Daily Word

That one command | Genesis 2:15-17

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 2:15-17 (NASB)

All set

The Lord put Adam in the Garden with responsibility to care for it – to cultivate and tend it. The Garden would provide his sustenance. He had also given him dominion over and responsibility for the earth as the pinnacle of His creation, the ruler (Gen 1:28).


Remember in Gen 1:28 God also blessed mankind; His first intention was to bless them. Here, He gives Adam freedom to eat from whatever he wants to – except one. They (we) were given a free will. Why? If we didn’t have a free will, we would have no choice but to obey, or disobey. “If there is never a command or never something forbidden there can then never be choice. God wants our love and obedience to Him to be the love and obedience of choice.” (enduringword.com)

That one command

Continuing that thought…The Lord gave Adam one restriction, one prohibition that we focus on: don’t eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In reality, Adam had other commands he could have chosen to disobey: be fruitful and multiply, take dominion and rule the earth and tend the garden. He must have been doing these (as well as not eating the forbidden fruit)…until the serpent comes along in Chapter 3.

And note that this command was given to Adam, not to Eve. Did this mean that only Adam was obligated? We’ll see in Chapter 3 the answer is that both of them were obligated. So that means Adam had to effectively communicate the command to Eve and in that way provide protection for her.

Clear consequences

The Lord made it abundantly clear to Adam what the prohibition was but also the consequence. This is a fair way to treat others – especially parents training their children. Kids need to be taught the rules and be clear about the consequences. With kids, it’s good to have them repeat them back in their own words. And if they violate, calmly review the rules and correction – then carry it out. It is not a good idea to punish kids for something they don’t know or you assume they know. Actually, don’t punish, correct / discipline. Check out this article for more on that topic.


  • Do you obey The Lord’s commands? As Christians, we say we believe the Bible is God’s Word and final authority. We read and know His commands. But do we obey them? Really? Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”.
Forbidden fruit. Image from pxfuel.com

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