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His yoke is sweet and His burden is light

Many times we feel that God's commandment is too hard or too unreasonable.  However this is usually because we don't understand the heart of the commandment or don't realize that God put His commandment in place because He loves us.

This was the case with Eve.  She felt that God's commandment was unreasonable.  When the serpent asked her about God's commandment, her choice of words gave away what was in her heart.  She explained to the serpent that "God said, 'You shall not eat from it, nor shall you touch it...'" (Gen 3:3)  She was talking of course about the fruit of the tree of learning the knowledge of good and evil.  However God's commandment wasn't that she can't eat it or touch it.  God's commandment in Genesis 2:17 is "... from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat..."  God told Adam that he may not eat of it, however Eve added the part where she may not eat of it nor touch it.  This extra unreasonable request added by Eve shows what she thought of God's commandment.  She thought that it was unreasonable, or too harsh.  Perhaps she didn't understand why.

This however happens with us too.  We sometimes read God's commandment and think that it's unreasonable, or too harsh. What we don't realize is that God put these commandments in place in order for us to live a happy life and achieve our full potential.  When God tells us not to lie, steal, commit adultery, be gluttonous, etc it may seem that it's restricting.  However what the commandment does is that it directs mankind into the path of goodness in order to achieve the ultimate goal of living in complete peace and harmony with God.  A channel of water is restricted on both sides by its banks, but without these banks the water would not go in the same direction and build up enough pressure going through a turbine to generate electricity.  A short sighted droplet of water might think that these banks are holding it back from the freedom it deserves, not knowing that the very banks that restrict its path gives it the power it generates.  God's commandments direct us in the correct path that makes us achieve our ultimate potential: union with God.

We notice that the serpent, which was "... more cunning that all the wild animals" (Genesis 3:1) picked up on the fact that Eve thought that God's commandment was a burden.  It used this same angle to trick Eve by making God's commandment seem even more unreasonable.  The serpent cunningly asked Eve saying "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat from every tree of the garden'?" (Gen 3:1)  Now according to the serpent, God restricted every tree in the garden, not just the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The serpent spoke to Eve's heart and Eve responded.

If God's love and His commandment were in Eve's heart, the serpent would have no chance to even start the conversation.  She would have given no place for the devil (Ephesians 4:27).  If Eve was convinced of God's ultimate love and trusted that His commandment is to her benefit, then what could the serpent have said to stray her away?  This is also one of the ways for us to resist the devil.  If we have faith in God's love, we would also have faith in His commandment and trust that whatever He tells us to do is for our ultimate benefit.

It is therefore crucial for us to understand the reason behind God's commandment.  And if we're still at the point where we don't quite yet see why God asked us to do something, we should still trust in Him and His words that they are for our benefit.  The understanding will come later if He wills.

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