The Biblical Concepts of Temptation and Greed as God’s Tests

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Temptation and Greed

The story of Adam and Eve and their fall from God’s grace in the Garden of Eden is an interesting and debatable one. In the bible, God created the Garden of Eden and create Adam and Eve from Adam’s rib. He told them they may eat from any tree in the garden except the fruit of the tree of knowledge of what’s good and evil. Even after He told them that, He still creates the serpent to influence Eve and Adam into eating the fruit. God, as people perceive Him to be, is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. God should have known that the two human would eat from the fruit if He is indeed all-knowing. However, God did this to test their willpower to withstand temptation and greed, and throughout the bible, God continue to test many people against the two sins.

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Temptation and greed are two very horrible traits to possess. God test many people against such sins from the very start of the bible, starting with Adam and Eve. He deliberately plants the tree of knowledge of what is good and evil in the garden and mention it to Adam and Eve. People, in many sense, when they are told not to do something, the urge to go against that is daunting. God is purposely taunting Adam and Eve with this tree, testing to see if they can withstand the temptation to go against His command. Not only that, but God also create the serpent that eventually manipulates Eve into eating from the tree. The serpent told Eve that “ye shall surely not die (King James Version. Genesis 3:3)” if she eats from the tree despite what God had said. Again, God is testing them, except this time, more directly. God create the serpent, and as an all-knowing God, He had known what the serpent would do. Instead of creating a nice, non-manipulating serpent, He creates this instead to test his two human creations against temptation. The serpent serve to tempts Eve into eating that fruit and God test Eve to see if she can continue to resist temptation after she knows that she will not die, and the fear of death gone from her mind. In the end, both Adam and Eve fail the test as they both succumb to temptation. Despite that, God continue to test others against the same sin.

After Adam and Eve fail God’s test, He continue to test other people, one such person is Abraham in Genesis 22. God gave Abraham and his wife one and only son, Isaac. In a test against temptation and greed, God told Abraham to take Isaac to a mountain where he will then have to “offer him there for a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2)”. Abraham is old and he does not have a son, someone to pass on his life to. God gave Abraham the son he had always wanted only to ask Abraham to sacrifice said son. This is another test, one much like Adam’s and Eve’s test. In this test, Abraham must choose between his own greed and temptation of having a son, or sacrifice Isaac and let go of his personal desire for God. It surely was a tough choice for Abraham, but unlike Adam and Eve, Abraham chooses his love for God rather than his love for his only son. In the end, Abraham pass God’s test unlike Adam and Eve. Nonetheless, God did not stop His test there and continue to test others to see if they can overcome temptation.

Another example of God testing his human creation can be seen though Moses and his followers. Through Moses, God help save the people from the Egyptian enslaving them. He show His power by parting the sea for them to pass, the water acting as a “wall onto them” (Exodus 22:29) and upon reaching dry land, God gave them food and water to survive. God answers to the children of Israel and He save them from the Egyptians. He continues to help them, and in some way, this is a test. God wanted to see if they will accept what He has done for them and accept it with grace, or will they fall into greed and temptation and continue to ask for more? Even after all that He has done for them, the Israeli people still continue to ask for more and more. In this respect, they have fail God’s test. They let greed rule over them instead of being thankful for what they already have.

In the bible, God has test many people, wanting to know if they will overcome their temptation and greed, like Abraham did, or will yield to it like Adam and Eve and the people of Israel. They were not the only one test. Throughout the bible, God continue to test many more people against such sins. This is God test and even today, many continue to fail rather then succeed.

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