God’s Subjection of Man to Vanity vs. Satan’s Temptation
The Garden Experience
I am going to quote Daniel Yordy in some of this article, so whenever you read the word “Quote” in parenthesis, know it is his article: “The Weakness of God” to which I am referring; found on dyordy.com
To understand the garden experience, it is VITAL to understand the difference in the two words: TEST AND TEMPT.
God NEVER violates the nature of Love which is kindness, longsuffering, seeks not it’s own, is not easily provoked, thinks NO evil; rejoices not over iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, endures all things and NEVER fails.
The difference in a test and a temptation is found in the motivation and expectation.
The devil tempts: Motivation/expectation: He is motivated by evil and expects man “NOT” to believe God, and so sin. James 1:13-14: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man; but every man is tempted by his own evil lusts.
God tests: Motivation/expectation: God is motivated by love and expects to determine (experience) and sharpen true character, with NO focus on making man fail. Italics mine
You will find the above information in Strong’s dictionary under the word “peirazo”.
“Quote” .. God started to make Adam as His image and likeness, but Adam chose against becoming complete. The creation and then the transformation of Adam into the likeness and image of God was a three-step process. A created being cannot be the likeness and image of God; Adam was not complete. “End of quote”
I knew Daniel was right in this statement because I had studied Gen. 1:26-27: Then God said, Let us MAKE man in our image, after our own likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over the earth, and over all the wild beasts of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God CREATED man in his own image, in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
Years ago I had looked up the words MAKE and CREATED and discovered them to be 2 different words. So, Daniel is right when he says that when God said, “Let us make man in our image”, He only began a 3-step process.
“Quote” … The first step of God showing Himself to creation through His image was to form man out of the dust of the ground. God formed man out of physical dirt, breathed the breath of life (spirit - God breath) into Him, and man became a living soul, very much like God in ways far beyond anything Adam realized, yes, but not complete. Second, God separated man into a fellowship of persons. This “man” who is to be God revealed is a plurality of persons, a corporate man. Finally, this corporate man, Adam and Eve in the beginning with all their children inside of them, must , of their own drive, reach out and EAT of the tree of life. By eating of the tree of life, they would be transformed out of the creation and into the express image of the Father.
God created both trees out of Himself and placed them side by side. Neither tree had anything to do with the serpent. God said, in effect, “Here is My law and here is My life. Do not eat of My law for you were not made for it, but you may eat freely of My life.” “End of quote”.
God’s motivation? Love! His expectation? To prove Adam’s character with no focus on failure! He hoped he would choose rightly!
Enter, the serpent: The serpent now speaks. His motivation? Evil! His expectation? Wants man to fail in his faith, and so sin!
Man (Adam and Eve) believed the serpent and not God!
However, God had dedicated His life to His vision and knew when He envisioned it, that no matter what…He was able to bring it to pass. How did He know He could bring His vision to pass? Because He had faith in Himself.
Love did not fail when man disobeyed God’s voice!
No, Love did something for Adam and Eve that they could not do for themselves. God's purpose never changed when man disobeyed. He used His authority to correct man’s failure, by sending Jesus. This demonstrated the greatest act of love possible. Jesus obeyed the law that Adam and Eve broke. He obeyed the voice of God from the tree of Life in every circumstance he faced. He fulfilled what God had expected (hoped) in a man… to choose rightly. As a friend of mine says… hope worked it all out. His act of obedience restored our fellowship with God
God is ALTOGETHER lovely. Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of change. (change rendered “turning” in some bibles).
So, do I understand the entirety of the garden experience? No, not at all. I am sure there are other things that I will eventually question; but I do know this: God answers ALL our questions. I expect as we get closer and closer to Him, the watchmen who do not see eye to eye on everything yet, will one day see it all alike as well.