Portals of Progress (Part 2)
Hesiod’s story of Pandora’s Box was an obvious take on the Genesis account.
Pandora had been granted authority.
She possessed the freedom to choose.
Freedom allows for the making of evil choices.
Eve discovered evil in exactly this manner.
Evil gives clear perspective to goodness.
Before people know evil, however, they are only vaguely aware of evil in an abstract sense.
This is how God presented evil to Adam—in the abstract. He never taught Adam about evil directly, because Adam could not possibly have known what He was talking about.
There he was—fresh from creation—Adam! Bright and pure and strong, perfectly innocent, with large open eyes and a big smile. He was astounded by the beauty around him and most especially by the majesty of the Lord before him, his Creator.
The Lord and Adam were very close, a very loving Father and son. Though Adam was made of earthly elements in the physical realm, he was filled with the Spirit of God. The very life and presence of God lived within Adam. He was a true son of his Father, and as his Father, the Lord did all possible to teach Adam properly and protect him.
Regarding evil though, the only option God had was a commandment:
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]
Commandments are just that—they are commands. The reason commands regarding evil must be presented as commands is because the recipient of the command has no understanding of the far-reaching consequences of its violation.
In this, Adam had to learn obedience, and in that He had to trust God.
And this is what faith is.
Of course, Adam had no reason whatsoever to doubt God. He did not blindly obey, either. He knew He was loved. God created him and gave him a great place to live and work.
Adam chose to obey God. He loved his Father.
He must have also understood that his Father should and must be respected, and that his Father knew a whole lot more than he did. He knew the command he received against evil was for his own benefit and protection, though he had no understanding of what those things—evil and death—were. As in the hearts of innocent children, evil and death were only abstractions to him.
In Genesis 2, God reveals Adam’s initial purpose:
Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15] 
Adam obeyed the Lord regarding his purpose also. He took good care of the garden in which he lived. As a result of his work, the garden was very fruitful. It grew. It produced.
As Adam continued on he saw the good consequences of his choices, that good things happened as a result, and he saw good fruit come forth that he had never previously seen. It was all new—astoundingly and wonderfully new—and abundant.
But Adam also had to grow. He had to progress. And he did. He became more knowledgeable though remaining in a state of perfect innocence.
There were often times he had to do things, however, that he had never done before. He had to choose. It was always a new portal for him, one in which there was the usual trepidation. Like any of us, he had to figure things out. He put two and two together. He no doubt sometimes learned by trial and error, error being not an evil thing but simply an unfruitful thing. In academic terms, it is referred to as gaining knowledge empirically.
Without making correct decisions, there is no possibility of progress.
He discovered that as long as he kept choosing correctly, good stuff kept happening. In time, he became somewhat less concerned about walking through such new portals, and even began to approach apparent risk with much fervor. He was, after all, obeying God.
Through obedience, faithfulness, personal experience, hard work, dedication, and seeing the fruitful results of planting good seed, he learned that life kept producing good fruit as long as he stayed true to the Lord in his heart and in his work. He saw how fruitful the garden was, and was thankful that every tree was acceptable and good, except one.
And because he trusted his Father, he refused to go down that path.
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on November 16, 2014, in Teaching and tagged Adam and Eve, Discipleship, Free Will, Lord Jesus, Obedience, Pandora's Box, Progress, Real Christianity, Tree of Life, Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.