Any theories as to why God allowed satan to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden? Any theories as to why God allowed satan to tempt Job so terribly?
Please post your opinion. Thanks,
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Any theories as to why God allowed satan to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden? Any theories as to why God allowed satan to tempt Job so terribly?
Please post your opinion. Thanks,
I found this theory online and it sounds pretty good:
God did not want Adam and Eve to sin. God knew ahead of time what the results of sin would be. God knew that Adam and Eve would sin and would thereby bring evil, suffering, and death into the world. Why, then, did God allow Satan to tempt Adam and Eve? God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve to force them to make the choice. Adam and Eve chose, of their own free will, to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit.
God wants to force mankind into making a choice, whether or not to obey Him.
Its all a test. The free will. Pass the test or you will keep going through the same test over and over until you either pass or fail. They were told the right way to do.
They could have told the devil to get out of here.
We are all being tested everyday.
God wants to see what you will do.
Whom do you serve?
I imagine that Adam and Eve wouldn't have even thought twice - in their heavenly estate - about God's command not to eat of the fruit from the tree. They had no ability within themselves to question God's command. An outside force was necessary in order to present an alternative option. This is the same thing with God's Spirit working upon mankind in the earth today.
These two spirits - the Holy Spirit and satan - have both influenced choices in mankind. Satan influenced men in a holy state to rebel, and the Spirit influences men in a sinful state to choose God. Both spirits influence man to make a choice he would in no wise be able to make of his own power.
This is a very amazing conclusion; that the two are polar opposites!
I want now to look at satan himself and his fall from grace.
If mankind does not have an ability within himself to choose to do opposite to his nature, how then did satan have this ability?
By your above staement you are assuming we are like satan vice versa.
Satan was not born and neither where Adam and Eve, like we are. Adam and Eve bore kids and so and so and so. this is how we inherit the sin nature.
And all of what you are talking about(on the human side) happened boefore the Fall. satans' pride took over, and he thought he could be like God.
To make the statement you have is to miss the whole poitn of Genesis 1,2 and 3 - and the generations thereafter.
Soli Deo Gloria
"After all, there is a Protestantism still worth contending for, there is a Calvinism still worth proclaiming, and a gospel well worth dying for" - C H Spurgeon
- "What God requires of us he himself works in us, or it is not done. He that commands faith, holiness, and love, creates them by the power of his grace..." - Matthew Henry
Here's another question to ponder. Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden in the first place? It's not like anyone was benefiting from it's fruit. In fact God restricted the use of it's fruit. God doesn't need to eat from such a tree, as He already knows good and evil. So why did He put it there if He already knew that the devil would tempt Eve and it would be eaten from?
Here are other questions that may help to explain this:
Is it possible to have free-will without the possibility of rejecting God?
Is it possible to have true Love without free-will?
Does God want people who truly Love Him?
I think the answers to these questions explain this pretty well.
Maybe this was all part of the plan all along..
20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
That verse seems to indicate it was God's will to subject it. Why? I dunno. Just a theory here. Not declaring doctrine.
We know that even before the foundations of the world God chose us in Jesus to be holy and blameless.
4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Calvinists please don't salivate all over yourselves here and post 2000 paragraphs of Spurgeon. I'm just tossing out a theory here.
So from that Romans 8 verse it looks like it was actually God's will to subject the creation to this 'frustration'. We also see that before the world was even made we were chosen in Christ to be holy and blameless.
So maybe the fall was just a step in God's creative process towards him choosing us in Christ to be holy and blameless.
So maybe he put the tree in the garden because that was a step in his overall creative process of choosing us in Christ, which he clearly had planned even before the foundations of the world?
Just a theory.
I'm not Batman.
Some might ask, well if this is part of the creative process towards choosing us in Jesus, isn't it kinda messy?
Well, when you're baking a cake, you gotta break perfectly good eggs in order to get a great cake. Maybe in God's creative process, it works that way too?
I'm not Batman.
Originally Posted by 1still_waters
No salivating allowed in my threads!
20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Actually these scriptures do more to support Universalism than they do to support Calvinism. Universalists drool over these verses, because clearly they declare that all mankind will be redeemed after an 'age' in hellfire.
