011016: Freely Eat
Lots of people begin a new year with a determination to lose weight. That’s a good idea, even a healthy one that many of us should probably adopt. Also sometimes, church congregations are urged (as mine is this year) to start the year on a fast. However, at the risk of tempting us to blow either our diets or our commitment to our fast, I’d like us also think about a time when God said to “freely eat.”
In Genesis, chapter 2, we read:
- The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil… 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 2:8-9, 6-17 (NKJ).
God planted a garden in Eden and put every beautiful and beneficial tree imaginable in it for man’s enjoyment and nourishment. Two special trees were there as well: the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God said man could eat from every tree except the one that would hurt him. Just as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil supplied death and all negative moral and physical consequences, the tree of life supplied abundant life and all positive moral and physical consequences. There were many more good trees than bad trees in the garden. God gave His one prohibition and then said, “Freely eat.”
Adam and Eve could have enjoyed all the wonderful fruits and herbs for their physical bodies from the food sources, and eternal blessedness in relationship with God from the tree of life. Instead, they elected to combine the food for their physical bodies with the curse of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Bad choice.
Nothing has changed. Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (NIV). God has given us everything we need in our situation. We can choose to combine our daily walk with the blessedness of a relationship of obedience to God, or we can pass through this life under the curse of separation from God.
First Timothy 6:17 tells us that “…the living God… gives us richly all things to enjoy” (NKJ). There’s still only one prohibition, avoid sin. Choose life, and when it comes to the things of God, freely eat.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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