BY JONATHAN TUMWEBAZE
One may wonder in our world today whether the Garden of Eden has any significance to the way we live. Well to borrow from the Christian apologist and author Ravi Zacharias, we can look at the differences between our world now, and the Garden of Eden at creation, to be able to draw relevance.
There are two basic differences between the Garden of Eden then and now. First, we note the presence of God in the garden. God’s presence was with Adam and Eve, and they lived in harmony with, in a perfect relationship, until Eve was tempted to eat the forbidden fruit.
Secondly, in the legal framework of the Garden of Eden, there was one prohibition and one temptation –not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
At the fall of man, God’s privilege to define good and evil is taken away, and the web of evil becomes apparently very complex. This has become the burden of the twenty first century man.
With many laws and thousands of footnotes each explaining another, the societal moral framework is distorted.
If man failed to keep one moral law in the Garden of Eden, how possible is it that he will keep thousands of laws and millions of footnotes?
When you board an airplane, for example, you are not just told not to tamper with the smoke detector, but you are also told not to touch it, disable it or destroy it – very many words describing one simple instruction.
Malcom Muggeridge, a renowned journalist, argues that it is difficult to resist the
conclusion that 20th century man has decided to abolish himself. He has created his own affluence and vulnerability out of his own strength. Man blows the trumpet that brings the walls of his own cities crashing down. Andrei Sakharov, the Russian physicist responsible for giving the Soviets the nuclear bomb, told his fellow political prisoners that he often thought that the most powerful weapon was the bomb. But he changed his mind, noting that the most powerful weapon in the world is the truth. Sir Winston Churchhill went further to say that truth, the most powerful weapon in the world, is most often protected by a bodyguard of lies.
So where is our hope?
The one place where evil, justice, love and forgiveness come together is on one hill called Calvary.
Unless we know the difference between what is lawful and what is legal, we will always be lawless, daily shifting moral principles on delicate matters such as marriage and life.
The world will then become a jumble of exceptions, with no rules. It is important to know God’s absolutes by demonstrating his love, and presenting his truth through the message of redemption and transformation.