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"Obey God, Especially When It Seems Nonsensical"

Genesis 2:15-17

By Drew Zuverink

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'"


Has anyone else wondered why the first commandment God ever gave was, "Hey don't eat that fruit." Anybody? It seems so .... silly almost. On page 131 of A Rebel's Manifesto, Rachel Gilson's thoughts on this are quoted.


"What is the motivation to obey a law that seems nonsensical? It can only be deep trust in the one who asks. Obeying a law against murder doesn't require trust. It's obvious that we shouldn't kill people. But God wasn't interested in creating human beings just to follow laws. God created us to be in relationship with one another and with him. And since he is the creator and we are not, we are going to have to trust him, even when things don't make sense to us."


Every Christian experiences moments where what God wants us to do doesn't make any sense to us. Does pornography really hurt anyone? God, I feel like you want me to downsize, but why?

Every Christian will also experience periods where what God is doing (or not doing) doesn't make any sense to us. Why is God allowing corrupt politicians to go unpunished? Why is sex trafficking still so prevalent in the United States? Why am I still single? Why did God God allow ______ to happen to my loved one?


Obeying God when things don't make sense takes trust. It also takes humility. We are creatures by nature while God is a creator by nature. We are created beings and he is our creator. There is an unmeasurable gap between our understanding and God's. Humility allows us to rest in God's sovereignty while pride continues to grasp for control.


It's ok to wonder why God wants us to obey something and it's ok to wonder why God allows certain things to happen - as long as we wonder from a posture of humility. Innocently trying to understand the mind of God can be a beautiful endeavor of curiosity that leads to wisdom. For example, humbly wondering why God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat a piece of fruit led Rachel Gilson to a beautiful insight about trust. The problem is when we step out of humility, forgetting our creatureliness, and enter into a position of pride. Sometimes we act as if we could do a better job than God could.


This type of asking why doesn't actually care what the answer is. We don't like the situation that we are in, and even if God explained to us why he's allowing it, we would still be angry with him.

When this type of thinking becomes out of control, it often attempts to put God on trial for being a bad God. You know you have a problem if you compare what God is doing with what you would do if we were God, and you think yours is the better option.


The truth is that you are a creature and so am I and there will always be an infinite gap between our understanding and how things really are. If we cannot come to terms with our lack of control we will never have peace. We will exhaust ourselves by trying to figure out why God is doing what he's doing, and even if we knew, that might not satisfy us. We'll never learn to trust him this way. We have to learn to trust him no matter what the circumstance is and no matter what we might do differently. We have to learn to trust in God's infinite wisdom while humbly accepting our lack of understanding. Remember, ultimate trust leads to genuine peace while conditional trust leads to conditional peace.


Because God is God he knows everything. He's all powerful, only good all the time, and he loves his people. He loves justice and hates sin. He defends the marginalized and comforts the hurting. He is alive and active in our world and he has a plan. Circumstances might cause us to wonder how these things can be true. Humbly search for answers if you can do that, but don't forget that you are a created being with limited understanding. Lasting peace might not come from learning the answers, instead it might come by trusting in the God who loves you.


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