These scriptures as well do not refute the possibility of free will. God put Adam and Eve in a position where by His foreknowledge He knew that they would fall. He wanted them to fall, and that's the purpose of placing the tree in their midst and having satan tempt them. (No one hangs a line and hook over dry ground expecting to catch a fish. God knew what it took to accomplish His goal and He placed a specifically designed trap exactly where it was most effective).
Either verse 21 is speaking of unconverted people who will live in the millennium under Christ's rule, or it has to be speaking only of animals, plants and inanimate objects.
I've been pondering God's methods also, and here is my conclusion:
***Why couldn't God just show Adam and Eve a movie detailing all of the pleasures and consequences of sin and all of the pleasures and consequences of obedience?
-There is no way that God could show a sinless man - who only knew holiness and no evil – exactly what sin and rebellion would entail. Just showing Adam these things would possibly have made Adam sinful. Adam and Eve had to experience the sensations of rebellion for themselves and then make a choice. Had they experienced ideas contrary to God at any point before satan gave them, they would have been aware of more sins to abstain from than that of just eating the fruit. But witnessing sin would corrupt their mentality, I am certain.
I don't really believe that there was any other method available whereby God could give mankind free will, except by the way it has actually happened.
Last edited by QuestionTime; April 26th, 2010 at 04:09 PM.
The good part is that we can learn from mistakes. And that God can turn was done wrong by us into something for the good!
i believe that God allowed satan to tempt Adam and Eve knowing full well that they would rebel against His commandment so that His perfect plan of redemption through the blood of Jesus to come to pass.
Before satan was evicted in heaven along with a third of the heavenly host, im sure God gave ample time for those angels who had become apostate through the lies of lucifers jealously blinded by pride to repent and give glory to God, just as the case is for us,mankind, another creation be it different to angels, yet given our free will to choose between good and evil. Satan is the father of lies, the lie started when he was in heaven and many believed that lie, God allowed that deceit in heaven, surely one would think that a plan for forgiveness was given to them to repent, so we shouldn't be alarmed or dismayed that He allowed it to happen here, He only seeks those to be in His Kingdom that worship Him in truth and Spirit, yet by His love kindness and mercy towards us He does give us that choice to make and what makes His love so deep is that even when we had made the wrong choice of not placing Him sovereign in our life, He is so quick to forget and forgive. Yet, as was in heaven, He leaves that option open to man for only so long.
line was drawn, who's side of the line we stand is our choice, as it was in heaven. as it was in the desert, as is at the cross.
amen question time, hence i started the statement with "i believe", yet it does make one ponder on the process it would have entailed before He evicted Satan and a third of the heavenly host - love this- "like a flash of lightning" that flash to come didn't happen till all avenues of mercy and His love kindness would have been exhausted, its in His nature to show mercy, Jesus stated that He prefers mercy over sacrifice, surely even lucifer would have been given that option to start with, declined of course, hence his name "Satan" enemy of God, but satan was more interested in himself than the things of God thru his jealousy and pride, what a fool satan is, tried exalt himself above God, the world today just as foolish, same judgement.
Why did God allow so much evil to exist in man’s nature to begin with? Why does it seem so natural for man to oppress his neighbor and make him suffer? But here also, we must realize that man’s arena of action is here in the physical world, and therefore he must be part of a universe where God’s presence is eclipsed. The spiritual in man may soar in the highest transcendental realms, but man’s body is essentially that of an animal. Our sages teach us that man partakes of the essence of both angel and beast. The Zohar goes a step further and tells us that in addition to the divine soul which separates man from lower forms of life, man also has an animal soul.
When man first came into existence, there was a basic harmony existing between these two parts of his nature. His intellect and animal nature were able to exist together without any intrinsic conflict. He had the opportunity to live in harmony with nature, devoting all his energies to the spiritual. However, there was an element of temptation in this Garden of Eden. Man’s destiny was to transcend his animal nature on a spiritual plane. But he also had the temptation to transcend it on a physical level, to partake of the Tree of Good and Evil.
Man succumbed to this temptation.
This knowledge then came between the two basic elements in man, the animal and the human. Man was no longer like the animal, bound to nature, in harmony with his basic nature. He still had all the desires, lusts and aggressive nature of the animal. But he also acquired the ability to use his intellect so that his animal nature would be directed against his fellow human beings. It is this conflict between his animal and human nature that thrusts man in the direction of evil. We are therefore taught that it is man’s animal nature that is responsible for the Yetzer Hara, the evil in man.
