15 March 2021
Series: Bible study
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The importance of being grateful for suffering

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

In the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 2:15-17, Yehovah gives Adam instructions on how to live his life. The Torah (Yehovah’s instructions) given to Adam only consisted of one commandment: Eat freely from every tree in the Garden, except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You are not to eat from it because on the day that you eat from it; it will become certain that you will die.” When Adam was given the Torah, Eve did not exist. Yehovah created her in Genesis 2:23 and gave her to Adam as his wife. As the husband and as the one who was the receiver of the Torah, it was his responsibility to teach his wife what Yehovah expected of them.

When Eve gets into a conversation with the serpent in Genesis 3, it is apparent she has been told what Yehovah said. But for some, to us unknown reason, Eve changes the Torah. In Genesis 3:1, the conversation begins with the serpent asking Eve a question: Did Yehovah really say, you are not to eat from any tree in the Garden? We remember in Genesis 2:15-17, Yehovah had told Adam to eat freely from any tree, except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yehovah had never forbidden them to eat from the other trees, only the tree of good and evil. Eve answers the serpent: “we may eat from the fruit of the trees of the garden, but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, Yehovah said, “you are neither to eat from it nor touch it, our you will die.”

I wonder why Eve added, “nor touch it, or you will die”? Yehovah had told Adam they could eat freely from any tree, except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Yehovah had never forbidden them from touching the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If Adam had taught his wife the Torah as he should, then there would be no reason for Eve to respond the way she did.

The serpent knew Yehovah had never told them they would die if they touched the tree. He tells Eve the truth, but then he tries to get Eve to doubt Yehovahs intentions for the Torah. “It is not true that you will surely die because Yehovah knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like Yehovah, knowing good and evil.”
After listening to the serpent, Eve saw how the tree was desirable for making one wise; she took some of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked.”

This happened because Eve added something to the Torah. Because she added something, she removed herself from the protection the Torah gives us. When she removed herself from Yehovah’s safety, it opened the door for the devil to tempt her to question Yehovahs intentions for the Torah. The result was the fall of man.

If the devil can tempt us to add something to the Torah or remove something from it, he can tempt us to question why Yehovah gave us the Torah. If we question why He gave us the Torah, we will start to question Yehovahs intentions for us, and we will soon begin to complain and have doubts when life gets problematic. We know from the book of Exodus it is a great sin to doubt Yehovahs intentions for us, and it is an equally great sin to complain when life gets complicated.

We see this illustrated in the book of Exodus when Yehovah had saved them from Egypt. He then brings them to Mount Sinai and gives them the Torah telling them how to live as saved people. This is the same thing that happened in the Garden of Eden. After Adam’s creation which was his salvation, he was given the Torah and told how to live as a son of Yehovah. Just as with Adam, all the Israelites agreed to obey the Torah, but just as we see it happened with Eve, the Israelites started to add to the Torah. When they added something to the Mosaic covenant (the Torah), it opened up the door for the devil to tempt them into questioning Yehovahs intentions. Soon they started to complain to Moses and question why Yehovah had led them into the wilderness. This angered Yehovah to such a degree that only 2 of the generation that left Egypt were allowed to enter the promised land.

Are you saved?

If you are saved, Yehovah has given you His instructions on how to live the redeemed life. The instructions are called the Torah what we refer to as the law of Moses. If you add something to the Torah or take something away from it, you will start questioning why Yehovah gave it to us. If you question why He has given us the Torah, you will soon find yourself questioning Yehovahs intentions for everything happening in your life. Questioning Yehovahs intentions will quickly lead to doubt and complaining, something which is a sin that significantly angers Yehovah.

Yehovah says the Torah and the Torah alone is life. Whoever follows the law of Moses will have life and life more abundantly. Yeshua (Jesus) even says if we obey Moses, Yehovah will meet our every need. (Deut 28:1-13, Matthew 6:25-34).There is no doubt Yehovahs intentions for giving us the Torah is love. He loves us, and He wants the best for us; this is why He has given us what we refer to as the Mosaic law. There is no doubt Yehovah loves us and wants the best for us; this is why He has given us the cross.

There should be no reason for us to question the Torah’s validity or His intentions for the Torah. But sadly, most of Christianity has fallen into the same sin as Eve and the Israelites in the desert. They have listened to the devil tempting them to add something or take away something from the Torah. This has given the devil room to entice them into questioning why Yehovah has given them the Torah. Because they question Yehovahs intentions for the Torah, they have been tempted into questioning Yehovahs intentions for their lives. As long as everything is easy and comfortable, we have no problem believing Yehovah loves us and wants the best for us. But we also have no issue with changing His Torah, even though He strictly forbids it. When problems and challenges arise in our lives, we pray and ask Yehovah to heal us, remove them and save us from our circumstances. Yehovah has never promised to help anyone who rejects His Torah. (1. Pet 3:12) When nothing happens, we complain, and we question if Yehovah is among us and what His intentions are. When the Israelites did this, Yehovah killed them all in the desert. Yehovah will make sure we will lose our salvation if we do not repent in time when we do this.

So how do we repent from this?

We repent by choosing to be grateful for every circumstance 1.Thess 5:18. Even if we do not understand what is happening and we see it as suffering.

How is that possible? We know the Bible says that as long as we obey the Torah (the Mosaic law), Yehovah will meet our every need (Matt 6:25-34, Deut 28:1-14). If we believe this to be true, then we will never question Yehovahs intentions even if He exposes us to suffering because we know even suffering will turn out to be something good for us in the end. (Rom 8:28)

So choose today to do what Yeshua did, what Joshua and Caleb did, and be grateful for everything. Then and only then will you, who are Torah obedient and reconciled by the cross, see the fulfillment of om 8:28 and understand that even suffering was a sign of love from Yehovah.