Thursday, November 29, 2007

Was The Forbidden Fruit Only A Test?
Another common argument goes something like this:

There was nothing wrong with the forbidden fruit. After all, God made it. And everything God made is good. The fruit was delicious and nutritious. Mmm! Well then, since the forbidden fruit was good, why then was it wrong for Adam and Eve to eat of it? Simple. God did not forbid the eating of this fruit because there was anything wrong with the fruit itself. God was simply testing the obedience of our first parents.

I certainly agree that it is always a sin to disobey a command of God, even if the only reason for the command is to test our obedience. And it does seem that sometimes God does test the obedience of believers, such as the case of God commanding Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar.

So we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the only thing wrong with the forbidden fruit was that God forbid the eating of it. Perhaps God did plant a beautiful tree smack dab in the middle of the garden, and then tell Adam not to eat from it for no other reason than to see if he would obey. However, if all Adam and Eve did was eat a piece of literal fruit, why would they suddenly be ashamed of their nakedness? Or if all they did was eat a piece of literal fruit, then why did they make aprons from fig leaves to cover their genitals instead of covering their mouths or their hands?

If, for example, a disobedient child gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar, he hides his mouth and hands, not his private parts. And when God made animal skins to cover Adam and Eve, again, they were crafted mainly to cover their sex organs. This, of course, does not prove that their sex organs were involved with their sin. But it sure is a strong indication, nevertheless.

If God was merely testing Adam and Eve's obedience, which would have been a better test: (1) A test of their eating habits? Or (2) a test of their sexual faithfulness?

Let's take two scenarios and try to determine which scenario makes the most sense.

Scenario 1 - Daddy tells his children, "Don't eat the candy!"
One fine day, daddy places a basket of candy in the middle of the table. Daddy gives his children clear instructions: "Don't eat the candy! If you disobey me and eat the candy, you will no longer be welcome in my home."

His children are curious. Why did daddy place this basket of candy right in the middle of the table if he doesn't want us to eat from it? Their curiosity is peaked, so the children start asking questions."Is there something wrong with the candy? Does it taste bad? Is it poisonous?"

"No, not at all," daddy replies. "Not only is this candy pleasant to the eyes, but it is both nutritious and delicious!"

"Well then, daddy; why can't we eat the candy?"

Daddy replies, "I put that candy there because I want to test your obedience."

Day after day, the children stare longingly at the candy. Mmm! Finally, the temptation becomes too much. They eat the candy. Then daddy comes home and discovers what they have done.

"Because you have disobeyed me, you are no longer welcome in my home." Daddy casts them out of the house with only the clothes on their back. They will never see daddy again.

Scenario 2 - A bridegroom goes to a far country.
A bridegroom is about to be married. But first, he wants to make sure his bride-to-be will be faithful. So he devises a plan to test her faithfulness."I'm going to a far country on important business," he tells his fiance. "I'll be gone for exactly two weeks. I'll be back at exactly 7:00 p.m. two weeks from today." He boards a plane and they kiss goodbye.But little does his fiance know that his departure is only a test - a test of her fidelity. A private eye has been hired to videotape her every move. Hidden cameras are everywhere. Also, the bridegroom hires a gigolo. Not just any gigolo, but the best gigolo money can buy. This gigolo is both handsome and charming. The gigolo is instructed to be as charming and persuasive as possible, but there is to be no force. The bride-to-be must choose to be unfaithful of her own accord.

The two meet at a bar. The gigolo invites her over to his bachelor pad, he offers her a glass of wine, one thing leads to another, and sure enough, she gives into temptation and has intercourse with the gigolo.

When the bridegroom arrives home, he announces that the wedding is off.

"But why?" she exclaims, crying.

"Because you have not been faithful to me," he replies.

Analysis Of The Two Scenarios
So which scenario seems the most logical?

Most people claim that the first scenario, where daddy tells his children not to eat the candy, is the most logical. But does this really make the most sense? For example, the Church of God, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, is depicted as a bride. God is depicted as a bridegroom. The Church is constantly described as being an unfaithful bride.

The fact that Israel was God’s bride under the Old Testament is clearly taught in Jeremiah 3:14:

"Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion (NKJV).

But Israel was an unfaithful bride. According to Jeremiah 2:13, Israel committed two basic sins. She forsook God and worshipped idols.

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water (NIV).

It only makes sense that God would want to test the sexual faithfulness of His bride. Her eating habits? Now that's another story.

However, this is not the only clue contained within this narrative that suggests a sexual transgression. There are others, many others, as I've allready alluded to.