But here again, God cannot be blamed.
The decision to partake of the Tree of Knowledge—to transcend his animal nature on a worldly plane—was a decision that man made as a matter of free choice.
As soon as man partook of the Tree of Knowledge, he knew good and evil. Morality became a matter of knowledge and conscious choice, rather than part of man’s basic nature. He would now have to wrestle with a new nature, where the animal and angel in him are in conflict.
But we can probe still further. We can ask: Why could man not have been made better? Why did God not make him into something that was more angel and less animal?
Here too, the fault was man’s. Our sages teach us that the prohibition against tasting the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was only temporary. Man’s spiritual nature was gradually developing in such a manner that he would have eventually been strong enough to master his animal instincts. When this time arrived, he could have partaken of the Tree of Knowledge without endangering his spiritual essence.
Man was indeed destined to be more angel and less animal. However, this was now to be a gradual process. It was aborted by man’s impatience, his partaking of “knowledge” before its time. It was this knowledge that brought him in conflict with his animal nature, and stunted his spiritual development, making the beast dominant.
This thread runs through the entire history of mankind. Man’s knowledge gave him a technology that could create instruments of destruction, but his moral strength was not great enough to avoid misusing them. This has reached its peak in our generation, where man has the power to destroy his entire planet, either with nuclear weapons, or by poisoning his environment. Man’s knowledge gives him tremendous power, but he still has not learned how to use this power for the good. This is the reason why the Messianic Age must soon arrive. Only then will man learn how to use his knowledge for the good.
Until then, man is faced with this great dilemma. He has the knowledge to create great societies, but they always get out of control and degenerate. He can make great technological strides, but he does not have the moral strength to use them for good. One of the saddest comments on the human predicament is the fact that many of our greatest technological advancements have been made to further the cause of warfare.
Still, the basic question does not seem to go away. Admittedly, man has an evil nature and it is his own fault. But why doesn’t God intervene? Why doesn’t He open up the heavens and stop all this evil? Why didn’t He send down a bolt of lightning and destroy the concentration camps? Why didn’t He send down some kind of manna for the starving babies of Biafra and Bangladesh? Why didn’t He stop the napalm bombs from burning innocent Vietnamese children? Why doesn’t He pull off a miracle and make all the world’s nuclear bombs disappear? After all, He is God. He certainly can do it. So why doesn’t He?
We are taught, however, that an overabundance of light does not rectify the vessels, but shatters them.
What would happen to our society if miracles suddenly started taking place? How would we react to it?
Could we go about our daily affairs as if nothing had happened? Could the vast, complex structures, upon which our civilization rests, continue to exist if this direct awareness of God were suddenly thrust upon us?
Take a city like New York. It takes the efforts of tens of thousands to provide food and other necessities to such a huge city, and further thousands just to transport these needs. It takes another army to provide the city with water, electricity, heat, and the removal of waste. Could this structure survive the awareness of miracles? And if it did not, would not the suffering be all the greater? If God began a miraculous intervention, would He not have to do it all the way? Indeed, this might take place in the Messianic Age, but then, the time must be ripe.
How would we react to miracles? Probably very much in the same way primitive societies react to the “miracles” of those that are more advanced. The first reaction is one of shock, or what sociologists call cultural shock. The natives first lose interest in everything and become completely dependent on the more advanced culture. They cease to have a mind of their own and develop a lethargy where life grows devoid of meaning. The degeneration of the proud self-sufficient savage into the shifty, no-account native is often as tragic as it is inevitable.
If a society is not completely destroyed by the initial cultural shock, it undergoes a second stage, that of rebellion. The primitive culture rebels against both the invaders and their values. This is why so many missionaries ended up in the proverbial cooking pot.
If man resembles an animal, then he resembles a wild animal rather than a domestic one. It is man’s destiny to be free, not subject to other men. Thus, the inevitable result of the introduction of a higher culture is to overwhelm a more primitive one.
When a higher culture is introduced, the initial reaction of the natives is to become domesticated, to become like cattle or sheep. If the domestication is complete, the humanity of the native is obliterated, at least, until he assimilates the dominant culture. Otherwise, the natives rebel and reassert their natural humanity.
