What have you done?

Published 7:51 pm Sunday, July 29, 2018

Minister, Church of Christ Northside

When God asked Eve, “What is this you have done?” (Gen. 3:13), and then again to Cain, “What have you done?” it is a question filled with lessons we should learn. 

Maybe one of those lessons that gets overlooked is how it powerfully demonstrates God’s love for man. It may not be immediately obvious, but it is absolutely there. Remember, God wasn’t asking, “What have you done?” for his own benefit. We’ve already noticed in the introduction to this series that God doesn’t need to ask us for any information. He is the one that knows the end from the beginning (Isa. 46:10). He is the one that knows my every thought, every action, every word, before I even think them. (Ps. 139:1-4). That means that He knew exactly what Eve, and Cain, had done — what they would do before they even did it. 

There have been many who have asked, “if God knew what Adam and Eve would do, why did he put the forbidding tree in the garden?” Did God know that, if given the choice, man would sin? Of course he did! If that’s the case then why give them the choice? Consider this, God desires our love. 

If he didn’t give man the ability to choose then it could never be said that we love him. We demonstrate our love for him by freely choosing fellowship with him. He had to give man the choice for man to be able to choose to love him and keep His commandments. 

Because he loves us, and desires our love in return, he gave man the choice even though He knew what man would do. That’s why he already had a plan in place that would go into effect when Adam and Eve transgressed God’s command. Jesus is referred to as the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8). 

His kingdom is the kingdom “prepared for [the righteous] from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). So, before sin entered the world, “and death through sin” (Rom. 5:12), God knew the price that would have to be paid to provide us a way of salvation. He knew it would cost the life of his own son to die in our place for sin. Yet, despite his foreknowledge of what it would cost — “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18, 19) — he created us with free will so we could choose to love him. 

That’s why John says that “we love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Not only did he give us his son to pay the price for our sins, but he also provided the perfect example in Christ to show us how to live a life of loving fellowship with him (1 Jon 4:17-19; Rom. 5:6-11).