God is No Tyrant

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8,9)

Tyrants don’t give people space to do otherwise than what they want. They demand that others walk in lockstep with them, or else. People who claim to be champions of freedom, find fault with God for giving man too much freedom. “Why,” they ask, “did God let man choose to do wrong if He knew what the consequences would be?” In truth, men only like their own freedom, they fear the freedom granted to others.

God is not a tyrant. From the beginning, He gave man the space to choose to obey or disobey Him. He put into place immutable laws, letting us reap what we sow. The wages of sin was and will forever be death. But He also provided a way back to life for those who would repent of their wrong choices.

Not only Adam, but all of us have chosen a path of disobedience; but the merciful God who foresaw our defection appointed a Second Adam to bring us back to Him. The only begotten Son of the Father chose always to please Him. Where we went wrong, He went right. He chose to take up His cross and carry it to Calvary. There He bear in His body all our transgressions so we could one day wake up and get on the right track with Him.

All those who are in Christ can now freely choose the good and refuse the evil. We don’t serve our God because we have to. There is no whip on our back. We serve Him because we love Him. He who gave us space to fall has also given us space to repent. We abused the freedom we were given and it ended in our enslavement. Now we have given us a new freedom. We are free indeed – free to obey our wonderful Father, even as His Son did.

God is no tyrant. He is a great Liberator.

Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.