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December 2 – Permission & prohibition

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 2:16-25

Picture-perfect. That’s how the world really was when God first created it. And Adam and Eve could have lived in this perfect state forever if they obeyed God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Was God being miserly and restrictive by prohibiting this one tree? No! God gave Adam and Eve permission to eat from any and all of the multitude of trees in the garden. They had a buffet-sized selection of food to sustain and satisfy them. Only one was off-limits.

This tells us something about God. He is not miserly nor stingy. Not at all! He is generous. He delights to bless His children with an abundance of good gifts. Consider how He lavishly provided Adam and Eve with a Paradise full of pleasures to enjoy: food, drink, fellowship, friendship, and the pleasures of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch, too!

Would they delight in the abundance God had provided for them? Would they willingly obey His command? If so, they would continue to enjoy this state of peace, tranquility and harmony with God and with each other. Paradise would be theirs. Theirs forever! But if they disobeyed, Paradise would be lost. And they would surely die.

God continues to bestow many blessings upon us each day. His mercies are new every morning. Will we accept the blessings He gives and find pleasure in them? Or will we look for pleasure in that which is forbidden?

Suggestions for prayer

Every good thing you have is ultimately a generous gift given to you by God (James 1:17). Name some of these gifts, thank God for them, and pray that you would delight in them.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God DevotionalRev. Brian Zegers has been serving the Lord by working with Word of Life Ministry as home missionary to the Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario since 2015.

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