<<not allowed, illegal>>

God gave Adam and Eve only one prohibition in His instructions, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:17). There was an abundance of other food sources they could choose from, yet Satan actively tempted them to defy God and

To be blessed, obey the rules

eat the ‘off limits’ fruit and since then, humanity continues to violate God’s commands, at our own peril. Disobeying Him always leads to disaster. Sin has consequences even if we unknowingly do wrong; instinctively we know God’s laws if we listen to our conscience as His requirements are written in our hearts (Lev 5:17; Rom 2:15). Rebellion resides in the corrupt human heart. We are continually presented with enticing ‘forbidden fruit’ which will lead us away from walking in the Lord’s will. Temptation comes in many forms; Satan knows our weak points and targets these areas. Self-discipline is required to ‘not eat’ what is not permitted.

God's commands are given for our benefit. These restrictions or boundaries are not to inhibit us; rather they are for our protection and well-being because of the inherent danger or undesirable consequences that will result. It is common-sense not to put ourselves in such precarious positions.

God may well say to us, ‘what part of “You shall not…” don’t you understand?’ It is our duty to obey wholeheartedly the ‘does’ of Scripture and refrain from the ‘do nots’. His does and do nots are for our good. Thus it is essential to know what His requirements are for us, how we are to live and respond according to our conscience.

As in the Garden of Eden, God did not erect a physical barrier preventing Adam and Eve from taking the prohibited fruit; so it is with us – the fruit is accessible in some form if we persist in that unwise choice. What is the forbidden fruit that I need to avoid and become more disciplined in repulsing?

Do I respect and comply with government and societies laws, understanding that these authorities are God’s delegated rulers? (Rom 13:1-7). If we flout the prohibitions or think they don’t apply, on what grounds do we consider we are exempt?

See also: boundaries, commandments, conscience, consequences, covet, disobedience, free will, illegal, obedience, self-discipline, temptation.