v.16-17 speaks of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and it is God’s commandment that man should surely eat of the tree of life (v. 9) as opposed to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Much debate spins on why God would want us to prevent ourselves from feeding on that tree of good and evil. Personally, I find the issue moot – it is quite clear what happened to Adam and Eve after they ate from the tree of good and evil: they decided that morality was good enough for them, and that they did not need God. Thus, they decided to establish their own morality, and decided that it was sufficient to judge one another by that ‘morality’.
Much of modern discussion hinges on “ethics”, “moral” jurisprudence – and mistakenly, they think the Bible is just another tangent on morality, that God’s commandments are something we can pick and choose from to fit our own bill.
Paul Blackham, minister of Farm Fellowship and author of the Bible Book-by-Book series has this to say concerning the issue:
“When we consider how we are to live we are not part of a general consideration of what is good and what is evil. We are not part of a general quest that the human race is working on together. We are not part of a universal consultation process. No, we are deliberately and self-consciously cutting ourselves off from the ethical discussions of pagan society and deliberately and self-consciously attempting to think good and evil from our redemption in Jesus Christ, the second Adam who renounces his own will, his own choice, and knowledge of good and evil in favour of the choice and knowledge of his Father in heaven. If we ask the question “What should we do?” there are basically just two answers: trust in Jesus Christ if I am not yet a Christian, or present the gospel of Jesus Christ if I am already a Christian. Christian ethics has one single central point – the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our first concern in all ethical thinking is how we may present the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our behaviour has no meaning or purpose beyond that.”
I think Blackham hit it spot on. Our woes and worries concerning the ethical problems of the world only contributes to the image of dust, rather than image of God. Were we made to discuss ethical issues, or were we made to redeem people into the gospel of Christ? Unless the gospel of Christ is presented at these debates, even if we manage to encourage people to settle on preventing abortion, euthanasia or homosexuality, the gospel still is not preached. Instead, we are sending more “moralistic” or “religious” people to hell.
In a similar manner, marriage, the wonderful doctrine which proclaims God’s truth has been threatened since the early days of man, and much of v.18-25 speaks of this truth. I’ve written about this great gospel of marriage HERE (for you to download into word or pdf format at your own discretion), and an actual page to present it HERE – or you can click the link “Marriage” above.