- Does God Prevent Man from Sin?
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: Sorry to keep pressing the point, but I still don't
understand. If God "knew" that man could not maintain the
standard set in the beginning and eventually would need the trappings
of organized religion to keep from straying into paganism, why not
institute that from the outset? Why wait for man to fail once and need
to go through the Flood, Tower of Babel and expulsion from Eden?
- Mesora: That is exactly the
point: God does not intervene unless man has demonstrated the need.
This is part of God's perfection, that He does only that which is
necessary. He does not interfere with man's freewill. So although He
knows man will fail many times, He does not address failure, until
failure is a reality to man, and only then is the remedy applied if
such a man is worthy, and will heed to the remedy. Following another
principle that God only does that which is perfect, as stated in
Proverbs, "Those who God loves does He rebuke".
- God did not give man the conscience until Eve and Adam ate from the
tree of life. God knew they would do so, but the conscience was not
given until man demonstrated the need in his own reality. Had He given
it earlier, it would have been unnecessary. God does however try to
steer man away from evil and towards the good, as we see through the
numerous prophets sent by God to warn people of imminent destruction
if repentance does not take place.
- Reader: This is especially true since the Talmud in places
credits God with "creating the cure before the malady,"
teaching that its better to preempt bad turns of events than to wait
to respond afterwards. Why not do that here?
- Mesora: I don't think that is
what we are to derive from the Talmud in those instances. I believe
the concept there is that God does not create a world which is doomed
to failure, i.e., a world with no remedies. And since man cannot
possibly refrain from the instincts which cause his constant
backsliding, the creation of the cure prior to the malady teaches that
man is doomed to slip, and that God want's man to have the ability to
rectify and be cured.