And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 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.” – Genesis 2:16-17
Scripture reading: Genesis 2:8-17; 3:1-6, 15-19
The generosity of God and His promise of life precedes His commandment. Our hearts are warmly rekindled, reading of the generosity of our gracious Host. Man was free to eat of every tree of the garden. Genesis 2 exudes God’s overflowing, self-giving love and fellowship with man in the garden. But the LORD God also tested man’s love and obedience to Him. He commanded man not to eat from the forbidden tree, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Sadly, in Adam, we chose to disobey, willfully choosing to believe the lie of Satan. Satan made it sound like God was very stingy, placing an unreasonable demand on man, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” Eve makes God’s word more severe by adding her words, “…Nor shall you touch it…” Satan then blatantly contradicts God’s Word, saying, “You will not surely die.” Then “the woman saw… Took… Ate… Gave… And he ate” (v. 6).
God keeps His Word, “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Pain, alienation and death mark our world. But the light of God’s promise breaks out in Genesis 3:15. God graciously sets out to restore life and fellowship through His Son. He bore the death sentence for our disobedient eating so that all who believe in Him may sit at His table again!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that God’s love and grace may motivate us to flee from disobeying Him and continually trust in His Son Who came, fulfilling God’s promise to crush the head of Satan.
Rev. Tony Zekveld currently serves as missionary-pastor in the Hope Congregation in East Brampton, Ontario, sent by Covenant Christian Church (URCNA) of Wyoming, Ontario. Rev. Zekveld and his wife, Arley-Ann, have five children and, so far, eight grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.