Monday, July 17, 2006

How Do We Know What's Best for Us?

The strangest thing happened to me a couple nights ago. While reading Future Grace by John Piper I encountered a quote from John Sailhamer's Pentateuch as Narrative. Not an hour later I was reading from the early chapters of Genesis and from Sailhamer's accompanying notes in his NIV Compact Bible Commentary, which is part of my regular Bible study plan. To my complete surprise, I encountered the same quote—almost, if not precisely, word-for-word. I think it's worth your consideration:
[W]e read for the first time in [Genesis 2:16] that "God commanded" the man whom he had created. Enjoyment of God's good land is contingent on "keeping" God's commandments (cf. Dt. 30:16). The inference is that God alone knows what is good for the man and what is not good for him. To enjoy the "good" he must trust God and obey him. If he disobeys, he will have to decide for himself what is good and what is not good. To people today such a prospect may seem desirable, but it is the worst fate that could have befallen the human race; for only God knows what is good for them. (pp. 14-15)


Chris Anderson said...


I just preached on Gen. 2:18 ff. last night as the first of a 5-week series on Marriage. Anyway, one of the major points was that in v. 18, it was God that concluded that "it is not good for the man to be alone." Adam didn't bring it to God's attention or even notice it, apparently. God knew what was "good" and "not good" for man even when man did not.

BTW, that "not good" statement is striking, coming on the heels of many "good" and "very good" appraisals. R. Kent Hughes' message on the passage was very helpful.

Sorry to chatter on.

Chris Anderson said...

Sorry about the link. It's the Hughes message on Gen. 2:18-25. You'll have to search for it at the site.