God gave Adam and Eve the gift of life and the gift of paradise simultaneously. The serpent, however, conjured up an illusion that sugarcoated the sourness of godlessness and promised newly-minted humanity deification in godlessness. The illusion induced Adam and Eve to let the gift of paradise slip through their fingers. They fumbled the ball. Like foolish children, they ran away from their home with God in paradise and took us with them into godlessness. Godlessness sucks. How do we prevent the children of Adam and Eve from repeating the original sin of their parents? When the gift of paradise is given to them, how do we get them to keep it? The solution that God implemented was to insert a delay between delivering us the gift of life and the gift of paradise - a brief delay. No longer are the gift of life and the gift of paradise delivered to us simultaneously. He lets us stew in godlessness before he delivers the gift of paradise to us. We get to taste for ourselves the sourness of godlessness. There is no greater form of persuasion than to experience something for ourselves. Having lived in the pig sty, the prodigal son will never go back there. Neither will we. Problem solved.
Furthermore, in addition to stopping us from repeating the original sin of our parents, Adam and Eve,
- by letting us stew in godlessness, we discover that the serpent is a liar - there is no deification in godlessness - and that God was telling us the truth - there is death in godlessness. This proof increases the credibility of God.
- Suffering is an engine that pushes us to the exit of godlessness.
- It teaches us to love because only love provides a buffer between us and suffering.
Letting us stew in godlessness is harsh but effective medicine. God prescribes it because its effectiveness outweighs its harshness.
Points to Ponder
Isn't the story of Adam and Eve a story about failing to keep the gift of paradise?
What problem needed to be solved accoridng to the story of Adam and Eve? - the problem of us getting the gift of paradise or the problem of us keeping the gift of paradise?
What is stopping the prodigal son from returning to the pig sty?