God’s Love to Mankind
People may ask, “Why did God allow the tree of knowledge of good and evil to be in the garden of Eden, or allow Adam and Eve to choose the fruit of forbidden tree?” Reviewing the answers to these fundamental questions of God’s sovereign and mankind’s free will, we understand better the love of God.
Could God not put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden so Adam and Eve would not have the choice to take the fruit? They could then happily live forever in the paradise and their children would enjoy all the goodness on Earth. Another option would be if God didn’t create other races with different religious practices in Canaan so Israel was not able to worship other idols and gods?
The Ten Commandments, given to the Israel through Moses, forbade them to worship other gods. Jesus wisely answered these questions using three parables to help people apprehend the essence of the love of God. One of them is the famous parable of the “prodigal son.”
There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” So, he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I
will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
The father should have had the authority to not give his younger son his share of the estate, because the father was still alive and could decide what his sons got from him. The father could have initially chosen to lock his younger son in his home, against his will to leave home. But the father made a surprising decision, giving his son the fortune. He let him go because the son could not resist the temptation of the outside world and chose to leave home. The son probably thought he would enjoy life better outside his home without the love of his father. The father allowed his son the free will to choose, even though the father knew what would happen. If not allowed to leave home, his son would not be happy and would think of the outside world as always better than home.
To capture his son’s heart, the father let his younger son have the freedom.
He himself, though, would suffer in the absence of his son. The material and money loss were secondary to the father, but the loss of his son caused major distress because the father so loved his son. This is reflected in the description of how the father waited for his son to come back home, and his excitement when he ran to greet his son compassionately. The father even embraces his son as family member again, instead of rebuking him or treating him as servant.
This is exactly how much love our Heavenly Father holds for mankind. He waits for His beloved children to repent and turn back to God to restore the relationship broken previously. The consequence of the prodigal son in leaving home through his free will is an analogy for the consequence of our ancestors in choosing the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil through their free will. However, the free will is also salvation for mankind when they choose to open the door to come back to their heavenly home.
I will discuss more about True Love and Light in my next blog!
Note: Excerpt from my book A PHYSICIST’S PERSPECTIVE ON GOD
Part 4: THE WISDOM COMMUNICATED THROUGH DIVINE NATURE
Ch. 10 : Love and Light
God’s Love for Mankind
I have written many articles on science and faith here on Science and Life Blogs