Teach Us to Obey (Genesis 2:16–17) - Radical

Teach Us to Obey (Genesis 2:16–17)

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'”
-Genesis 2:16–17

So this is God’s clear command to Adam in Genesis chapter two, to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that he eats of that tree, he will surely die. Now there’s so much we could talk about here with this particular command, what this means, how this plays out in Genesis chapter three. But the big picture that I want you to see, feel, as we pray according to this verse, is that God’s command is that God commands Adam here for his good. God is telling Adam how to experience life through His word, through obedience to His word, God, in giving this command, is warning Adam of death. If he does this, he will surely die, which God does not desire. God desires Adam to experience life. And God is gracious and merciful and loving enough to give Adam His word, to tell Adam the way to life, to tell Adam how to avoid death.

And the same exact thing is true in your life and my life today, when it comes to God’s word. Sometimes we think that the commands of God are restrictive in our lives, that living according to God’s word keeps us from good, keeps us from what we desire, what we really want. But the reality is, and we see it crystal clear, looking back at Genesis chapter two and three, we think, “Adam, if you would’ve just believed God, if you wouldn’t have trusted yourself, you’d experienced eternal life. But because you didn’t believe God, because you didn’t trust God, because you trusted yourself and didn’t believe the commands of God were good for you, you experienced death.”

As we look back and see that crystal clear Adam’s life, help us to look ahead and see that crystal clear in each of our lives. The way to good, the way to life is obedience to the gracious, merciful, loving word of God. So I praise you for your word in Genesis chapter for its power. Now we praise you for your word in Genesis chapter two, for your grace and your mercy and your love in it. God, we thank you for not leaving us in the dark about how to experience life. We thank you for giving us instructions, commands, promises to lead us to experience life to the full. So, God, we pray that you would deliver us, save us from trust in ourselves. God help us not to trust in ourselves. I pray this over my life today, I pray this over every person who’s listening right now. God help us not to trust in ourselves. Help us to trust in your word and your goodness and your love for us through your word. Help us to obey your word today, we pray.

God, help us not to disobey your word. If we start to disobey your word, God, we pray you pull us back. Holy Spirit, convict us of sin that we might walk in obedience to your word and experience the fullness of life that you have made possible for us. And God, as we pray for people around the world who don’t have your word, who don’t have your word in their language, who’ve never heard the gospel, the good news of your love in Jesus, who don’t have the Bible, God, we pray for the spread of your word to them. God, we pray for the Somali people.

God, we pray for so many of them who have no knowledge of your word, have never heard your word, have never heard the good news of Jesus’ love and they’re not experiencing life. They’re not experiencing eternal life because they don’t have your word. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to Somalis. To Somalis here in the United States, here in Metro Washington, DC, other cities. And God pray for the spread of the gospel in Somalia. God, we pray for the spread of your word there, that they might know your goodness and your grace and your mercy. God, we praise you for your word, we pray you’d help us to live according to it, trusting that it is good, and then proclaiming it as good news in the world around us. Today, right where we live, and to the ends of the earth, to people who’ve never heard it. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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