This is a long post but it needs to be said. I pray that everyone who reads this will do so prayerfully.
That is the question that many people seek the answer to sometimes for many years before they find the real answer. God doesn’t need anything from us because He is the Creator and the sovereign Ruler of the universe. When we read the Bible, whether we are reading the Old or the New Testament, there is a recurring “theme” that you can see if you are attentive while you are reading it. You will find it in every book of the Bible and it is that God demands our obedience. When God says to do this or says do not do that, He isn’t really testing you although it could feel that way. He wants our obedience. Period.
Just as the test that He placed in the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God planted it there for a reason and that was to see if mankind would follow His instructions to the letter. Was the tree supernaturally powerful? Did it have some strange knowledge to bestow on mankind? Yes, it was supernatural because “their eyes were opened when they took a bite from its fruit”. Yes, in some way it did give them the knowledge that they should be ashamed of their nakedness but it was their disobedience to the command of God that started them down the pathway of sin and its consequences. This was only the first instance of disobedience but it started the ball rolling in a manner of speaking.
We are only three chapters into God’s Word at this point but the die is cast from this point on. Did Adam and Eve regret their decision? Of course, they did! While they were in the Garden, they didn’t have to work for their food at all. It grew on every tree around them. None of the animals were dangerous because Adam was their caretaker. But after they disobeyed God, the animals feared Adam and they had become more dangerous because of their fear of him. God had killed two animals to make clothes for Adam and Eve and before this time the Bible doesn’t even speak of the death of any animal. But blood had to be shed to cover their sin.
How long had Adam and Eve been in the Garden? We are not told their ages until after they were sent from the Garden and even then we don’t find out until after Seth is born. Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born, so that could’ve been how many years they had been outside the Garden. So you could look at it as there was no aging while they were in the Garden of Eden. It was their disobedience that brought aging into their lives because God had told them that “if you eat of the tree that I told you not to eat of, you will die”. Aging is a slow death. Not as slow today as it was back then, but that is the best way to look at it.
My point is that once disobedience began in the Garden, we have never been able to undo its effect on our lives. God has always wanted and required obedience to His laws and His commands but most of the time we only partially obey Him. He asks us to give a tithe (10% of our income), we give 2 or 3 percent if we give at all. He asks us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, yet many of us don’t even know our neighbors. Jesus asks His followers to take up their cross and follow Him and we can’t even figure out what that means! It means to crucify yourself daily and follow Him doing His will while you are able. Most of us choose not to crucify any part of our old lives even after we have given our hearts to Jesus. We just continue on with our lives, but maybe we don’t cuss as much or drink or smoke like we did before but would anyone who sees us every day know we are a Christian unless we told them?
Every book of God’s Word has a story of obedience or disobedience toward God’s commands in it. For most of mankind’s history, we haven’t been very good at being obedient. A small percentage of us may be obedient up to a point but there are very few who are totally obedient to every command of our Lord and Savior. I needed to write this more to myself than to anyone else because I know that I haven’t been obedient enough in my life and for that, I have asked God’s forgiveness. Maybe you should too.