Genesis 2:15-17 (ESV)
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Here we bump up against another odd instance of the use of the word “day.” In this case, if “yom” meant “age” (or something like that) then it would add nothing to the passage. The sentence might as well read, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for if you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Since Adam doesn’t die the day he eats the fruit, this sounds like a mistake. But since Moses wrote the whole book – including the part where Adam lives a long time – a mistake like that wouldn’t make sense. There must be some explanation.
It turns out there are two.
First off, God doesn’t say, “in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” He says, “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” When God excludes Adam and Eve from the tree of life, He sentences them to surely die. They will not live forever. So, the day they ate of the tree, they didn’t die, they surely died.
But an even better explanation is that the use of “day” here is the same Hebrew idiom that’s used in 1Kings 2:36-46. There, Solomon warns Shimei not to go out of his house.
For on the day you go out and cross the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die. Your blood shall be on your own head. – 1 Kings 2:37 (NASB)
“On the day,” is just a term of emphasis, as is, “you shall surely die.”
So, in each case the command is made as emphatic as possible.
And in each case the command is disobeyed.
What a clueless bunch we are, eh?
So, how are you doing with your “signature sin”? Obviously, it’ll be a while before you can gauge your progress, but are you sticking with it?
This isn’t something where you pray once during your quiet time and then forget about it for the rest of the day. You have to stay mindful of it so that if you slip you notice.
Also, you should see a change in feeling before a change in behavior. Wrath isn’t just about losing your temper; it’s about your attitude. Greed, sloth, lust and gluttony are similar. Pride and envy are attitudes.
It’s not just what you do; it’s how you feel.
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