The same is essentially true of our relationship to God. As long as He is hidden, we can strive toward Him, and attain the Godly. But we do this as a matter of free choice and are not overwhelmed by it. But if God were to reveal Himself, then man would no longer be able to exist as a free entity. He would know that he was always under the scrutiny of his Master, and that would make him into something less than human. He would be come some kind of puppet or robot, with an essential ingredient of his humanness destroyed. The only alternative would be rebellion.
But either alternative would cause more evil and suffering than would be alleviated by God’s original intervention. There would be too much light, and the vessels would be shattered.
There was only one time when God literally revealed Himself and visibly stepped in and changed the course of history. This was at the Exodus from Egypt, where He performed miracles both in Egypt and by the Red Sea. This episode was climaxed by the Revelation at Sinai, where an entire nation literally heard the voice of God.
What happened then?
The first reaction at Sinai was one of shock. The people simply could not endure the majesty of God’s word, and our sages teach us that their souls literally left them. Their reaction is expressed in the Biblical account of Sinai, where immediately afterward they told Moses (Exodus 20:16), “You speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak with us any more, for we will die.”
When the people overcame their initial shock, they proceeded to the second stage, that of rebellion. This took place just 40 days after the Revelation at Sinai. They went against God and all His teachings, reverting to idolatry and worshipping a golden calf. They had heard the Ten Commandments from God Himself just 40 days earlier, and now they were violating every one of them.
We learn a very important lesson from this. For God to reveal Himself to an unworthy vessel, it can do more harm than good. This is one important reason why God does not show His hand.
Many people say that they would believe if only they could witness some sign or miracle. Sinai showed us that even this is not enough, if people do not want to believe.
From all this we can begin to understand one of the most basic restrictions that God imposes upon Himself. He is a hidden God, and does not reveal Himself. This is required by man’s psychology as well as God’s very purpose in creation. God only reveals Himself to such people whose faith is so great that the revelation makes no difference in their belief. As Maimonides pointed out, the only major exception to this rule was the Exodus.
Taking into account God’s most basic self-restrictions, we can now make some attempt to place ourselves in God’s place.
Our most basic restriction is that we not reveal our hand.
Taking this restriction into account, we can return to our opening problem, and imagine a microcosm where we are in a position to play God.
This opening problem was discussed in a number of groups, and much of what follows is a result of their conclusions. However, before reading on, you might wish to re-read the problem, and attempt to draw your own conclusions.
Much of the discussion revolved around solutions involving something like a huge chess game with the entire island as the board. There would be moves and countermoves, with a strategy to attempt to maneuver the natives into a desired position. Like a chess grandmaster, you would attempt to keep control of the game at all times. Your “win” would be to achieve the desired result.
While you have enough resources to eventually win, certain problems immediately become apparent. Not the least is the fact that every move may take decades or even centuries. You might achieve results, but it is a very long, drawn-out process. You might have all the time in the world, but each year brings all the more suffering.
There is an even more profound problem. Even more important than influencing events is our ultimate goal of improving the values of the natives. However, even though a lesson may be learned by one generation, it may be equally forgotten by a succeeding generation. To make positive values an integral part of the island’s culture is a most formidable task.
A constant thread of suggestion in these discussions involved infiltration. We could try to influence the island through infiltrators. As long as it was not obvious, it would be within the rules.
Such infiltration could serve two purposes. First of all, we could use the infiltrators as an example. They could set up a model society, and if it endured long enough, it might interest people in attempting to emulate it or learn from it.
The infiltrators could also be used to teach the natives directly. Gradually, parts of their culture could be introduced to the island, raising its moral level. This could rapidly accelerate the game’s conclusion.
These infiltrators would always be in a position of great peril. Operating on a different value system, they would always be considered outsiders. The more their message diverged from that of the majority, the more they would be resented. Scattered throughout the island to spread their message, they would very likely become a persecuted minority. By the rules of the game, there would be very little you could do to help them.
At best, you would play your game in such a way as to protect them as much as possible. Because of the danger of revealing your hand, communication with your infiltrators would have to be kept to a minimum. They would have to live on this island for many generations, scattered among the natives, and you would have to set up many safeguards to prevent them from assimilating the corrupt values of the island. To some extent, their status as a persecuted minority may also help prevent such assimilation. But essentially, they would have to play their role in ignorance of your overall strategy.
