Musings of a Mouse – Pro Choice

by Stehekin

Considering what is written in the Bible, it appears to me, a humble mouse, that God is pro choice.

In a way, everything in the Bible is about choice, consequences and redemption.

Genesis 2:15-17

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.

From the beginning of the existence of Man, we have been given a choice. Reading Genesis, it is clear that in the beginning, humans did not really understand what choice was. God said to do this or not do that and that was the way it was. To Adam and Eve in the garden there was no real concept of having a choice. Yet God knew there was a choice. He had given us free will. How do we know this? God does not say “I give Adam free will”. We know it from what the Bible says. If God did not give us free will, why would He need to instruct Adam (and Eve) any farther than saying “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.” If we were only able to do as commanded, no further comment would be necessary, however God says this:

for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die”.

Consequence. There is no need for a robot human that can do only as commanded to have a consequence.   But there is a need for the actions of a human with free will, whether that human comprehends having free will or not, to have consequences of his actions and to be told what those consequences are.

And what consequence? Something we had no comprehension of. Death.   Death in any form, physical or spiritual.

And Adam and Eve were obedient to God. Until something happened to fan the spark of their free will.

The Deceiver.   You cannot deceive a robot because it does not have the capacity to be deceived or the freedom to choose anything outside of its programming. See what the Prince of Lies does in Genesis 3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden ‘?”

A question comes immediately to mind. Why would God create a creature so crafty it would deceive and tempt Adam and Eve and place it in the garden? I cannot see Him doing that, especially without forewarning or forearming His innocent human creations. The serpent is the Deceiver, who God did, indeed, create in the “heavenly realm” and cast out, who in the guise of a snake insinuated himself uninvited into the garden.

The Deceiver, the serpent, deliberately misstates God’s instruction, causing Eve to correct him and recite the consequences. She does not realize it but she is now engaged in his confidence game. Then the deceit begins.

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened…”

Why does she listen to the serpent in the first place? Why does she not simply say God said No and turn away from the serpent?   It seems Adam was there also. Why did he not say No? Because they are innocent. Being innocent, they have no concept of what the Deceiver is or what he is doing. The Deceiver is presenting Choice and luring them to Choice by fanning the spark of their free will. They have no understanding of Good and Evil or Truth and Lie. Knowing only Good and Truth, they had no understanding of the existence of, or experience defending their free will against Evil or Lies.

We will not die – whatever that means. We will be like God whom we love!

And because Eve has no understanding of Good and Evil, of the Truth and the Lie, of Wrong and Right, she, and Adam, are easy marks. They are such easy marks you wonder why the Deceiver even bothered with them. Until you realize it was not Adam and Eve that the Deceiver was targeting. It was God. The Deceiver is helpless against God Himself, but crushing Man, God’s special creation, would anger God and delight the Deceiver.

Continuing in Genesis 3:8

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Adam and Eve know what right and wrong is now. Now they know fear and doubt and the realization that something terrible has happened to them. But still they do not understand.

12The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.

The woman did it!   YOU caused it! It is not my fault! A response so recognizable to us today!

And Eve recognizes the truth:

13Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Now she knows what happened to her. She was deceived. She knows what happened, but not why.

As a result, Adam and Eve were ejected from the garden, to toil in hardship and pain, and suffer physical death. But God did not destroy them. No, he did not. He knew what happened in the garden. Consider, God did not destroy Satan when Satan disobeyed Him, but cast him out instead.   God has immense Love and forgiveness, but He has immense Justice as well and lines that He will not allow to be crossed without that Justice being eternally meted out. That for another musing.

Would Adam have resisted the Deceiver? No, I do not think he would, and for all the same reasons, especially considering his reply to God when challenged about eating the fruit of the tree.   Considering God personally instructed Adam against eating the fruit of the tree, I would think he would have been the one to say “God said No” regardless of who presented the fruit to him, but he did not. Would Eve have refused to eat the fruit if Adam gave it to her? No, I do not think the outcome would have been different if the roles had been reversed. It was our free will and innocence the Deceiver used to fling a barb at God, not gender. The Deceiver is not making a statement about male vs. female, he is making a statement about humans.

And the Deceiver has continued through the ages and will until the end of the world, to polish the outside of darkness until its sheen appears like light; take selfishness and make it look like compassion; twist the truth to hide a lie.

But now we have no excuses. We have the knowledge of good and evil. In our toil, pain and death on this earth, God has shown mercy and love. He has given us many gifts that prove His eternal love for us, including joy. Even in our punishment, we as humans never stopped remembering, in some form or another, that God exists, God returned to us the true knowledge of His Being, through Abraham. He gave us the prophets and His Son, saints and martyrs to guide us and provide us with examples, hope and Redemption.

God has never taken away our choice. In fact, the very free will that caused our fall is the way back. God knows what happened in the garden of Eden. We were turned out of the garden, but despite the Deceiver’s effort, God did not turn away from us. Because He knows, God took the Deceiver’s barb and turned it back on him.   We can choose to be Redeemed. We can choose to learn about the Deceiver and his ways. We can choose wrong or right. We can choose to ask for help and strength from God.

God is pro Choice.   He wants us to choose Him and reject the Deceiver of our own free will. Remember the consequence? The consequence of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?   Death. Because at first in our innocence we were deceived, physical death was the consequence, but not eternal, spiritual death. Our Redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ has returned to us the possibility of eternal life. Because we now know about evil, deceit and lies, just being ejected from the garden will not be our punishment if we choose to disobey this time – being ejected, along with the Deceiver, from Life itself, will be. The choice is ours.

Laus Deo