And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden.” (Gen. 2:16)
As a teenager, growing up in the 1980s on the Caribbean island of Nevis, I absolutely loved listening to Diana Ross’ classic hit, “It’s My House, and I Live Here.” That hers was the voice of a goddess was without question. But there was also something about the song’s rhythmic cadence that drew me hopelessly in every time. Her emphasis on “my house” betrays our human fixation with rights and freedoms. “I have the freedom to do whatever I want,” one person says. “This is my body, and I will do with it whatever I want,” screams another.
The Creator created us all with free moral agency. We each have the freedom to make our own choices, including even the choice to reject the Creator’s divine right to rule over our lives. His command to Adam essentially delineated the freedom to eat from any, and all, of the trees of the garden except the tree in the middle of the garden. Violation of that boundary would engender a serious consequence—“You will certainly die.” Herein lies the moral dilemma: obedience would lead to life; disobedience would bring certain death. Completely Adam’s choice to make, he, quite unfortunately, chose disobedience that led to death.
That moral dilemma still beckons you to choose. Your Creator longs for you to choose obedience that leads to life.
Choose life, so that you may live (see Deut. 30:19).
Theodore Griffin is a graduate of Houghton College and Asbury Theological Seminary, and a doctoral student at Wesley Seminary. He is the lead pastor of Brown’s Chapel Wesleyan Church in Indiana.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.