Do Embellished Rules Encourage Sin?

Bible with candleOkay, first a disclaimer: the Bible is not exhaustive, so you have to be careful about making an argument from silence.

Having said that, please consider how the prohibition against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is given in Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV):

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Now, let’s take a look at how Eve recounts it:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:1-3).

Notice the difference?

Now, perhaps our Lord, another time not recorded in Scripture, said that Adam and Eve couldn’t even touch the “fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden,” but…on the surface…it appears the prohibition got embellished.

And we know where it goes from there. (Short version: Not well.)

When I read those verses morning, it made me think how some recent edicts/laws/etc. are clearly overboard. Could it be that when that happens, it encourages us to act lawlessly, even breaking the “reasonable” rules embedded in (or associated with) them? That it causes us to dismiss the logical with the illogical? Dismiss the reasonable with the unreasonable?

Just a thought, and definitely not making excuses for Eve’s (or anyone else’s) sin. However, something our “rulers” might want to consider.

P.S. It’s not too late if you want to join me in reading through the entire Bible this year. If you are interested, please click here.

(Cross-posted on my Nibbles.Ninja blog.)

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Alan

Alan is an ordinary guy, living in a small, high plains Colorado town...and humbled to be a minister of God...

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