God’s First Commandment for Mankind is Full of Concern – Reflection on Genesis 2:15-17
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat there of you shall surely die.”
Before, I often read this verse in the Bible and could even recite it. However, I just regarded it as God’s emotionless commandment for man. I had never appreciated God’s concern and love for man from this simple word, nor had I cared for God’s heart. It lasted until one day when I saw Almighty God’s words: “After hearing this passage concerning ‘God’s commandment for Adam,’ what do you understand? What feeling does this passage give you? Why has this passage concerning ‘God’s commandment for Adam’ been extracted? Do you each have a picture of God and Adam in your heart? You can imagine that. If you were personally on the scene, what kind of God would you think God is in your heart? What feeling does this picture give you? It is a touching and warm picture. Although there is only God and man in it, the close relationship between them is so admirable: God’s love overflows, freely bestowed on man and surrounding man; man, innocent and pure and free from cares and anxieties, lives under God’s eyes happily; God is concerned about man, and man lives under the protection and blessing of God, and what man does and man’s every word and deed are all closely related to God and cannot be independent from God.
It can be said that this was God’s first commandment for man since the creation of mankind. What was there in this commandment? There was God’s will and his worry about mankind in it. It was God’s first commandment and was also God’s first worry about mankind. That is to say, from the moment God created mankind, God had the responsibility for mankind. What was his responsibility? He was to protect man, and he was to watch over man. He hoped that man would believe and obey what he said. This was also God’s first expectation for mankind. With this expectation, God then spoke such a word: ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.’ This simple word represented God’s will, and it also showed that God’s heart was beginning to be concerned about man. Because among all things, only Adam was made in God’s image, only Adam was a living being with God’s breath, and he could walk with God and talk with God, therefore God gave him such a commandment. In this commandment, there was what man could do and what man could not do, which God said very clearly.
From these simple words, we have seen God’s heart. What kind of heart is it? In God’s heart, is there love? Is there concern? God’s love and concern not only can be sensed by man, but can even more be really and truly touched by man in this passage. Isn’t that so? After I have said this, do you feel these few words simple? They are not simple, right? Could you see this before? If God says to you a few such words personally, how will you feel in your heart? If you are one devoid of humanity and your heart is ice-cold, you will have no feeling and will not realize God’s love or try to understand God’s heart; if you are one who has conscience and humanity, your feeling will be different, and you will feel warm, feel cared, feel loved, and feel blissful. Isn’t that so? When you feel these, how will you treat God? Won’t you be attached to God? Won’t you have reverence and love for God in your heart? Won’t your heart draw near to God? This shows how important God’s love for man is! And it is even more important that man can feel and understand God’s love!”
Actually, God’s commandment for Adam is not just one simple word. Rather, it contains God’s infinite concern, love, and expectation for man. If God hadn’t been incarnated again to speak the words and express what He has and is, we wouldn’t have understood the implications of this verse, much less felt God’s will and God’s true keeping and protection to man. When pondering this passage of words carefully, I deeply feel it is God’s uplifting and deep love for man, and it contains God’s expectation of man. It’s so big a blessing that we, created beings, can accept God’s personal leading and know Him. How can we miss it? Today, God expresses His words to supply and lead us, from which we taste how deep and important God’s love for man is. I also see God’s sincere heart to man, and I feel the warmth and concern from God time after time. As Almighty God says, “God’s love overflows, freely bestowed on man and surrounding man; man, innocent and pure and free from cares and anxieties, lives under God’s eyes happily; God is concerned about man, and man lives under the protection and blessing of God, and what man does and man’s every word and deed are all closely related to God and cannot be independent from God.” From God’s words, I not only see that God’s love and concern can’t be replaced by anyone because only the Creator has such substance, but I even more sense the beauty and kindness of God’s heart. God does not command man to do such and such to repay His love; He just hopes that man can understand His will, obey His commandment, draw near to Him and be attached to Him….“This shows how important God’s love for man is! And it is even more important that man can feel and understand God’s love!” It is indeed the most blissful thing that we human beings can feel and understand the Creator’s love and expectation!