“Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” (Mt. 27:41-42)
In the Garden of Eden…allow me to start with the premise that God knew ahead of time that Adam and Eve would sin (Isa. 46:9-10; Rev. 13:8)…that eventually they would succumb to the alluring temptation to eat the forbidden fruit to obtain the knowledge of good and evil…the same thing I would do if I had been in their place.
One basic problem with this in a practical, applied sense is that humans do not have divinely timeless foresight.
Adam and Eve had no idea about the negative ripple-effect their imperfect decisions, choices, and actions would create over time…choices made independently outside of God’s input and participation…choices rendered imperfect through lack of foreknowledge…not being able to see far down the road in their own lives and in the upcoming, future history of mankind.
Like us today…Adam and Eve lacked the divine attribute of timeless foresight…a necessary ingredient to compliment free-will human beings having the capacity for moral reasoning.
Without being able to see into the future…without a roadmap spread-out over future time…choosing the right destination and how best to get there becomes problematic.
The three-legged stool of the knowledge of good and evil, free-will choice, and the capacity for moral reasoning…are not enough. We also need timeless foresight and perfect moral character…to be able to produce optimum future outcomes.
This is one of the simplest and most basic reasons for why we need God.
God has timeless foresight…and is perfect. God is absolute goodness and brilliant, pure light (Jas. 1:17). God has all knowledge, is all powerful, and can be everywhere. Doing the will of God therefore…staying within His directives…is in alignment with producing the best possible current and future outcomes in life. The ways and thoughts of a perfect, timeless God by definition inform the best possible options and courses of action.
God’s will-and-way must reign supreme…for the best and highest practical, applied reasons imaginable.
In a timeless existence…there is no future block of time to sort things out…to learn and profit from past mistakes. If we live in a timeless existence…literally in-the-moment all the time…then getting it right the first time and every time without exception…is imperative.
The issue in the Garden of Eden is not so much that Adam and Eve impulsively jumped at the chance to obtain the knowledge of good and evil…which otherwise might be considered a short-sighted, yet partially commendable enterprise…but that they did this against the commandment of God and without His timeless wisdom.
Going our own way, without the timeless wisdom and foresight of God…creates the never-ending, repetitive cycle of trial-and-error mistakes and problems that always has us in the reactive mode…one or two steps behind the current problem…and wishing through hindsight we could go back in time to be able to do things all over again…to have a second chance to do things differently and better.
God ingeniously and insightfully invented the fourth dimension of time…at the beginning creation of our universe…so that the two contrasting tracks…the self-sovereignty of going our own ways independent of God and without the benefit of timeless foresight…and the God-sovereignty of hearing God’s voice in the Spirit and following His lead through a well-defined journey of faith…could both play themselves out fully on a parallel timeline for everyone to see and consider.
The Bible makes brilliantly coordinated sense if we run with it all the way to its natural conclusion…that God exists, that the Bible has a divine origin, and that God wants to set up the context of events and circumstances in our lives with the purpose of being able to actualize a relationship with us…on His terms from the standpoint of timeless foresight and having perfect moral character…on a track different from the “broad way” of Matthew 7:13-14.
Conversely, the Bible makes no sense as a humanistic literary invention. The beauty, elegance, and coherence of its highly complex and sophisticated God-ward trajectory…points us precisely in the opposite direction to going our own way…the fundamental question at issue in the temptation in the Garden of Eden.
God skillfully separates out these two contrasting dichotomies…by the use of God-composed journey of faith life-scripts…in the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible…and in our journey of faith callings today as Christians.
These life-scripts not only contain the telltale signs of divine origin as revealed first in the displacement of our ways with God’s higher ways…and second in the fine-tuned advance preparations that match perfectly with a person’s calling and mission…but also God’s use of time to separate out life events and circumstances over an interval of time…in the process inventing biblical faith (Heb. 11:1).