Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Genesis 2:15-17

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

We have seen some odd behavior from God before, but now he's starting to act very strangely. If he thinks it's such a bad idea for the man to eat from the fruit of that particular tree, why put the tree there at all? It's obviously unnecessary -- there is nobody else around who needs to eat that fruit. At the very least he could put a fence around it -- that's what I have to do with my own fruit trees, or the deer will eat them, believe me. If God is omniscient, he knows the future, and he knew perfectly well that the man would end up eating the fruit. So he's just playing a nasty game here. And note that the man does not yet know good from evil; therefore he must not know that it is wrong to disobey God, and he can't be held accountable, and should not be punished, if he does eat the fruit. So this God character is truly warped.

Anyway, God's irrational and careless behavior aside, this is interesting in another way. We had one suggestion that the idea behind God making humans "in his own image" was not a reference to their physical bodies, but to their moral agency. Unlike the other animals, humans resemble God in their ability to make moral choices. However, we see here that God had no such intention. He meant for us not to be moral agents.

Perhaps, after all, that's what it really means when the Bible says we were created in God's image, for as will soon become evident, God is himself utterly amoral.