“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” (Gen. 3:22)
Why put the tree of life in the garden of Eden in the first place, after all, the Lord is omniscient, He has the knowledge of all things everywhere at all times, He knew that Satan would tempt Eve with the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not the fruit of the tree of life. As far as we know, there was no stipulations placed on that fruit, and with his foreknowledge, the Lord knew it would not be used as a temptation, so why even put it in the garden?
“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Gen. 11:7) Why go down here to do that, why not just speak the word, as He did in the creation of the heaven and earth, why come down here to do that? Why not let man continue in his path of sin, why stretch it out a few thousand more years, untold suffering, incomprehensible rebellion and sin vanquished all that much sooner.
“I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” (Gen. 18:21) I know that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah had reached unto heaven, because the Word of God said it had, (vs. 20) why come down here and then basically say, “I’m going to go there myself to see if this is really happening or not.”
These are just three of the accounts in the Scriptures that the lost, those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord, will use as examples as to the incongruities within the Scriptures, and they have a valid point. In the first place, it would mean that they have at least heard the Word of God spoken to them, or in some instances have read it themselves, that have the knowledge of His truths, but no assurance of that truth through faith. “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7)
Many men of God, and many learned theologians who do not call the Lord God their Savior through the centuries have attempted to give an answer to these so-called inconsistencies in the Scriptures and have written long and drawn-out thesis on them, I offer a different answer to them, “I don’t know.” I think that this answer is possibly one of the most frightening that any man of God can profess to give, because it says nothing of value to the hearer, they want answers, and the best you have is an “I don’t know” with a “The just shall live by faith,” (Romans 1:17) thrown in with it.
Why did the Most High put that particular tree in the garden? Because He wanted to. That is not near enough of an answer to those who are not desiring to understand the Lord better so that they can serve Him more efficiently, but instead only want to find some way to disprove or at least make you question your faith. And after all, isn’t that part of the reason for the existence of those who will indeed die in their sins, to prove us, to attempt to dissuade us from continuing on that path of lifelong faith.
“Hath God said?” (Gen. 3:1) has been repeated in more languages and in more times in history then we will ever know, and in just as many forms. The attempt to dishonor the name of the Most High is Satan’s task, and all those that do not know the Lord Jesus as Savior have been appointed this task as well, to attempt to cause us to lose, at least in part, our assurance of the complete and unquestioning faith in the Sovereignty of the Almighty.
“I don’t know,” is a good answer sometimes, in fact, it’s the only answer available to us, and we must maintain our confidence in the Lord as we give that answer. “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” (Job 38:4) Try to explain algebraic equations to your small child, try to teach your pet a language that humans speak, think of Him by whom all consists (Col. 1:17) attempting to teach dust. It really matters very little if they like your answer of “I don’t know,” what matters is if it lessons your faith and assurance, or if it enables it to grow because of the wonders of His ways. The just must indeed live by faith.