Gradually, the islanders would eventually become aware of your presence. Once the game was ended, you might even be able to reveal yourself. The infiltrators’ role would also then be revealed. As part of your organization, they would become the natural leaders and teachers of the island.
As you might have already guessed, examining this microcosm gives us considerable insight into the way that God interacts with the world. He is working to bring the world to a state of perfection, which in our tradition is the Messianic promise. It is a slow process, whereby God constantly maneuvers the forces of history toward this end. This “game” is essentially all of human history.
You might have also recognized the infiltrators. They are the Jewish people, who were given the basis of a perfect society in the teachings of the Torah. A society living according to these God-given principles can set itself up as an example of a healthy society, free of the social diseases of its surrounding culture.
When God first gave the Torah, He told the Jewish people (Leviticus 20:26), “You shall be holy unto Me, for I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” It is Israel’s mission to set such an example, as the Torah states (Deut. 4:6), “You must observe [these commandments] carefully and keep them, for they are your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the nations. When they hear of these statutes, they will say, ‘Surely, this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’”
It is our task to bear witness to God’s plan for humanity, as we find, “You are My witnesses, says God, and My servant, whom I have chosen” (Isaiah 43:10). Likewise, God told His prophet, “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness…and have set you for a covenant of the people, for a light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). We are thus taught that Israel is like the heart of humanity, constantly beating and infusing all mankind with faith in God and His teachings.
It was in this spirit that Judaism gave birth to both Christianity and Islam. Although far from perfection, these religions are a step in the right direction away from paganism. The final step is yet to be made.
More important, however, is the fact that the Jewish people, at least those who keep the Torah, continue to stand as an example of a perfect society designed by God. The Torah and its commandments indeed represent the highest wisdom in perfecting human society. The tzaddik is the closest that we can come to the perfect human being.
Israel’s unique position in accepting God’s Torah will eventually result in the [dissolution] of all competing cultures. It would also temporarily result in Israel’s earning the hatred of these cultures. Our sages teach us that just as an olive must be crushed before it brings forth its oil, so is Israel often persecuted before its light shines forth. Thus, God told His prophet, “A bruised reed, he shall not break; a dimly burning wick, he shall not be extinguished; he shall make justice shine forth in truth. He shall not fail nor be crushed, until he has right in the earth, and the islands shall await the teachings of his Torah” (Isaiah 42:3,4).
We live in an age of many questions. The newspapers and television bring the horrors of the word onto our front doorstep and our living rooms. What was once hidden by the barrier of intercontinental distance is now before our very eyes. We see the suffering and killing and starvation, and ask how God can tolerate such evil. For the Jew, the question of the 6 million always looms in the foreground of any such discussion.
But for one who understands the true depths of Judaism, there is no question. When you have probed into the very reason for existence and purpose of creation, not only do you find answers, but the questions themselves cease to exist.
One of the great Jewish leaders of [recent memory was] the Klausenberger Rebbe. He lost his wife, children and family to the Nazis, and himself spent two years in the hell of Auschwitz. Yet, he emerged from all this to rally a generation of concentration camp refugees back to Judaism, found a community in Williamsburg, and eventually build a settlement in Israel.
I often heard this great leader discuss the concentration camps and the 6 million. There are tears and sadness, but no questions. For here we have a tzaddik, whose great mind can see beyond the immediate. When one’s gaze is on the Ultimate, there truly are no questions.
The most important thing to remember is that God is the ultimate good, and therefore, even the worst evil will eventually revert to good. Man may do evil, but even this will be redeemed by God and ultimately be turned into good. The Talmud teaches us that in this world we must bless God for both good and evil, but the in Future World, we will realize that there is nothing but good.
by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
I often get atheists throwing this at me. Why did God even create us knowing we would eventually get original sin in us, and know that millions of people He created would end up in hell?
Its kind of saying well God created man, they fell into sin, and now most of them wont turn to God and die in that sin. Is it fair?
Sometimes things are just way over my head. I dont like that, because how can we answer people that God is love, and yet he created us and we all now have this sinful nature in us?
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Adam and Eve didn't catch God off guard.
Another interesting thing is found in John 9
Joh 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
So all of us kinda ask ourselves that question. Or assume that because someone did something that God reacted to that someone doing that thing. In other words, because Adam and Eve were going to sin then Christ was prepared. I know most of us don't like hearing it but I believe the same reason is Christ's response in this passage.
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.