Loving and Good Creator, we could expect that not only what He created are good, but even His commands. So, today, we are going to talk about… A VERY GOOD COMMAND, as we focus on our text (Genesis 2:16-17).
So, what could we find in our passage to be good command? We really need to realize the goodness of the commandment of God, for it will also highlight His Goodness to us.
In the early part of Genesis, we learned that God showered man with many good things. Not only by giving him life and creating him in His image, God continued to pile other good things before him.
He placed him in the garden with all kinds of trees – pleasant to the eyes and with fruits good for food (vv. 8-9). There was also a river watering the garden (v. 10). The place was also rich in mineral resources, as we read in verse 12, “The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.”
God also provided man with good employment – enjoy working and taking care of the garden (v. 15).
And, now in our text, God gave him a very good command.
Why was it good?
I – Man was directed to enjoy physical benefits (verse 16).
We read verse 16, “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden…’”
The Sovereign God gave man the freedom to eat the fruit of any tree in the garden. It was in this stage that God mentioned that man are “free” to do something – but later we’ll find that this freedom is limited.
In this context, the man was free to “eat from any tree…” He was given the freedom or he was commanded to enjoy physical things. Was it a good command? It was. And he was commanded to eat the fruit of not just of some of the trees or the majority of the trees. The command was “eat from any tree” – later, we’ll realize that it was almost from all of the trees. We could see here how the Gracious God would like man to enjoy in abundance.
Did God want the man to enjoy such favor just for a day, or, perhaps, a thousand years? He wanted him to enjoy it for a life that would extend for eternity. For in the middle of the garden there was a so-called “tree of life,” as we read in the last part of verse 9, “In the middle of the garden were the tree of life…” – it was included in the command that he could eat it, so he would have the life that God intended for him to have – life in eternal fellowship with God. Was it a good command? It was. We could see here that the Eternal God would like man to enjoy for eternity.
Today, God’s command is intended for us not only to enjoy physical things, but also spiritual things. For example, we read in Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.” Also in John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
And in 1 Peter 1:8, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
Man should realize that God’s command is not to restrict their happiness, or to burden them. It is for their joy.
So, saints, do we still have that idea or feeling that God’s command restricts joy in our hearts?
Or, do you think it is time for us to realize that God’s commands or instructions give us freedom to enjoy not only physical things, but also spiritual things? Do you think it is time for us to realize that His commands are intended not to shorten or limit our freedom to rejoice, but to prolong or extend our freedom of celebration even for eternity?
So, for example, if we are instructed to immerse in His Word, should we not savor it without any hesitation? God’s command is really good not only in the beginning, but even in our time and in the world to come. It is intended for us to enjoy not only physical things, but also spiritual things.