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The Lord God said, “The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.a And now, he might reach out his hand, and take alsofrom the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.a He drove the man out, and at the east of the garden of Eden He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned in every direction,a to guard the way to the tree of life. — Genesis 3:22–24

Captain of a Ship of Fools

How ludicrous and blasphemous to think that the God who, by the authority of His Word, governs creation steps meekly aside as His rebellious creature screams, “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.” There is a word for the attempt to master my fate. That word is futility.

An angel with a flaming sword stands watch over the forbidden entrance to the home from which the man and woman have been evicted (Genesis 3:22–24). But it is not for punishment that this angelic guard watches, but as a mercy. For God declares that the human being must never be allowed to reach for the fruit of the tree of life while in this state of sin. That fruit was made to give eternal life, not ongoing existence entrapped in the futility of sinful flesh. God’s providence is not only logical and true; it is the only view that gives life worth.

God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all
creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.

Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 5.1