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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Aftertaste

by Andy Taylor

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.
Genesis 3:6, NLT

I don’t know about you, but I am extremely grateful to God for incorporating tastebuds into His design for the human body. It didn’t need to be that way. God could have made us with a plug socket so that at regular intervals we could just recharge ourselves. But, no, God gave us the ability to enjoy the full flavour of the food we eat (noted that this is slightly dependent on the person preparing the food!).

Sometimes with food there is an aftertaste - a lingering experience of the flavour, after we’ve finished eating. It’s a pretty complex thing with neurobiological mechanisms and taste receptors kicking in! These aftertaste moments are great if the food was delicious but not so great if the taste was vile.

There is one food we read about in the bible that has caused a permanent aftertaste - one that is passed on from generation to generation. The forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden. God said to Adam and Eve that they must not eat of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He explained that if they did, they would surely die! But the fruit looked good to them, Satan sowed a seed of doubt in them, and they ate.

Have you ever wondered why God didn’t want them to eat the fruit of that particular tree?  Surely the knowledge of good and evil is no bad thing.  Surely knowledge itself is a great thing to have - I mean, look at all of our books and educational establishments. But what has eating that fruit done for us? Hasn’t it moved us from being fully dependent on God, to being more and more dependant on our own knowledge and understanding to fix things ourselves.

That’s exactly what happened immediately after Adam and Eve ate the fruit. They were immediately aware of their nakedness, but rather than calling out to God for help, they tried to cover themselves using leaves. They lost the natural dependence on God and instead went into self-fix-it mode.

This is the everlasting aftertaste that we have. The ‘taste’ of that fruit, that brought sin and death to the human race, still lingers with us. We too fall into the trap of self-reliance and use our own limited perspective and assumption that we know best to sort things out. God often becomes the last resort for help, after we’ve done everything we can think of first.

Maybe you are experiencing very real challenges in your life right now. But maybe you are being led by this inherited, permanent, spiritual aftertaste of using your own understanding (or that of others) as your primary source of help. Maybe we need to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’ and that He really is an ever-present help in trouble.

Andy Taylor is Director of Ellel Grange, UK National Director and is a member of the Executive Leadership of Ellel Ministries. He joined the team in 1991 and has served the Lord at Ellel Ministries centres in the UK, Australia and the USA. Andy is married to Cath and they have three boys.

 

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